Advance Awards 2020: Introducing the Social Impact Award Finalists

WATCH > Introducing Andrew Hudson


To meet crisis day in and day out, Executive Director and CEO of Crisis Action, Andrew Hudson, relies on honesty, trust and inspiration. As an international human rights lawyer with 20 years of United Nations and international advocacy experience, Andrew brings world-class leadership to the global Crisis Action team and has spearheaded some of the organisation’s signature advocacy successes. Andrew sees crises as an opportunity to strengthen resolve and focuses on continually improving the organisation’s reach, impact and collaboration to better deal with impending global crises. Andrew has also globalized and diversified Crisis Action, while deliberately keeping their work behind the scenes. Previously, Andrew has worked with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Ecuador, the UN Regional Commission in Thailand, the Australian delegation to the UN General Assembly and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions.

At the helm of Crisis Action, Andrew Hudson oversees 11 offices around the globe. The team works with a range of stakeholders including aid organisations, human rights organisations, business leaders, religious leaders, and governments to coordinate political responses to violent conflicts. Through Andrew’s time at Crisis Action, the organisation has focused on over 20 conflict-related crises and currently is involved in Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan. Some highlights of the collective impact Andrew has orchestrated through Crisis Action include helping: bring together Christian and Muslim religious leaders from Central African Republic to convince the UN to deploy a peacekeeping force, which stopped ethnic cleansing and saved thousands of lives; mobilise a global coalition that convinced the UN to send in world-first aid convoys to reach three million starving Syrians; to prevent an attack on a vital port in Yemen that enabled aid to continue to flow to tens of millions of people; secure accountability for the mass rape of hundreds of women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; ensure the independence of South Sudan was largely peaceful via a year-long global mobilisation campaign called Sudan365, which included a music video featuring Pink Floyd, The Police, Radiohead and more. 

WATCH > Introducing Nicholas Wyman


For the past 25 years, Nicholas Wyman has sought novel ways to connect youth with the jobs of the future. Nicholas believes the ‘learn by doing’ approach has much to offer in a new world order straddling the faultlines of a ‘skills mismatch’. In Australia and beyond, Nick has innovated market-driven solutions to address the long-term workforce issues faced by employers, education institutions and governments. He created the innovative ‘New Recruits’ job skills program to bring disengaged young Australians back into the labour market. He co-founded the Skilling Australia Foundation, contracted by the Australian Government to address chronic STEM skills shortages. In the U.S., Nicholas developed the Kentucky Advanced Technical College, a collaborative education partnership between industry educators and the community assisting at-risk youth in the Appalachian region. Nick has built a global conversation around the need to change the status quo in job skills training. His research work and thought-leadership articles are widely published and internationally recognised. 

The social impact of Nicholas’ advocacy for and promotion of apprenticeships and vocational education are measured by the thousands of students in Australia and the United States who have been positively impacted by his work with policymakers and political leaders. Nicholas is an international expert and thought leader on the Apprenticeship skills model and Career and Technical education trends, working across the United States, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. He is subject matter expert and key advisor to the Urban Institute’s Centre on Labor, human services and population in Washington D.C. He also regularly briefs and advises the U.S. Department of Labor, the House Committee on Workforce and the National Governors Association on workforce development issues. Nicholas is a member of the Advisory Board of the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship (AIIA). His ambition is to break open opportunities that encourage employers to give more young people a go. Nicholas has the ability to inspire the next generation of Global leaders, named by AFR in 2017 as a True Leader in recognition of his educational leadership ability.

WATCH > Introducing Samah Hadid


A fearless campaigner, advocate and writer, Samah Hadid connects her own proud Arab and Muslim heritage to the global fight for greater equality.  Samah is as articulate as she is outspoken. Finding the fuel for her fire in the Arab Spring of 2010, Samah’s leadership has burned bright in roles for Amnesty International, The Global Poverty Project, feminist organisation Nazra and Oxfam International. Her vision for social justice has taken her from Australia to the Middle East and Africa, engaging in grassroots activism for the empowerment of women and girls through Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, and South Sudan. 

Samah has completed a fellowship with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her advisory roles include working with UNESCO, the National Red Cross, Oxfam International, Amnesty International and the UN Experts Group on Youth. As the Australian Youth representative to the UN in 2010, Samah spoke for young people at the world stage of the UN. Samah has published regular op-eds for The Guardian, News Limited and Fairfax publications, CNN, The Independent, and has co-authored several books including – The Future by Us and Future Chasers. Her campaigns have created positive change for vulnerable communities.

WATCH > Introducing Sophie Blackall


An Australian icon in the world of Children’s Books, Sophie Blackall creates places to escape to during stormy times, and return from wiser, calmer and changed. Needless to say, her work is relevant to children and adults alike in modern times. Sophie, along with some of her characters, traversed from the world of fiction to the world of social impact when she became an ambassador for The Measles and Rubella Initiative to eradicate measles through vaccination – a partnership with UNICEF, The American Red Cross, WHO, CDC and the UN Foundation. And then with Save the Children, promoting children’s literacy in Rwanda and Bhutan. In 2014, Blackall was one of 40 artists to contribute to The Art of Saving a Life, a Gates Foundation project, celebrating 40 years of global immunization achievements.

Sophie Blackall is a Brooklyn-based multi-award winning Australian artist who has illustrated over forty books for children and was the first Australian to win the 2016 Caldecott Medal (the most prestigious award for an illustrated book in the United States). And again in 2019 for the book, Hello Lighthouse, which has also been shortlisted for a 2020 Australian Children’s Book Award. Sophie’s work has been widely celebrated in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, and MoMA, where her work is sold. Her Ivy and Bean series has also been on the New York Times bestseller list, and has sold over 5 million copies. Sophie has taught at the School of Visual Art in New York and at workshops in Brooklyn, NY; Valladolid, Spain; Kinshasa, DRC; Kigali, Rwanda and Thimpu, Bhutan, as well as giving presentations about her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, The Gates Foundation in Seattle, New York University and many other colleges and conferences around the country.

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