Canberra | Monday, 26 June 2023
His Excellency the Governor General announced on June 12th that Heidi Prowse our Executive Manager Strategy & Impact, will receive the prestige honour of a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). We congratulate and pay tribute to Heidi’s exceptional support of our community, receiving the award for services to community health.
“When I found out I was filled with gratitude. I have always considered the honour being awarded at the end of your career, but for me I feel like I’m only just getting started.”
Heidi has been a community leader for the past 15 years working with Camp Quality, Cystic Fibrosis ACT and MIEACT focused on furthering their causes and reaching more people through their work.
“My career has been dedicated to helping the lives of others. I have a personal mission to solve complex community issues and I’m willing to get in from the ground up to create change. That was set into overdrive when I fell in love with my late husband who was living with cystic fibrosis. My constant exposure to the health system lit a fire in me, I wanted to help reduce the burden so that we could have more time together, but then I could see the flow on to the rest of the cystic fibrosis community and had to do more,” said Mrs Prowse.
Heidi went on to raise $1m for Cystic Fibrosis ACT through the very cheeky Santa Speedo Shuffle. She then led local mental health education non profit MIEACT through the pandemic increasing access to mental health and wellbeing education from students to aged care across the ACT at our most difficult time. Previously acknowledged for her tireless work Heidi was the 2017 ACT Young Australian of the Year and 2020 Telstra Business Women of the year.
“It was unexpected to join MIEACT for me, an organisation that passionately delivers education through lived experiences. The power of your voice can have a profound impact on others to feel comfortable seeking help, I knew that was something that more Canberrans needed access too. We were ahead of the pandemic rolling out digital mental health programs and launched a new program for primary school age students with backing from local businesses as I was wrapping up my time. I’m so proud to have been part of the organisations story and growth,” she said.
In January, Heidi joined the team at Capital Region Community Services to lead a new division “Strategy & Impact” and has hit the ground running, implementing the organisations Social Impact Framework and initiating the revitalisation of the Belconnen Community Centre.
“The best thing about my role is connecting to the community, particularly in Belconnen. As I run the Belconnen Community Centre and work with teams across the organisation to understand the actual outcomes our programs and services are having. I get to drive continuous improvement for people of all ages. Being based in the Community Centre each day really fills up my cup and I can see the tangible difference we can make in our local communities lives, whether that’s social connection, increased wellbeing both physical and mental or just a safe space to find a new or preloved hobby.”
Capital Region Community Services deliver programs across the ACT and surrounding region from your first day to your last. Empowered early education, children and youth programs that strengthen families, therapeutic services for mental health and autism through to a social and care program for our senior community. Heidi has brought an energy to the organisation and fresh perspective. Her passion to connect the community to services that will walk alongside, support and build the community flows through everything she does.
“On the last days before my beloved husband passed away through tears, I asked him what I would do now. He told me to love myself like he does, and care for the whole community as fiercely as I have done for him. He is ultimately the reason for the honour. We were a team that helped find the best in each other and elevate it. Together we moved mountains and I will continue to do so. I dedicate this to him.”
Heidi will be invited to Government House later in the year to receive her medal.