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ThinkPlace designers with their award

ThinkPlace is Australia's Social Change Maker of the Year....

The numbers are more than intimidating.

Across Australia, more than 10,000 businesses entered the Telstra Australian Business Awards for 2018.

And from that pool – across every state and territory – just four national winners were selected after going through a comprehensive judging process led by some of the nation’s top business minds.

That’s why ThinkPlace is both thrilled and humbled to have been selected as the Social Change Maker of the Year winner at the national finals of the awards, in Melbourne.

Founding Partner John Body collected the award in front of a room filled with Australia’s top business leaders, thanking the judges for what he said had been a hugely valuable and rewarding process.

“We are so grateful that you took the time to really ‘get’ what it is we do and why we do it,’’ he said. "ThinkPlace is a company that is all about achieving social outcomes. We do humanity-centred design." 

Body quoted Apple founder Steve Jobs, saying: “The people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones who actually do.”

John Body and Nina Terrey
ThinkPlace Partners John Body and Nina Terrey accepted the award at the national award ceremony in Melbourne.

ThinkPlace Partner and Chief Methodologist Nina Terrey joined John on stage to collect the award, saying that the toughest issues facing society today need to be tackled with a mix of courage, passion and deep commitment to collaborate and achieve systemic change.

“This award goes to all our brilliant designers and the leaders we work with who have vision to make social impact,” she said.

ThinkPlace was founded in Canberra in 2005 and has grown to become a global design network spanning eight studios in five countries. In 2017, the company adopted an “audacious goal” to ‘move the needle’ on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


In 2018 alone, ThinkPlace designers have worked on global nutrition projects across Africa and Asia, have collaborated on family violence, renewable energy and digital transformation projects in Australia and are deployed all over the world making positive social change.

It’s a commitment to designing a better future that resonated with the judging panel and was lauded by Telstra CEO Andrew Penn.

“Strategic design consultancy ThinkPlace has taken out our award for Social Change Maker of the Year,” Mr Penn said.

“This team is working every day to make a positive impact all over the globe.”

Awards judge Tracey Spicer said ThinkPlace had impressed the judges with the global scale of its goals and impact.

“These guys really do set out to make the world a better place and it is so inspiring,” she said.

Canberra company Penten won the overall award for Australian Business of the Year. The  cybersecurity firm focuses on enabling government users to access classified information on mobile devices and tricking and trapping attackers by using machine learning.

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