New-look Melbourne Awards to honour heroes

The City of Melbourne will honour community champions who have stepped up to serve their community in response to COVID-19 as part of a new-look Melbourne Awards.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the coveted Melbourne Awards will be reinvented for 2020 only, to focus on community heroes.

“Melbourne is a caring city and I am proud of the many ways that Melburnians help and support each other in times of crisis,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’ve seen quietly heroic acts in response to the global pandemic: from neighbours who come to our rescue in times of need, to essential workers who do so much more than their jobs, and businesses that reach out to support people in tough times.

“The 2020 Community Champions Edition of the Melbourne Awards will recognise people who have demonstrated acts of kindness, integrity and community spirit during these challenging times.”

The Melbourne Awards include the prestigious Melburnian of the Year award, which honours an inspirational role model who has made an outstanding contribution to their field, as well as a significant contribution to the Melbourne community.

Last year’s Melburnian of the Year was Dr Bronwyn King AO, an oncologist and the founder and CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios, a not-for-profit organisation that collaborates with the world’s largest financial groups to drive global change towards tobacco-free finance.

New Community Champions categories will include:

  • Community Champion
  • Youth Champion (aged under 20 years old)
  • Business Champion
  • Digital Innovation Champion
  • Arts and Culture Champion
  • Essential Service Champion (such as a supermarket attendant or medical worker).

Nominations are open from Wednesday 1 July until Friday 7 August 2020. Anyone can self-nominate or nominate an individual, business, or community group.

Nominees do not need to live within the municipality, but must be able to demonstrate that they have had a positive impact on the community within the City of Melbourne during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An independent judging panel of industry leaders and identities selects the Melbourne Awards winners.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony at Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday 14 November, if safety and physical distancing requirements allow. If needed, the awards ceremony may be held online or postponed.

Previous Melbourne Award winners include:

  • Dr Bronwyn King AO, oncologist and the founder and CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios (2019)
  • Simone and Ian Carson AM, founders of SecondBite, which gives food to people in need (2018)
  • Dr Susan Alberti AC, philanthropist and fundraising support for a range of medical research, education and sporting organisations (2017)
  • Neale Daniher AM, FightMND founder (2016)
  • Bryan Lipmann AM,  Chief Executive Officer and founder of Wintringham Specialist Aged Care (2015)
  • Professor Sharon Lewin, researcher into HIV/AIDS and other diseases (2014)
  • Major Brendan Nottle, Commanding Officer, Salvation Army (2013)
  • Michael Gudinski AM, Melbourne music icon and entrepreneur (2012)
  • Susan Barton AM, founder and director of Lighthouse Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation committed to reducing youth homelessness (2009)
  • John Bertrand AM, skipper of Australia 2 in 1983 and former Chair of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation (2008)
  • Lyn Swinburne AO, founded Breast Cancer Network Australia (2007).

The Melbourne Awards would like to thank and acknowledge our valued partners who have supported the event and continue to do so during this time.

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