One of Australia's leading philanthropic couples received the top honour at the 2018 Philanthropic Awards.
Nicola and Andrew Forrest were recognised as Philanthropy Leaders of the Year at Philanthropy Australia's annual awards night held at the Sydney Opera House.
The awards - now in their fourth year - recognise the achievements of seven of Australia's most strategic philanthropic funders and their non-profit partners - celebrating the impact and innovation of transformative philanthropy.
Taking home the top award alongside husband Andrew, Nicola Forrest said that by being open with their philanthropic efforts the couple hopes to spur other wealthy Australians to donate towards solving worthy social challenges.
"There is no limit to what we can achieve if we continue to apply knowledge, think strategically and approach problems with flexibility," Forrest said.
"By making our giving public, we hope to encourage others to do what they can to address social challenges."
Andrew Forrest said the couple's philanthropic efforts were geared towards creating long-term solutions to social challenges.
"For 17 years we have been working to create healthier and more educated citizens, boost training and employment and enable communities to thrive, all over the world," he said.
"We aren't afraid to take on tough problems, and look to create long-term solutions, not short-term fixes."
The award for best large grant went to the Tom Snow and Brooke Horne Family Trust and the Equality Campaign for the Marriage Equality Campaign. Horne dedicated the award to the Australians who supported the campaign through either donations of their time or money.
"This award is a huge honour that we share with every single person who donated money or time to achieve marriage equality," Horne said.
"The Equality Campaign was the result of significant philanthropic leadership that gave strength to the thousands of everyday Australians who were willing to stand up and push for fairness and equality."
Other award winners were:
- Best Small Grant of the Year Award: The Snow Foundation and Women's Centre for Health Matters for the Assistance Beyond Crisis Credit Loans Initiative
- Gender-wise Philanthropy Award: The WeirAnderson Foundation and International Women's Development Agency (IWDA) for the IWDA Communications Strategy
- Indigenous Philanthropy Award: Australian Communities Foundation and Woor-Dungin for the Criminal Record Discrimination Project
- International Philanthropy Award: Wheelton Philanthropy and Bali Children Foundation
- Environmental Philanthropy Award: Purves Environmental Fund and WWF Australia for the Ending Excessive Tree Clearing Campaign Strategy