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Michael Hughes Foundation

The Michael Hughes Foundation is an Australian not for profit charity whose primary focus is to 'Turn Bystanders into First Responders' in the event of cardiac arrest.

Don't skip a beat with the Michael Hughes Foundation

Julie Hughes, Executive Director and Kevin McSweeney, Deputy Chair of the Michael Hughes Foundation know a thing or two about running a successful, award-winning charity. 

The Michael Hughes Foundation supports many communities with education programs, awareness activities and increasing the availability of defibrillators in local areas, with the mission to 'Turn Bystanders into First Responders'.  

The inspiration for the foundation came when Julie lost her husband Michael to cardiac arrest. Julie explains, “Any effort is better than no effort to save a life. It's about getting in there and having a go, using a defib if one is available, and also getting the ambulance there as quickly as possible.”

One of the main challenges the foundation faces is that the defibrillator business is very competitive, and while the business is a charity, a profit does need to be made to make it work.  

The training programs run by the foundation are always tailored to a target audience. 

“We always speak to the client first and find out what they really want to do. There is a cool component that we have to do in first aid, but we can also tailor our courses to suit what the client really needs,” Kevin says. 

The Michael Hughes Foundation is looking to grow in the next three to five years, with a focus on advocacy work and setting up the business for the long-term. 

When asked about the one piece of business advice he’d share, Kevin says: “I've always lived by is hard work. You might get a good contract or something like that, and people suggest, "Oh, wow, that was lucky. That was good, wasn't it?"

“I don't think there's any luck in that. I think it’s all pure hard work, and the harder you work, the luckier you get.”

The Michael Hughes Foundation won the 2019 Business Australia award for Excellence in Social Enterprise, an accolade Julie credits to boosting the business profile and exposure. “It was a massive, massive thing for our organisation,” Julie adds. 

Any effort is better than no effort to save a life. It's about getting in there and having a go, using a defib if one is available, and also getting the ambulance there as quickly as possible.

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