Neighbourhood spirit twice as inspiring in 2018

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Moonee Valley City Council held its annual Spirit of Moonee Valley Community Awards on Saturday, 13 October and for the first time in its 18-year history, the Citizen of the Year title was awarded to two winners.

Moonee Valley Mayor Cr John Sipek said the dual Citizen of the Year Awards reflected the high quality and number of outstanding nominations received.

“The inspiring work we see in our community is evident in all of our award winners this year. I congratulate them all and in particular Frank Di Blasi and Cheryl and Arthur Brown, who were awarded the joint 2018 Moonee Valley Citizen of the Year Awards,” Cr Sipek said.

“For over 40 years Frank Di Blasi has worked tirelessly to support the interests and livelihoods of Italian and Australian senior citizens in Moonee Valley, helping establish 87 senior citizens clubs across Victoria. He has also been integral in setting up a number of festivals across the municipality, and was a key part of our Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.

“Cheryl and Arthur Brown have fostered more than 100 children in the last 35 years, improving the lives of children as young as six weeks and up to 16 years old, including children with special needs.”

Cr Sipek said the event was an opportunity to reflect on the importance of those people in our community whose work often goes unnoticed and whose service and contributions have had a significant impact in Moonee Valley.

“I’m constantly inspired and impressed by the display of community spirit I see across our city, meeting with people who are so dedicated to making Moonee Valley a great place to live, work and study,” Cr Sipek said.

“These awards shine a light on the positive work happening at the very heart of our neighbourhoods and highlights just how important these people are in helping us all feel connected to our community.”

As well as the Citizens of the Year, there were three Outstanding Award winners and 12 Meritorious Award winners:

Outstanding Award – Karlos El Haouli

Outstanding Award – Adrian Glasby

Outstanding Award – Liz Tripodi

Meritorious Award – Matthew Bott – Moonee Ponds Primary School

Meritorious Award – Simone Cariss

Meritorious Award – Helen Lusher

Meritorious Award – Elvis Martin

Meritorious Award – Tilly McCarthy

Meritorious Award – Sara Melvin – Boomerang Bags Ascot Vale

Meritorious Award – Geoff Nicholl

Meritorious Award – Christine Robson

Meritorious Award – Ahmed Salih

Meritorious Award – Lucy Sheehan

Meritorious Award – Susi Strasser

Meritorious Award – Gino Vigilante

Each winner was recognised for their exceptional service and commitment to the Moonee Valley community.

The Spirit of Moonee Valley Community Awards 2018 were sponsored by supporting partners, Nelson Alexander, the Essendon Royals and the Cannoli Bar.

Visit our Spirit of Moonee Valley Awards page for more information on the awards.

Contact for journalists:
Sarah Schwager, Media Advisor
Phone: 03 9243 8813; Mobile: 0447 517 177; Email:

Last updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2019, 11:59 PM