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.

Nominations for the 2018 Spirit Awards are now closed

The Spirit of Moonee Valley Community Awards recognise those people in our community whose service and contributions have had a significant effect on the life or lives of the citizens within Moonee Valley’s 13 neighbourhoods.

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.

The 2018 awards will focus on celebrating the 13 unique neighbourhoods within Moonee Valley and we encourage nominations from all areas of the municipality.

The 2018 Spirit of Moonee Valley Community Awards are proudly supported by Nelson Alexander.


Who are these awards for?


  • Any citizen, community group or business can be nominated for an award.
  • Nominees must be 16 years of age or over when nominations close on Friday, 10 August, 2018
  • Nominees must be Australian citizens and 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.
  • City of Moonee Valley staff members are not eligible for nomination.

What are the prizes?

The winners of the Meritorious and Outstanding Awards will receive a special gift to acknowledge their contribution.

The Citizen of the Year will receive an exclusively designed Citizen of the Year pin.

How are the nominations assessed?

Judging Panel

The judging panel consists of five citizens of Moonee Valley:

  • The Mayor, Cr John Sipek
  • The 2017 Citizen of the Year
  • Three members of the community.

Selection process and finalists

After assessment of the nominations, thirteen nominees will be selected as winners of a Spirit of Moonee Valley Meritorious Award.

An additional two will be selected as winners of a Spirit of Moonee Valley Outstanding Award.

Finally, the judging panel will make one further award of Citizen of the Year 2018. This person will have demonstrated leadership, initiative and will have made an outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of a positive community spirit in the City of Moonee Valley.

Winners of the Spirit of Moonee Valley Community Awards will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday 13 October, 2018.

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


  • All nominations are strictly confidential and the information provided will be used only to assist with the judging process.
  • Any publicity photos will be used only with the permission of the nominee.

How are nominees advised?

Nominees will be advised in writing that they have been selected as a finalist for an award shortly after nominations close.

Are nominators advised?

Nominators are advised of the outcome of their nomination once judging has taken place.

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.

Last updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2018, 2:58 AM