2013 Winner

Congratulations to our 2013 Winner – Duncan Ward!


The inaugural Unleashed Awards, in 2013 had entries that were amazingly varied, and really showcased the outstanding pool of young talent that exists around the world. For the judges, there was one that stood out among all others. Duncan Ward’s Classroom of Hope was recognised for its potential to change the lives of thousands of schoolchildren in Cambodia and, as a result, became our first ever winner of the Talent Unleashed Award for Impact.

Find our more about Classroom of Hope – www.classroomofhope.org




It was a once in a lifetime moment for Duncan Ward when he was presented with our inaugural Unleashed Award for Impact in 2013 by none other than Sir Richard Branson.

The award was created to recognise an individual who had made the biggest impact on their surroundings, either through a technological innovation, inspirational leadership or service to their community. The pictures, video and testimonials that supported his written submission helped Duncan stand out.





It was while backpacking in Cambodia that Duncan met Racky, a truly inspirational Cambodian man with a boundless passion and determination to use education as the tool to transform his country.

Immediately, Duncan’s experience as a Management Consultant kicked in to gear as he realised that the non-government organisation Racky had created, was being held back from it’s full potential by inconsistent funding and lack of program design.

Motivated by a desire to help the Cambodian children and Racky, Duncan returned to Australia and created Classroom of Hope. As a non-profit organisation, Classroom of Hope offers financial and technical assistance, and partners with best practice NGOs to create child-friendly schools.




Since winning the award in May 2013, Duncan has gone on to do amazing things. He continues to raise funds and raise the profile of Classroom of Hope.

October 2012 saw the launch of its Schools of Excellence Program, with Duncan recruiting 10 volunteers to help him raise $45,000. While more recently, Duncan and the Classroom of Hope have established a relationship with Virgin Unite, which has helped profile the program, and drive awareness of the need to help.

In November, 2013 Talent joined Classroom of Hope on a special trip to Cambodia. According to Duncan “Not only did Talent do an outstanding job raising funds for a school to become child-friendly, they also joined us for the inauguration of seven schools to start work in rural Cambodia and witnessed Racky’s 15 year dream coming true for the communities and children in need.”

“We had people from Australia, UK, Canada and Netherlands plus Cambodian local community leaders, buddhist monks to bless our project, smiling children, senior government officials and our NGO partners joining us as we cut the ribbon and lifted the balloons in the air to welcome Classroom of Hope’s ‘Schools for Excellence’ project to begin.”

Find our more about Classroom of Hope – www.classroomofhope.org