2020 Civic Awards
On 30 January 2020 Council formally acknowledged the efforts of those individuals, community groups and businesses who contribute to helping others in the City of Maribyrnong.
Mayor Cr Sarah Carter hosted an evening where she acknowledged those inspirational community members who give so selflessly to making the City of Maribyrnong a great place to live, work and visit.
Recipients of the 2020 Civic Awards are as follows:
- Citizen of the Year Award, John Ng
- Mayoral Award, Ron Jacobson
- Volunteer of the Year Award, Lina Pahor
- Community Strengthening Award, Friends of Stony Creek
- Active Maribyrnong Sporting Award, Braybrook Sporting Club
- Youth Leadership Award, Alhassan Habab
- Enterprise Maribyrnong Award for Contribution to Business Community, Pride of our Footscray Community Bar
- Enterprise Maribyrnong Award for New and Emerging Business, Hear Us Roar
- Enterprise Maribyrnong Award for Innovative Business, Ecopact Groceries
- Arts Award, Trocadero Art Space.
View the image gallery of the evening below .
Citizen of the Year Award, John Ng
John is the founder of Humans of SKY, a website dedicated to sharing stories of everyday people from Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville. Over the last three years John has profiled 122 people that have helped shape the inner west – those who make it such a strong and thriving community.
Inspired by the street portrait blog, Humans of New York, John established the website as he was worried about the level of loneliness and social isolation being experienced in such thriving neighbourhoods. John uses words to capture peoples’ stories on Humans of SKY, which has given John’s website a global readership.
Humans of SKY has also resulted in other unintentional benefits. Foot traffic for small businesses increased, where readers strike up a conversation with business owners about common interests uncovered in the stories.
Humans of SKY is John’s legacy and one which is all about giving back to the community.
Mayoral Award, Ron Jacobson
Ron Jacobson, more commonly known as Jake, has been heavily involved in the sporting community for more than 60 years. Ron was heavily involved in the football and cricket community, he played and coached the Maribyrnong All Nations Youth Club in the 1950s, umpired in the Footscray District Football League and was named coach of the 70s in the Essendon district Football League.
During the 1960s Ron captained the Maribyrnong ‘A’ Grade Team to their first ever premiership and captained the ‘B’ Grade Team to undefeated premiers and champions. A talented leg spin bowler, Ron picked up a number of awards throughout his cricket career, including winning the ‘A’ Grade bowling competition. He was also President of the Maribyrnong Cricket Club for five years and a committee member for more than 10 years.
Ron was instrumental in saving the Maribyrnong Community Youth Club, a non-profit boxing gym, when it faced closure during the 1960s. He assumed the role of secretary and remains the club’s secretary to this day. Throughout his time at the club, Ron gained his boxing training licence and became the principal coach, training others to be coaches. He has trained a number of boxers who have gone onto win prominent titles as well as gold and silver medallists for World Police and Fireman’s games.
Paramount to the club’s success has been its inclusive values, welcoming people of all walks of life regardless of gender, race or age. Its low fees also mean that more people can access the club and a number of scholarships and free training have been provided to people from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Volunteer of the Year Award, Lina Pahor
Lina has volunteered with the Footscray Soup Van for more than 13 years, visiting people experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness or experiencing financial difficulties or social isolation, and provides an evening meal, social connection, and referral information for local services.
In addition to her role of Night Leader of the Saturday team, for the past two years Lina has taken on the role of President of the Footscray Soup Van. This role provides support to the other Night Leaders to help coordinate more than 250 volunteers to deliver services to nearly 200 people each night.
Lina has been instrumental in expanding the Footscray Soup Van service to additional areas of need by reinstating the Saturday night service and recruiting volunteers. The Soup Van visits private homes, public locations, boarding and rooming houses and social housing locations and has led to a significant increase in the number of people provided with access to food and company.
Lina not only professionally manages the operation, mentors and leads the volunteers – she also goes above and beyond for the individuals who access the service.
Community Strengthening Award, Friends of Stony Creek
Friends of Stony Creek are a group of community members dedicated to protecting, conserving and enhancing this much-loved waterway. Over the years, the group has invested countless hours volunteering and advocating for the health and wellbeing of Stony Creek as a community asset and vital ecosystem.
Since the devastating Tottenham warehouse fire in August 2018, Friends of Stony Creek have been integral to the recovery efforts. The group has been involved in clean-up and planting events, weeding, engaging with community members and key stakeholders and contributing to Council’s Stony Creek Rehabilitation Plan.
