Melbourne Awards celebrate city’s best and brightest

A comedy theatre, an Aboriginal radio station, a cancer biobank and the creators of compostable cling wrap are among the 29 finalists for this year’s Melbourne Awards.

​Lord Mayor Sally Capp said 2021’s finalists have gone above and beyond to make our city better.

“We’re thrilled to recognise and celebrate the inspirational people who are making invaluable contributions to our city,” the Lord Mayor said.

“It’s the people that make our city the wonderful place it is, and the Melbourne Awards finalists are a testament to our passionate and innovative community.”

This year’s Melbourne Awards feature two new categories – Knowledge and Innovation, and LGBTIQ+.

The Melbourne Awards also include the prestigious Melburnian of the Year award, recognising an inspirational role model who has made an outstanding contribution in their field and to the Melbourne community.

Previous winners include leading medical researcher, Professor Doug Hilton AO and radiation oncologist and tobacco-free lobbyist, Dr Bronwyn King AO.

The winners of the Melbourne Awards will be announced at 2pm on Saturday 13 November, as part of a special television broadcast on Channel 9.

The City of Melbourne would like to thank and acknowledge valued partners for their support of the Melbourne Awards.

2021 Melbourne Award finalists:

Aboriginal Melbourne – Kommargee Ketherba

  • Radio 3KND – Melbourne’s first Aboriginal owned and managed AM radio station
  • The Torch – program supporting Aboriginal art in prison and in the community
  • Barpirdhila Foundation – community-led organisation that nurtures and develops First Nations artists and arts workers

Arts and Events

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – stage production of JK Rowling’s continuation of the Harry Potter series
  • Music Victoria Awards 2020 – event recognising Victoria’s best acts, albums, songs and musicians
  • Comedy Republic – a new, purpose-built comedy theatre in the heart of Melbourne

  • Travellers Aid Australia – essential public transport service that enables individuals of all abilities to connect to people and places
  • Local Transit – transport solutions for People with Restricted Mobility (PRM), providing livelihood and development opportunities for migrant drivers, particularly East African refugees
  • RoboGals – encouraging girls from primary to secondary school to explore an interest, as well as cultivate self-confidence, in STEM subjects
  • Moving Feast – transforming Victoria’s food system for the disadvantaged
  • Little Dreamers Australia – support programs co-designed with young carers


  • Hero – a destination restaurant that has revitalised the Fed Square precinct
  • Farmer’s Daughters – a food and dining experience that champions local sourcing and sustainability
  • Piccolina Gelateria – 100% natural Italian gelato served from two stores in the heart of the city

Knowledge and Innovation

  • Future Founders Program 2020/21 – designed, curated and delivered by StartSpace, powered by State Library Victoria, and in partnership with Study Melbourne 
  • Victorian Cancer Biobank – one of the largest cancer biobanks in Australia
  • RMHive – app developed to respond to the unique mental health needs of health care workers
  • True Crime Games – world-first series of augmented reality games, called True Crime Mysteries


    • All The Queens Men – creates spectacular theatrical and participatory art experiences
    • Homophonic! – composing mind bending queer classical music
    • Queer Sporting Alliance – creating safe spaces for LGBTIQ+ folk and their allies to play community sport


    • Goodtel – mobile and NBN plans for socially conscious Australians
    • A New Normal – transforming Melbourne from a consumer to a producer by 2030
    • 1receipt® – helping the paperless shopper save 9 million trees with one digital receipt app
    • Great Wrap – the only Australian-made compostable cling wrap

Urban Design

    • RMIT Rhodda Lane by Sibling Architecture – transformed the space into a series of outdoor rooms that offer opportunities for learning, teaching and socialising
    • 130 Lonsdale St by Charter Hall and Cox Architecture – the landmark precinct has been transformed through heritage restoration work and a new 35-level commercial development
    • State Library Victoria Vision 2020 Redevelopment by Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen – the refurbishment has provided more diverse facilities for users and opportunities for tenants, creative practitioners and entrepreneurs
    • Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street by Bates Smart Architecture – the original building has been restored with a six-level extension and a new 16-storey tower to bring together Melbourne’s past and present

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