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2015 Melbourne Awards Finalists


Contribution to Profile by a Corporation


GM HoldenGM Australia Design
The GM Australia Design Centre has been at the forefront of global automotive design for over five decades now and will continue to contribute to Melbourne’s future innovative Intellectual Property (IP) capabilities for many years to come.

It is and has been for many years, Australia’s largest employer of Industrial Designers. Of the nine General Motors design studios worldwide, GM Australia Design is the only studio outside of Detroit capable of developing a car from a concept sketch to a fully functional, drivable concept vehicle. This capability is rare among all global studios, regardless of brand.

Given its extensive experience in all aspects of automotive design, GM Australia Design is called upon by GM to train and mentor developing studios globally, in particular those in China and South Korea.

Despite the end of automotive manufacturing in Australia, GM Australia Design is committed to remaining in Melbourne and continuing to design world class vehicles and employing and developing Australia’s most creative and innovative talent.

Mind Blowing FilmsIndian Film Festival of Melbourne
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is a unique celebration of Indian Cinema and Culture and creates bonds of greater understanding and experience between the communities of Australia and India while providing a unique, collaborative community event that celebrates the rich culture of India in Melbourne.

IFFM strengthens Victoria’s well-established cultural and economic relationship with India and has become a key event on Victoria’s cultural calendar. Since its inception in 2012, the festival has reached an ever-widening audience and delivered an extensive and colourful program, delighting festival goers and Indian film buffs.

The festival hosts stars of Indian cinema and is comprised of free and ticketed events including film screenings in Federation Square, the Bollywood Dance Competition, a Fashion Gala and a number of panels, master classes and Q&A’s. The theme of EQUALITY is represented in both the films being screened and in the discussions and panels of IFFM 2015.

Tennis AustraliaAustralian Open
The Australian Open, staged at Melbourne Park every January, is the biggest sporting event in the world, drawing visitors to Melbourne from interstate and overseas every year.

One of only four Grand Slam® tennis tournaments worldwide, and nestled on the banks of the iconic Yarra River, the Australian Open showcases Melbourne to the world like no other event. A record 703,899 fans attended Australia Open 2015 with a global TV viewing audience of 568.9 million – up 37 million on 2014.

Forty-nine nations were represented amongst the 256 players competing in main draw singles in 2015 whilst more than 1800 tennis fans sailed to Melbourne on P&O Cruises’ second annual Australian Open Cruise.

Players and fans alike continue to be drawn to the event for that unique Melbourne experience: good weather, great location and a fun and exciting atmosphere. Australian Open 2015 yet again showcased everything there is to love about tennis – the passion, competitiveness, courage and fair-play which ensures players and fans return to Melbourne Park each year.

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Contribution to Profile by a Community Organisation


Melbourne Festival
Melbourne Festival is one of the world’s most respected and acclaimed annual arts events, heralded for its global reach, its wholehearted support of international and Australian artists, and its ability to connect community and culture.

The Festival attracts visitors from regional, interstate and international areas to participate in an event schedule that activates city cultural institutions and public spaces with its breadth of programming, both paid and free.

The 2014 Melbourne Festival ran from 10 to 26 October and key achievements included 100 events with over 1000 artists participating; 15 world premieres; 21 Australian premieres; 51 free events; with work presented across 30 venues.

The result: an overall attendance of 420,964 people (plus an estimated 1.8 million who viewed the Melbourne Art Trams project), with a total direct economic performance to Victoria of just over $30.5 million.

A desire to celebrate Victorian art, design and architecture led the Naomi Milgrom Foundation to commission an annual architectural landmark. In 2014, the Foundation unveiled their four-year long MPavilion initiative with a structure by renowned Australian architect Sean Godsell.

Situated in Queen Victoria Gardens from 7 October to 1 February 2015, the structure was a meeting place from which to explore a free four-month program of talks, workshops, performances and installations. Over 64,000 local, national and international guests engaged in 317 free events, lectures, workshops, fashion events and concerts – an estimated 7 per cent of recorded visitors then flowed to other venues within a 5 km radius.

MPavilion exceeded press coverage targets, receiving 230 articles globally, and garnered an ever growing online following of 50,000.

The Naomi Milgrom Foundation has since gifted the 2014 MPavilion to the City of Melbourne, ensuring that Melbourne’s architecture and design conversations remain in the public sphere. It has been relocated to a permanent home at the Hellenic Museum.

