Spirit of Moonee Valley Awards

The Spirit of Moonee Valley Community Awards recognise those people in our community whose service and contributions have had a significant impact within Moonee Valley.

2017 Spirit winners


Citizen of the Year - Ed Castenmiller

Ed migrated to Australia in 1980 and became an Australian Citizen at the earliest opportunity. He has since become a pillar of the community who goes above and beyond to help others without expecting anything in return.

Ed regularly mows neighbours’ nature strips, takes bins in, walks other people's dogs, rescues lost and injured pets and wildlife, clears footpaths and assists senior neighbours with computers, technology, pets and home maintenance.

He volunteers weekly at Strathmore North Primary Chess Club, mentoring children to play chess and accompanying them to interschool chess competitions. Ed also volunteers with Council’s L to P program assisting people to learn to drive who might not otherwise get a chance.


Contribution to Arts and Culture - Felicity Baldock and Jan Goodall

Jan and Felicity are Director and Vocal Coach of the Grace Notes Singers, a local women's choir. They started the choir in 2013 with an aim to develop culturally active women through community service.

The choir now performs all around Victoria and has become an inclusive and welcoming group for women at all stages of life.


Contribution by Business - John and Sam Morello of Morello Motors

Morello Motors has been part of the Moonee Valley landscape for over 40 years, not only delivering fuel and servicing cars, but giving back to the community as well.

Since 2010, they have been involved with the Learner Driver Mentor Program, providing fuel for the program car and conducting car maintenance workshops for young drivers.


Contribution to Family - Mark Tognon

Mark has led teams of young volunteers to assist the homeless with food, clothing and blankets and participated in countless Rotary fundraisers and events.

He volunteers at Cystic Fibrosis Camps and Fun Runs, and chaired the Youth Services Committee at the Rotary Club of Keilor East.


Contribution to Neighbourhood - Shane Evans

Shane is the President of the Boomerang Network, a program for people with a lived experience of mental illness.

As well as planning social activities and visiting people in the Royal Melbourne Psychiatric Unit, he has established educational pathways for people to develop the life skills and confidence to move into a range of courses, employment and volunteering.


Contribution to Older Persons - Lisa Purches

Lisa has been volunteering at Doutta Galla Queens Park Aged Facility three days a week and at all the special events held there since October 2015.

She has become a driving force for the programs, empowering residents and increasing their social engagement and overall wellbeing.


Contribution to Sport - Jacob Phillip Schepis

The owner of two fitness studios, Jacob has created inclusive and safe spaces where clients are empowered to make life-long lifestyle changes.

He also fundraises for charities, offers his facility to secondary schools for talks on training and nutrition, and has introduced a sponsored athlete program to support passionate sportspeople in their chosen sport.


Contribution by Youth - Alice Jane Hicks

Alice is a dedicated volunteer who juggles full time studies with weekly visits to residents at the Queens Park Aged Care Facility with her dog, Jessie, as part of the Delta Dogs 'Pets as Therapy' program.

She also attends special events run by the facility and visits the residents on Christmas Day with handmade cards and gifts.

2017 Spirit finalists

Contribution to Arts and Culture

  • Garry Ginivan
  • Jan Goodall and Felicity Baldock
  • Sue Peard
  • Terry Scott
  • Liz Tripodi

Contribution by Business to the Community

  • John and Sam Morello
  • Liz Tripodi
  • Henry Viljoen

Contribution to Family

  • Anne Bleeser
  • Louise Cherry
  • Mark Tognon

Contribution to neighbourhood

  • Ed Castenmiller
  • Louise Cherry
  • Shane Evans
  • Irene Pitt

Contribution to Older Persons

  • Edith Chen
  • Frances Horton
  • Anita Johnson
  • Kevin and Margaret Marshall
  • Lisa Purches

Contribution to Sport

  • Paul Dillon
  • Michael Gallus
  • Jane Markesich
  • Richard Randell
  • Jacob Phillip Schepis

Contribution by Youth

  • Adelae Bowen
  • Alice Jane Hicks

Who are these awards for?

There are certain members of our community who go out of their way to make Moonee Valley a better place for others. These are people who assist the disadvantaged, people with disabilities, our aged and our youth, or they may have an impact on important areas such as local history, the environment, arts and culture, sports and leisure. These awards are our opportunity to formally recognise their generosity and community spirit.

Nominations can be for people from all spheres of the community. Any individual, community organisation, professional body or similar group can nominate or be nominated for an award.


  • Nominees must be 16 years of age or over when nominations close on 3 June 2016 (apart from the Youth category which accepts ages 12 to 25 years).
  • Nominees must be Australian citizens.
  • Nominees must either live, work or study within the City of Moonee Valley.
  • Nominees must not have been a previous winner of a Spirit of Moonee Valley Award during the past three years.
  • Elected members of Moonee Valley City Council are not eligible to nominate or be nominated during their term of office and for the following five years.
  • Moonee Valley City Council staff members are not eligible for nomination.

    What are the prizes?

    The winner in each category will receive an award of $250 to be donated to a charity or not-for-profit community group of their choice, plus a trophy to acknowledge their contribution.

    The Citizen of the Year will receive an award of $3,000 to be donated to their charity or not-for-profit community group of their choice, plus an exclusively designed Citizen of the Year pin.

    More information

    Nominations for 2017 are now closed. 

    For more information about the Spirit of Moonee Valley Awards, speak to our Arts and Culture team on 8325 1896 or email smv@mvcc.vic.gov.au.

    Last updated: Thursday, 31 May 2018, 5:10 AM