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MIRA 2015 Group Photo Winners and Highly Commended

Maribyrnong Inclusive Recognition Awards (MIRA)

These awards are given each year to individuals, clubs, groups, businesses and not-for-profit organisations that have contributed to improving the quality of life of people with disability in the City of Maribyrnong.

MIRA Award Winners 2015

The 2015 MIRA awards were presented by the Deputy Mayor, Cr Catherine Cumming and Acting Director Community Services, Lynley Dumble at a celebration coinciding with International Day of People with Disability on Friday 4 December 2015 in the Town Hall.

  • Arts Award (Individual) Winner - Margherita Coppolino
  • Arts Award (Group) Winner - Absolutely Awetistic Arts
  • Inclusive Business Practices Award Winners - Dimmeys
  • Recreation and Sports Winner (Individual) - Marilyn Luck
  • Recreation and Sports Winner (Group) - Rob Sneddon
  • Volunteer Award Winner - Jonathan Baker
  • Youth Achievement Award Winner - Amani Matthews

2015 Winner Profiles

Arts (Individual) Winner - Margherita Coppolino

Margherita Coppolino MIRA 2015 Arts Individual Winner 2015

Local resident Margherita Coppolino had a busy 2015 being a photographer in a myriad of projects that featured the diversity of people and their experiences. This has included being a documentary photographer for ‘Female Indigenous Festival’ at the Footscray Community Arts Centre and for the Deadly Mob Conference. She was a photographer for ‘Silent Tears’ a moving exhibition in Ballarat International Foto, and Writers for Write-ability were showcased in photographs taken by Margherita and distributed on postcards with quotes. Other 2015 projects include photographing the WWDA Youth Network launch, United Nations Youth Forum, official photographer for the Seddon Festival’s Facebook page and sponsors, and a photographer in a group show ‘A Golden Moment’ exhibition at Albury Library.

Arts (Group) Winner - Absolutely Awetistic Arts

Absolutely Awetistic Arts MIRA 2015 Arts Group Winner

Lesley Steff and her brother Patrick Francis established Absolutely Awetistic Arts which is a youth-led, non-profit community group promoting positive awareness on multiculturalism, autism and intellectual disability through art. They have a huge body of work developed through Absolutely Awetistic Arts. They have exhibited at The Splash Gallery in Footscray, The Incinerator Gallery and Clocktower Gallery in Moonee Ponds, the Coburg Town Hall and Moonstone Art Gallery. The Athlete and Artist Exhibition promoted multiculturalism and disability awareness; Achieve Your Dream Exhibition celebrated the Special Olympics in Melbourne; and the Expressions Exhibition promoted awareness of autism.

Inclusive Business Practices Winner - Dimmeys

MIRA 2015 Dimmeys Inclusive Business Practices Winner

Louise Collins and the staff at Dimmeys at Central West Plaza, Braybrook have engaged and assisted young people with disability over the past two years. They work with students from the Victoria University Western Futures Program, and match them with an appropriate staff mentor to facilitate their work placement experience. This requires perseverance through difficult times and this has paid off. Students continue to have successful and happy work experience placements due to Dimmeys exemplary support.

Recreation and Sport (Individual) Winner - Marilyn Luck

Marilyn Luck MIRA 2015 Winner Sports and Recreation Award

After losing her eyesight at 45 Marilyn Luck decided sport was her outlet. She took up Ten Pin Bowling and after discarding the guide rail that most people who are blind use in bowling, Marilyn hit her stride. Marilyn is the only blind bowler at national and international level to bowl without the guide rail. She is a great Ambassador for the blind and vision impaired in sport. Some of Marilyn’s recent achievements include:
2015 - May IBSA World Games, South Korea, 4 medals, Ladies Overall Champion, Flag Bearer for Australian Team at the Games.
2014 - National Championships, 5 Gold Medals
2012 - Ten Pin Bowling Association, Disability Bowler of the Year & Victoria Sports Masters Athlete of Year
2011 - World Championships, Malaysia, 2 Gold Medals.

Recreation and Sport (Group) Winner - Rob Sneddon

Rob Sneddon Winner Recreation and Sport MIRA 2015 Award

Rob Sneddon is Director of Coaching at Yarraville Glory Football Club. He is clearly committed to community and understands the importance of diversity and inclusiveness. Since Rob initiated contact with Yarraville Special Developmental School, he has trained a squad of ten students aged 11 to 15 years weekly as well as sourcing equipment for the team. There has been a noticeable improvement in the ability of the students to participate in all aspects of the sport. Practice, routine, skill & responsibility to set up, pack up and look after equipment are some of the qualities Rob has taught the group. The squad is in development but is a great introduction to football, the club and to team environments. Initiating, developing and implementing this program is a great asset for the school, the participants & community.

Volunteering Winner - Jonathan Baker

Jonathan Baker Winner MIRA 2015 Volunteer Award

Jonathan Baker joined Gateway as a volunteer in 2012 after he recovered from a motor vehicle accident which affected him dramatically in all aspects of his life. As part of the Friendly Visitor program, Jonathan was introduced to Robert and their strong friendship began. Robert is recovering from a stroke and needs social support to ensure he remains at home and feels positive about life. Jonathan also volunteered with Vision Australia for 8 months supporting people with vision impairment and Phoenix Youth Centre in Footscray on their ‘L to P’ program assisting young people to drive in safety for 3 years. Jonathan is a compassionate, involved and consistent volunteer who contributes generously to his local community.

Youth Achievement Winner - Amani Matthews

Amani Matthews Winner Youth Achievement Award MIRA 2015

Amani Matthews is a long time participant of Maribyrnong Youth Services. Amani is an exceptional young person who enthusiastically participates in all Youth Services activities. Since 2014 Amani has been a regular participant in the Phoenix Youth Theatre, School Holiday programs and Youth Advisory Committee. Amani’s fantastic team spirit and positive attitude is demonstrated in each activity she is involved in. Amani gives input to the group and uses her experience in Phoenix programs to give feedback to improve what the Youth Centre provides to young people. Both staff and other participants look to Amani as a respected and integral contributor to all activities she sets her mind to be involved in.


For more information, or if you would like this information in an alternative format please contact:
Liz Wright
MetroAccess Officer
9688 0342


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