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.
The 2016 awards took place on 13 August - see further down for the winners.
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.
What are the award categories?
In 2016, nominations will be accepted in the following categories:
- Contribution to Arts and Culture – for persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of arts and culture within the City of Moonee Valley.
- Contribution by Business to the Community – for businesses that have made an outstanding contribution, beyond the call of day-to-day business, to the community within the City of Moonee Valley
- Contribution to the Environment – for persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the environment within the City of Moonee Valley
- Contribution to Family – for persons who have made an outstanding contribution to family (including youth) within the City of Moonee Valley
- Contribution to Neighbourhood – for persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the appearance, character, safety or well-being of their neighbourhood within the City of Moonee Valley
- Contribution to Older Persons – for persons of any age who have made an outstanding contribution to older persons within the City of Moonee Valley
- Contribution to Sport – for persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of sport and/or sporting clubs within the City of Moonee Valley
- Contribution by Youth – for persons aged 12-25 years of age who have made an outstanding contribution to their community within the City of Moonee Valley
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.
2016 Spirit winners
Citizen of the Year and Contribution by Business to the Community - Jonathon Tarascio
Jonathon Tarscio was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma four years ago, months after marrying his high school sweetheart Liza. Jonathon established the Green Button Foundation from his hospital bed to support other people with Lymphoma and other blood cancers.
The foundation provides funds for patients and their families to pay for bills and other immediate life expenses while they may be unable to work. The Foundation also provided iPads for patients at the Alfred Hospital with free Netflix subscriptions so patients can watch movies free of charge during tedious and worrying hospital stays.
Jonathan's vision is to care for the day-to-day needs of cancer patients, to alleviate and remove unnecessary stress. The Green Button Foundation is run by Jonathon, his wife Liza and a committee of dedicated volunteers.
Contribution to Arts and Culture - Mary Cahill
Mary’s dedication to Moonee Valley can be seen in her longstanding contribution to the Essendon Historical Society where she has served as secretary and Chair of the Publications Committee.
Mary took a leadership role in the recent Courthouse Restoration Project. [Sadly the courthouse has since been damaged by a fire.]
Contribution to Environment - Helen van den Berg
Helen was a founding member of the Friends of Steele Creek and, for over 20 years, has been an outstanding advocate for our local environment and waterways, standing up for its protection when under threat. She is dedicated to community education and teaching children the value of our natural world.
Contribution to Family - Ruth Cook
Ruth is a leader at Canterbury Street Stables Playgroup, creating a friendly and supportive community that welcomes first time parents.
Ruth also started Moonee Valley Playgroup Leaders Facebook page to unify and support playgroup leaders and maximise the positive impact of their work in our communities.
Contribution to Neighbourhood - Farah Warsame
Farah is a leader within the Somali Community of Victoria. He serves as President of the Flemington Eagles Soccer club and works with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to help people of all ages to plant their feet firmly on Australian ground through sport.
Contribution to Older Persons - Elizabeth Vescio
Elizabeth’s leadership of the Avondale Heights Grandparent’s Playgroup provides a fun, friendly and supportive environment for grandparents caring for grandchildren.
With more grandparents regularly looking after grandchildren, the group provides an opportunity for them to get out in the community in their caring role and feel valued.
Contribution to Sport - Russell Mogg
Congratulations to Russell Mogg, our award winner for Contribution to Sport.
Russell has provided decades of support to local sporting groups. He is a dedicated member of the St Monica’s Tennis Club, acting as President for 30 years. He has also been an active committee member of the Moonee Ponds Bowling Club for 25 years.
Contribution by Youth -
As an ambassador for the Ascot Vale Special School, Adrian works to create a positive impact on young people with a disability.
An athlete with Special Olympics Australia Victoria Melbourne West, he volunteers as an assistant coach to primary school students at Kelly Sports.
For more information about the Spirit of Moonee Valley Awards, speak to our Arts and Culture team on 8325 1867 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.