Nokia Business Innovation Award
Street Swags Ltd
“My mother instilled a great sense of social justice, responsibility and equality in me – she says ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’.” – Jean Madden.
A decade as a volunteer caring for homeless people gave Jean Madden the inspiration in 2005 to give a swag for Christmas to all of Brisbane’s homeless people “sleeping rough.” Her knowledge of the physical and mental effects of sleeping out led her to design a lightweight, waterproofed canvas swag with mattress, which rolls up to become a bag with room for belongings. The charity Street Swags Ltd was born and, as Managing Director, Jean won community, corporate and private support to sponsor, produce, pack and distribute the swags across Australia. A measure of Jean’s success is that Street Swags has provided this basic bed and shelter protection to more than 16,400 Australians. Her patented swag won the 2009 People’s Choice Award at the prestigious INDEX design awards in Denmark. Jean, who has a Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Theology, was recognised as the 2010 Queensland Young Australian of the Year.