Swags founder top entrepreneur

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Tony Clark, founder of the Redlands-based Swags for Homeless, has won the social entrepreneur category at the 2014 Westpac Community Leaders Awards.

The awards, held in Sydney, recognise inspirational leaders who generously give their time, capabilities and commitment to the social sector, helping to improve the lives of others in their region.

Swags for Homeless provides relief bedding for people without homes, such as disaster victims, through its award- winning backpack beds and other specialised products.

These material aids not only to reduce the chance of physical sickness caused by exposure, but also psychological suffering for homeless people, empowering them to get off the streets and back into society.

Tony has been internationally recognised as an inspiring leader who has demonstrated a commitment to the homeless.

"This award means a great deal to me, but more so it recognises the crucial work we do to save the lives and dignity of street-sleeping homeless who have no shelter.

"Today, I am more committed than ever to be the kind of leader needed by the community to protect the human rights of homeless, and to do all in my power to reach every single homeless person living on our streets without shelter," he said.

The 2014 Westpac Community Leaders Awards attracted more than 180 quality nominations from around the country.

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