Neurovascular Research Australia
Neurovascular Research Australia was initially formed by a team of patients with multiple sclerosis, with an aim to privately raise funds to support research trials and the patient community.

Despite receiving no government funding, their fundraising allowed them to commission a medical trial of the removal of jugular vein obstructions in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to relieve MS symptoms, which was designed and endorsed by MS Research Australia and The Alfred Hospital.

Participants of the trial show a trend that indicates 80 per cent may be affected by this vascular abnormality. Outside of this trial, 66 per cent of those treated experience symptom relief. Once the trial is completed, they hope the Federal Government will subsidise this treatment under Medicare, and MS will be regarded as a treatable disease rather than a doomed diagnosis.

The trial has attracted global interest, funding and talent to The Alfred Hospital, and placed The Alfred at the forefront of medical research, with world-renowned scientists and medical specialists visiting to collaborate.

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Contribution to Profile by an Individual


Geoff Lord – Melbourne Victory
Melbourne Victory is Australia's largest soccer club, formed, funded and run by Geoff Lord as the sole founding chairman. As founder, he obtained the license from the FFA alone, set the club up and self-funded the project until such time as it could operate as a financially-independent entity.

The objective of Geoff’s contribution was twofold – firstly, to give Melburnians a side in the national soccer competition in which they could all participate as supporters and contributors; secondly, to unite different ethnicities of Melbourne under the banner of one ecumenical side.

Geoff’s invaluable voluntary contribution has given the City of Melbourne a soccer club that draws just under 500,000 people each year to Melbourne, and played a significant role in the creation of a dedicated soccer and rugby stadium in AAMI Stadium.

Melbourne Victory has strengthened local communities, injected tremendous economic benefits into Melbourne, promotes the game of soccer at men’s, women’s and youth levels to a nation of soccer players and fans, and boosts the national and international profile of Melbourne as a tourism destination.

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Contribution to Community by a Corporation


The Little Veggie Patch CoPop Up Patch, Federation Square
The Federation Square Pop Up Patch is a subscriber based, edible gardening club on a city rooftop. The club allows members of the city to grow food in the most urban of environments, all the while having their edible gardening skills fine-tuned by the staff on hand. Members, including some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, rent the patches and are provided all materials and advice necessary to grow their own garden.

The garden was set up by The Little Veggie Patch Co in response to the increased demand of inner city residents and restaurants to grow their own local, chemical free produce in a place where the opportunity rarely presented itself.

Pop Up Patch was formed with a business model in mind, and while the garden has proved sustainable financially, the real reward has been seeing the membership community grow and thrive. The club has proved a conduit for inner city residents to meet and form friendships, all the while encouraging a healthy attitude to food and lifestyle.

OptusDigital Thumbprint Program
Optus, in partnership with ChangeLabs (a social-impact consultancy who design, enable and execute large-scale behaviour change programs), launched the Digital Thumbprint Program in Melbourne in 2013 to teach students the advantages of a positive online presence.

Digital Thumbprint is a free, digital citizenship program that contains three face-to-face, curriculum aligned workshops tailored to the needs of students at various ages and developmental stages – ‘Developing discerning internet users’, ‘Creating a positive online identity’, and ‘Using technology to help with study’.

In the first two years of the program, 665 face-to-face workshops were held engaging 21,322 Melbourne students, with almost 100 per cent of teachers and students confirming the program is relevant and engaging.

By making digital education fun and interactive, Digital Thumbprint teaches students the advantages of a positive online presence whilst arming them with the facts they need to stay safe online in a way students can understand, use and enjoy.

VicSuperSuper Woman Money Program
VicSuper’s Super Woman Money Program is a financial education initiative for women that aims to help build their confidence and to take control of their financial future.

The program addresses one of Australia’s largest socio-economic issues - around 90 per cent of Australian women retire without adequate superannuation savings, and most Australian women will retire with less than half of the savings of their male counterparts. This means that almost all of Australia’s women don’t have the capacity to be financially independent in retirement. They have no choice but to rely on their partner, family or the Government for financial support later in life.

VicSuper believes that women deserve more. The program has reached over 7250 women since 2012, engaging members through interactive group events where they listen to a broad range of advice from female financial experts, assisting them to take control of their financial future.

