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November 3 2021. Project Displaced Founder Anthony Cohen is named a Finalist for NSW’s Local Hero in the 2022 Australian of the Year Awards


When he lost his job in the hospitality industry at the beginning of the pandemic, what started off as a simple a desire to help other people who were in the same situation has grown to be a social movement spanning all across Australia.

Today, Sydney-based Founder of Project Displaced, Anthony (Ant) Cohen, was announced as one of NSW’s Local Heroes in the 2022 Australian of the Year Awards.

“I am genuinely honoured and humbled to receive this recognition and to be in the company of such inspiring Australians who are each making our communities a better place” says Ant. “My priority has always been just to try and help people who were going through the sudden stress that uncertain employment creates.” said Ant.

“That stress is overwhelming at the best of times, and even more distressing when faced with the uncertainty of a COVID world and the impact of lockdowns.”

Ant had spent more than a decade working at Qantas and his partner is a musician. So when he started the service, it was initially to try and help the people in those industries who saw their livelihoods vanish almost overnight.

“When I started this it really was just to try and see if we could help a few people, but within a couple of weeks I had people from across the country and all different industries reaching out – and dozens more professionals asking if they could join us to provide that help. So far we’ve helped thousands of people from more than 55 different industries in Australia, everywhere from Brisbane to Broome”.

Project Displaced provide free one-on-one confidential support and a range of weekly group classes, in order to help job seekers regain their confidence, identify their skills and successfully secure their next role.

Since October 2020 they have also offered free mindset coaching and mental health first aid, which has become an increasingly needed service as thousands of people struggle to cope with the challenges of the unknown.

Project Displaced’s services are delivered online by a team of more than 70 qualified Australian-based professionals including HR managers, recruiters, business mentors, mindset coaches, psychologists, and mental health professionals who all donate some of their time each week. People who have all been inspired by Ant’s mission and volunteer their time to pay it forward and give back to the community.

All of their services are free of charge and most are available 7 days a week, and even after hours. They currently offer around 400 hours of free support each month, all delivered on Zoom.

“I am genuinely humbled to be nominated amongst this group of amazing Australians who are doing tremendous things for their communities. This recognition is for our entire team of volunteers and all the work they do every day to help people around Australia who have lost their jobs”

Registered with the Australian Charity and Not-for-profit Commission, Project Displaced is entirely independent, non-denominational, and not funded by any Government program. Ant spent his savings establishing Project Displaced because he felt it was the right thing to do.

They are making a big difference in the lives of so many people. Recently Project Displaced was named Most Outstanding Start Up 2021 (Sydney City) by Business NSW.

“Just to be nominated for The Australian of the Year Awards is a testament to the incredible and selfless work our whole team does – it’s not me alone” said Ant.

“I hope that this nomination means that more people who need our services find out about us. 90% of the people who come to us are from word of mouth, so we’d love more people to get to hear about our amazing coaches and come and experience what can be life-changing support”.

“If you know someone who is out of work please let them know about us, the compassion and care our team provides to job seekers is exceptional”.

“If you’re a professional looking to give back or someone who wants to help support us on our mission to reach and help more people in Australia then please get in touch with me”.

Ant would like to thank all of the volunteers and supporters who have encouraged him, mentored him, helped him, and continue to help Project Displaced make a real difference – without them, none of this would be at all possible.

The winners of the NSW section of the Australian of the Year Awards will be announced on 15 November.

Media Contact: Nicole Browne, MediaOpps
Contact Ant:

If you are unemployed or stood down – or know someone who is – you can access Project Displaced’s award-winning service by booking free one-on-one coaching or attending any of our weekly webinars. Our service is free for job seekers 18 years and older, across Australia.