The award ” which stands for Community, Action, Leadership and Inspiration ” is presented by not-for-profit group Five-Point-Five to a person creating positive change in their community and inspiring others to do the same.
Mr Hewitt, a 54-year-old father of two, is the founder and chief executive of Awareness Cambodia, a humanitarian organisation which is helping to rebuild Cambodia.
Gary first visited Cambodia in 1995 to volunteer his dentistry skills along the Mekong River.
After witnessing what he describes as ‘utter injustice’ and ‘despair’, he quit his full-time dentistry career and founded the world-class humanitarian organisation, Awareness Cambodia.
The group works with local communities and relevant government bodies to deliver a range of child development, education and medical services in Kompong Speu, one of Cambodia’s poorest provinces.
Much of the work is in providing long-term support designed to break the cycle of poverty. Its programs include educating orphans who are at risk of abuse and drug trafficking.
After having been recognised by several prestigious institutions, including being an Australian of the Year State finalist, Dr Hewett says he was humbled to receive a CALI Award.
‘There are a lot of inspiring, selfless people who are making a remarkable difference in our world,’ he said.
‘It is truly humbling to think that my work is being recognised as something that is not only changing the lives of communities but encouraging others to make a difference as well.’