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Contribution to Community by a Community Organisation


Creativity Australia
Creativity Australia inspires people to find their voice through its With One Voice community choir programs. Singing has been central to community, culture and storytelling worldwide for generations.

There are lots of lonely people in our communities. Their isolation leads to anxiety and depression, unemployment and many other challenges. Creativity Australia uses singing and their inspirational Wish List program to build supportive communities, reaching thousands of people. They empower people to care for one another, rather than relying on top-down, siloed social welfare services.

The With One Voice choirs are multicultural and interfaith, multi-generational, non-discriminatory and accessible. The choirs unite people aged nine to 90, from all faiths and walks of life: migrants, people with disabilities, job seekers, executives, seniors, students, refugees, asylum seekers and more. Everyone is welcome.

Through the neuroscience of group singing, participants connect to happiness, wellbeing, new friends, mentors, networks, skills and employment.

Good Cycles
Good Cycles is a non-profit social enterprise using bicycles for social and environmental good. They have a vision for an Australia focused on advancing equality, health and sustainability through bicycles and cycling, and a mission to engage, educate, empower and employ people using the humble bicycle to facilitate this important work.

Their commercial business is operating a Bicycle Store and Service centre in Docklands, which encompasses mobile bike servicing across inner-city Melbourne. Funds from these commercial activities allow them to provide training, mentoring, employment and support for people experiencing long-term unemployment and disadvantage.

Since 2013, Good Cycles has provided over 100 Asylum Seekers with bicycles; conducted Safe Cycle training for 75 Asylum Seekers (including a female only program to cater for gender issues); engaged 80 young people in vocational training in Bicycle Mechanics; and started a bicycle based schools training program working with four alternative community schools catering for the most vulnerable young people in our community.

Multicultural Arts Victoria
Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) has evolved over 40 years into one of Australia's most important bodies that opens doors for artists and audiences to our exceptional culturally and linguistically diverse contemporary art, heritage and cultural expression – building City of Melbourne’s vitality as a cultural capital.

Last year, MAV engaged over 1 million participants in its programs and over 2,000 artists and 500 communities in Melbourne alone. It plays a pivotal role in achieving wider participation in the arts, appreciation of cultural heritage as well as the power of creative innovation, awareness of the need for real social cohesion, and enriching Melbourne’s cultural landscape – contributing to our national and international artistic and cultural connections.

During 2014, MAV presented 454 art projects in the City of Melbourne with 2,129 artists, producing 22 new works, 16 cross-cultural collaborations, and 341 performances, with 89 per cent of its programs free. Their program highlights Melbourne as a city of compassion, a city accepting of cultural difference and a city that is leading in human rights.

Robert Connor Dawes Foundation
Inspired by a big heart and brain, the Robert Connor Dawes (RCD) Foundation was created in 2013 in the memory of 18 year old Robert Connor Dawes, to battle brain tumours and support brain matters in the areas of research, care and development.

Brain cancer is the most fatal of all childhood cancers. Current clinical treatments only help 50 per cent of children, but leave 90 per cent with lifelong physical and mental impairments.

This is why brain tumours are so devastating. The RCD Foundation all about changing the odds. To make brain tumours go the way of the dinosaurs. To support the science, and in the meantime, the patients.

In the RCD Foundation’s first 2 years, they have raised over $1,000,000; contributed $650,000 to various research, care & development projects; supported patients and families with rehabilitation programs; held their third Connor's Run, a 18.8km fun run for over 2500 people each year; and twice organised Brain Week, a youth engagement program influencing 15,000+ students each year.

Thankyou is a social enterprise that exists 100 per cent to fund life-changing projects through water, body care and food products that fund safe water access, hygiene and sanitation programs and food aid in 16 countries, including Melbourne. They empower Australians to live every day, give every day, and give them an opportunity to play their part in tackling global and local poverty issues.

Since 2008, Thankyou has given over $3 million to projects. That equates to safe water access for 170,177 people, hygiene and sanitation programs for 231,582 people and 19.1 million days’ of immediate food aid on top of our long-term food solutions for people in need.

Thankyou has recently embarked on funding its first Australian project, right here in Melbourne - the Hamodava Café, in partnership with one of Melbourne’s most respected aid organisations, The Salvation Army. This new partnership brings awareness to the city’s homelessness crisis and gives our community the chance to make a difference.

