Philanthropist and early childhood advocate Nicola Forrest has been recognised for her tirelesss commitment to the sector through being awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia.
Recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours list, Mrs Forrest was instrumental in the establishment of CoLab – Collaborate for Kids – a joint initiative between the Telethon Kids Institute and Minderoo Foundation.
CoLab was funded in 2017 to improve the lives of our most disadvantaged children and bridge the gap between the least and most vulnerable. CoLab does this by working collaboratively to change processes, impact policies and translate research into practical outcomes that make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children.
Mrs Forrest cited CoLab’ s involvement in the ground-breaking Early Years Initiative as one of her proudest successes.
“Minderoo’s greatest successes have come from collaboration,” Mrs Forrest said.
“One cause I’m particularly proud of is the Early Years Initiative (EYI), a ten-year partnership between the state government, Telethon Kids Institute and Minderoo. Because of EYI’s structure it’s able to have incredible impact across communities and really support and empower families and children.
“That kind of collaboration is the key to our philanthropy. We live by the motto “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go a long way, you have to go together.”
Telethon Kids director Prof. Jonathan Carapetis congratulated Mrs Forrest on her recognition.
“Nicola’s enthusiasm and passion for early childhood development is clearly evident and is a driving force in the work being undertaken by CoLab,“ Prof. Carapetis said.
“Her determination and willingness to truly make a difference to the lives of our most vulnerable children is commendable and we look forward to continuing to make measurable impacts together. This shines through in the work CoLab does by working collaboratively to change processes, impact policies and translate research into practical outcomes.”