JUDGING THE HEART OF CHANGE


Irshad Mobarak was impressed by the the diversity of social causes presented and range of initiatives in this year’s SGHA. – Photo from irshad-mobarak.com

This year’s outstanding awardees are a formidable group dedicated to creating a positive impact on society and the environment.

Among them are the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Lang Tengah Turtle Watch, The MareCet Research Organisation, Starfish Malaysia Foundation, PACOS Trust, The Asli Co, Kelab Alami, Buku Jalanan Chow Kit, Japson Wong, and Graze Market.

Each of these entities has committed itself to addressing a diverse range of critical issues encompassing education for the underprivileged, wildlife conservation, sustainable waste recycling, and the enhancement of the indigenous communities’ livelihoods.

Together, these remarkable recipients represent a collective force for positive change, embodying the spirit of the SGHA and the GIA.

Among the esteemed panel of judges this year were Irshad Mobarak, a distinguished conservationist, educator, and ecotourism consultant, and Shah Redza Hussein, a seasoned veteran with over 25 years of experience in conservation and environmental protection.

Expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to judge the event, Irshad says: “I consider it an honour and a privilege to have been given this opportunity to become a judge for this truly amazing event.”

ALSO READ: POSITIVE IMPACT ON LIVES AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Facing the challenging task of evaluating a diverse array of deserving candidates – each making significant contributions – Irshad emphasises the paramount importance of the end results achieved by the nominees. “It was a tight race this year,” he admits.

Reflecting on the diversity of social causes presented, Irshad was impressed by the range of initiatives. Meeting both present and past candidates proved to be a humbling experience.

“It was a room full of passionate and kind people who have touched the lives of the people, especially the children, in such a positive way,” he recalls.

He firmly believes that events like SGHA and GIA draw attention to a broader audience – shedding light on environmental and community issues while recognising the efforts of numerous unsung heroes.

Shah Redza Hussein found it a pleasant surprise to know that ‘there are so many good initiatives done by individuals and organisations out there.’Shah Redza Hussein found it a pleasant surprise to know that ‘there are so many good initiatives done by individuals and organisations out there.’Meanwhile, Shah Redza, with over two decades of dedication to conservation, was motivated to become a judge to inspire more individuals to contribute positively.

“It was a good experience and a pleasant surprise to know there are so many good initiatives done by individuals and organisations out there,” Shah Redza reflects on his judging experience.

The criteria for selection this year included innovation, creativity and impact.

Shah Redza acknowledges the challenge of judging amidst a pool of highly commendable nominees. For him, the winning projects showcase innovation and impact.

“What impressed me was that local communities were involved in the work they do and benefited through the transfer of new knowledge and skills to the community,” he says.

The 2023 GIA selection reflects the diversity within environmental conservation as the chosen projects – the Borneon Sun Bear Conservation Centre and The MareCet Research Organisation – cover both terrestrial (land) and marine (sea) conservation.

Looking ahead, he believes that the awards could further propel social entrepreneurship by inspiring others and providing recognition to those who selflessly devote themselves to a cause.

He envisions trends in the utilisation of technology for positive societal and environmental impact.

Shah Redza’s wish list for future iterations includes new categories.

“Perhaps for youth who are doing good, impactful work – that will be inspirational,” he says,

As the SGHA and GIA continue to honour the impactful endeavours of Malaysians, judges like Irshad and Shah Redza play a pivotal role in ensuring that these awards not only endorse the present but also inspire a future where selfless acts and positive change prevail.

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