WIRE Women’s Information
WIRE Women’s Information provides an essential service to Victorian women, providing support, information and referrals through their phone room and Women’s Information Centre, where they offer support services including information seminars, legal clinics, free computer access and jobseeker support. They are the state’s only free, general support service for women, and take pride in being women supporting women.

Their organisation is a largely volunteer organisation, and aims to give women the information and support they need to take control of their own lives, and to make their own decisions. WIRE’s areas of specialist expertise are financial abuse, and employment for women who have experienced family violence.

In over thirty years of operation, WIRE has had many achievements, the most recent being research into financial abuse in the context of family violence, and the impact this has on women; and their AMICA club which provides resources and connections for women experiencing homelessness or social isolation. WIRE has changed the lives of countless women – either as volunteers or as service users.

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Contribution to Community by an Individual


Professor Glenn Bowes – The University of Melbourne
Professor Glenn Bowes has been instrumental in the development of initiatives pivotal to caring for and improving the health of Melbourne’s youth, by establishing and leading valuable services that support young people and their families through crises and providing them with opportunities to develop the resilience required to build healthy lives.

Professor Bowes has led or played a formative role in the RCH Centre for Adolescent Health, Very Special Kids, Youth Substance Abuse Service (YSAS), the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute, Lord Somers Camp and Power House and the facilitation of philanthropic gifts to underpin academic and clinical advances in maternal and child health.

All doctors work to improve the health and wellbeing of their patients. Professor Bowes enduring vision of community has created pathways to health and wellbeing for young people and had a powerful impact on Melbourne’s international reputation for leadership in paediatric and adolescent health.

Dr Catherine Crock AM – Royal Children’s Hospital / HUSH Music Foundation
Dr Catherine Crock is one of Australia’s foremost advocates for empowering hospital patients and bringing the arts into healthcare. Dr Crock has worked tirelessly to mount unique national campaigns that aspire to make Australia the world leader in the best kind of healthcare – one that brings joy and peace to difficult situations, empowers patients, and gives them a stronger voice in decision-making about their health.

More than a decade after Dr Crock founded the HUSH Music Foundation, it has become Australia’s largest charity for bringing music to hospitals. Together with the Australian Institute for Patient and Family Centred Care (also founded by Dr Crock), they reach across the traditional divide between the arts and sciences to create a new network of Australia’s finest composers, musicians, children’s authors, and illustrators.

This network creates new Australian art that both serves as a therapy and aid to families in need, but also raises awareness of Australian artistic talent.

Professor Susan Davis – Monash University
Professor Susan Davis, a world-renowned leader in women’s health, is a research expert on menopause and sex hormones in women, a leading clinician, a community educator and a teacher of undergraduates, trainee specialists and supervisor of PhD students.

Professor Davis has led large collaborative Melbourne-based studies involving thousands of women that have provided new insights into how hormone changes at menopause impact women’s physical and mental health, the needs of women after breast cancer, and novel approaches to optimise the health of women at midlife and beyond.

Having provided women with well researched, accessible educational resources and their health care providers with best practice guidelines for the management of the menopause and midlife women’s health conditions, Professor Davis also established Melbourne’s first midlife Women’s Health Research Program and the first Women’s Specialist Clinic for women with chronic complex disease at the Alfred Hospital Melbourne, having previously been an instigator and co-founder of the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women.

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Contribution to Environmental Sustainability by a Corporation


Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre
Following a period of severe drought in Victoria, the plumbing industry identified a skills gap amongst plumbers in the fields of sustainable and green plumbing practices.

To tackle the issues arising from declining water reserves, policy changes and a growing push for sustainable, water efficient services, the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) was opened in Brunswick.

A partnership between the Plumbing Trades Employee Union, the Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia, the National Fire Industry Association and the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Services Contractors Association of Australia, the Centre provides world-class training to plumbers in sustainable plumbing, delivered in a 5 star Green Star rated Centre of Excellence.

PICAC has now retrained and upskilled thousands of plumbers in the fields of Green and Sustainable Plumbing, ensuring the industry continues to develop, learn and innovate for the benefit of society and for Melbourne to continue being a benchmark for sustainable practices and innovation.

Westpac Banking Corporation6 Star Green Star workplace
Westpac Group’s new ‘green’ corporate headquarters at 150 Collins Street in Melbourne was purpose-designed to directly address its objective to reduce its own environmental footprint by 2017.

