Leading real estate network Harcourts Group Australia, in partnership with White Ribbon Australia, took home the coveted Contribution to Community award at the 2017 Annual REA Excellence Awards.
Held by the REA Group, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence in the property and media industries.
The Harcourts Foundation, Harcourts Group Australia’s charitable entity, has partnered with White Ribbon for the past five years on its annual Walk A Mile in Their Shoes nationwide walk – with Harcourts staff, family, friends and supporters “walking a mile” in women’s heels to show solidarity and bring attention to the national tragedy that is violence against women.
Walk A Mile in Their Shoes founder and Harcourts Victoria CEO Sadhana Smiles, said the walk - and broader partnership with White Ribbon - represents how the group supports the communities in which each Harcourts agency lives and works in.
“Caring is bigger than one person – to really grow communities with a positive impact, we must come together. It was simple for us; real estate agents walking in heels, we knew it would generate talkability and more importantly, help us raise funds,” Smiles said.
The 2016 walk raised almost $120,000, setting another White Ribbon Community Fundraising Event record with 100 percent of the funds used to help deliver the White Ribbon Breaking the Silence program in over 100 schools nationally, aimed at creating generational change in attitudes toward violence through prevention education.
“It’s an honour to be recognised at this year’s AREAs for our commitment to this partnership. This is an issue that affects up to one in five Australian women and through our work with White Ribbon - we know that engaging men to make women’s safety a man’s issue too is imperative,” said Mike Green, Managing Director, Harcourts International.
“I commend White Ribbon for the incredibly important work they do every day, and I would like to thank the entire Harcourts family for supporting this each year and proving that when we come together, we can generate lasting impact.”
Walk A Mile in Their Shoes is in its 5th year and has collectively raised over $395,000 for White Ribbon. Since 2013, funds have helped Breaking the Silence expand into a national program, across regions in over 150 schools, impacting 2800 teachers and 39,300 students.
The Walk A Mile in Their Shoes initiative went global earlier this year with the first international Harcourts event taking place in South Africa in March 2017.
The Harcourts Foundation is volunteer run, with 100% of all money raised given directly to recipients.