Designed to achieve environmental benefits including waste reduction, water conservation, carbon efficiencies and increased uptake of renewable energy, this project was one of Westpac Group’s largest-ever property and environmentally sustainable change programs.

The new building has achieved a world-leading 6 Star Green Star rating, the highest rating possible. It showcases innovation in sustainable building practices and considers occupant health, productivity and operational cost savings.

It has turned the way employees work on its head – moving from a traditional workplace to an agile and paper independent workplace. In turn, this has totally transformed business practice, process, strategy and policy. Environmental footprint has reduced by 26 per cent, greenhouse gas emissions has reduced by 39 per cent and use of paper and storage has reduced by 82 per cent. There were also marked improvements across every measure for employee engagement, flexibility, productivity and wellbeing.

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Contribution to Environmental Sustainability by a Community Organisation


Cool Australia
Cool Australia’s aim is to bring about lasting behavioural and attitudinal change with positive flow-on effects for families and communities. Their program is delivering best practice education for sustainability resources to all Australian schools by providing students and teachers with learning opportunities not available in mainstream classrooms.

A leading educational resource, their program will engage 625,000 students in 2015. It explores the challenges we face, the solutions at hand and how we can all become a part of the solution building a cleaner, smarter and sustainable country. It enables students to take an active role in caring for our environment and features age-specific, fun and informative learning activities that teachers can download and take directly into the classroom.

The program continues to experience unprecedented growth year on year, signifying a quantifiable impact on the broader teaching community. With over 1400 new teachers signing up each month, the program now has 4,420 participating schools (four out of ten schools in Australia) and 26,540 teachers supporting the program. Since Cool Australia launched Enviroweek nationally in 2009, more than 708,000 kids have made a pledge and taken action for the environment.

Grow it LocalLocal Growers Feast
As the flagship event of the 2015 Sustainable Living Festival, Grow it Local launched a 12-week campaign to ‘crowd farm’ food from urban growers, which was then transformed into a communal Local Growers Feast for 200 people.

They began by giving away 1000 packets of quality heirloom seeds at local sustainable businesses and cafes throughout the City of Melbourne, and provided people with tips and tricks on how to grow them into food for the Feast.

With the support of Avant Card, The Planthunter and the Sustainable Living Foundation, through traditional media and social media channels they told the story of urban farming via Melburnians doing it in unusual, creative, innovative and inspiring ways.

Once grower produce was dropped off at various locations across the City of Melbourne, Vanessa Mateus from Pope Joan transformed the produce into a wonderful community dinner which was eaten by 200 people at the Testing Grounds in Southbank.

Moreland Energy FoundationPositive Charge
Positive Charge is a social enterprise created by the Moreland Energy Foundation with support from Social Traders, to deliver cost-effective community sustainability services – reducing emissions and empowering households and businesses to manage rising energy costs.

They aim to make energy saving easy, acting as the nexus between the community, renewable energy industry and Councils; to deliver independent, low-cost and up-to date community engagement projects and advisory services.

In 2014-15, Positive Charge delivered two key projects in the City of Melbourne, resulting in the installation of 165 kW of solar PV systems and lighting upgrades to 5 apartment buildings.

The projects were targeted at the two common types of households in Melbourne: high-rise apartments in the CBD and independent dwellings in the city’s fringe suburbs, and resulted in a greenhouse gas abatement of over 4,500 Tonnes and engaged directly with over 500 households and owners corporations in apartment buildings.

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Contribution to Environmental Sustainability by an Individual


Susanna Bevilacqua – Moral Fairground
Susanna Bevilacqua was inspired to set up Moral Fairground after visiting some of the poorest countries in South East Asia and witnessing first-hand the working conditions and the environmental impact of mass consumerism. She now dedicates her time to creating events in the heart of Melbourne to build awareness and to educate people about the benefits of an ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Fair@Square - Australian’s largest Ethical Festival – was born in 2009 and attracts over 78,000 visitors at Federation Square over two days. Held close to Christmas every year, Fair@Square actively connects hundreds of volunteers, diverse organisations and both profit and not-for profit businesses from around Australia with consumers, and aims to raise awareness of fair and ethical and environmental sustainably trading practices.

Susanna is committed to empower people to make positive difference and to encourage businesses to do the same with the introduction of the Ethical Enterprise Conference held annually in Melbourne, and the National Ethical Enterprise Award, which recognises an inspirational enterprise which has had a positive social, economic and environmental impact.

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