The group were also responsible for campaigning the West Gate Tunnel Project Authority to influence the location of the West Gate Tunnel in order to protect a section of creek that ran through Hyde Street Reserve near the West Gate Bridge.
Active Maribyrnong Sporting Award, Braybrook Sporting Club
The Braybrook Sporting Club centres on Aussie rules football and has been in operation for almost 150 years. The club aims to provide a variety of programs for the community, with a focus on equality, fair play, teamwork in a safe and supportive environment.
The number of women participating in sport has surged in recent years, and in 2019 eleven new female teams were introduced to the Braybrook Club. This has led to a major increase in club numbers as well as additional programs that weren’t previously offered, including senior and junior netball and football.
Youth Leadership Award, Alhassan Habab
Hassan has inspired young people to have a voice and how they can address important issues in their lives. He focuses on being a positive role model for others and leads by example, challenging himself to use poetry and music as a creative way to get his powerful messages across.
Hassan has been involved in Council’s Raw Elements Hip Hop program for the past five years and has participated in making songs and videos about issues that are important to him such as social media addiction and the effects of digital technology. He has showcased his work online and through local performances, hoping to educate and inform others.
Hassan has demonstrated leadership amongst his peers in the Raw Elements program, helping others with ideas and being a great role model to the younger participants. His leadership, combined with hard work, shows that the younger generation are proactive about improving the community for everyone.
Enterprise Maribyrnong Award for Contribution to Business Community, Pride of our Footscray Community Bar
Pride of our Footscray Community Bar was set up to celebrate and reflect the diverse community of Footscray, in a relaxed, welcoming and inclusive space. The community-run bar was crowd funded, with almost 200 people chipping in to bring the bar to life in 2018. Pride of our Footscray Community Bar has created a LGBTQIA friendly space where people from all walks of life can gather and connect. The bar also provides a performance and exhibition space, providing artists and musicians with a place to build a name for themselves and promote their talent.
Pride endeavours to keep it local by enlisting businesses and creatives from the area whenever possible. The menu also reflects the Footscray community, with diverse culinary cuisines and traditions being represented, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, Turkish and African. This allows patrons to sample the delights of Footscray from the one menu and has been a great way for Pride to collaborate with its neighbours.
Enterprise Maribyrnong Award for New and Emerging Business, Hear Us Roar
Hear Us Roar is an online marketplace, curating clothing options from around the world in the one place and catering to women ranging from a size 12 to size 26.
Its founders, Karina Bruce and Blaise McCann, worked in the fashion industry for many years and were fed up with the lack of options available to curvy women. They identified a major gap in the market – the need for stylish quality clothing solutions for plus size women. Out of sheer frustration, Hear Us Roar was born.
The marketplace offers everything a mainstream store does, swimwear to active wear, cocktail to work wear, plus a great range of basics from more than 40 local and international designers. The company is passionate about helping women feel beautiful and stylish and does so by creating inclusive runway shows and photoshoots and inspiring pop-ups.
Hear Us Roar has only been in operation for two years and continues to go from strength to strength, growing their social media following and empowering women. They have also been featured in a number of popular media outlets such as Sunrise, Marie Claire, Mamamia and New Idea.
Instead of trawling through pages of fashion options, Hear Us Roar offers customers the opportunity to be styled remotely based on a personalised questionnaire the customer fills out. Stylists then create an individually curated wardrobe based on the customer’s responses.
Enterprise Maribyrnong Award for Innovative Business, Ecopact Groceries
Ecopact Groceries is a small-scale grocery store based in Footscray. Its purpose is to provide customers with a more sustainable bulk alternative to standard grocery items by reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. They stock a wide variety of products including nuts, fruit, dairy, meat, grains, laundry and cleaning products, toiletries and much more. They also provide biodegradable, reusable and recycled packaging options for bulk items and encourage customers to bring their own containers.
Ecopact looks at the distance products have travelled, how they are produced and how they are packaged to assess which products are the best fit for the shop, whilst also being affordable. The company focuses on sourcing its products locally where possible, building strong relationships with local suppliers and reducing emissions. Ecopact has also helped community members reduce their waste and encourages people to think about where their food comes from.
Arts Award, Trocadero Art Space
Trocadero Art Space is a non-profit artist-run gallery space, that has been operating for more than 12 years in the heart of Footscray. The gallery is run by a strong group of volunteers with a commitment to providing a platform for artists of all mediums to present their work. Over the years it has been actively shaping the inner west art scene by collaborating with local arts organisations, businesses and festivals such as Due West Festival, One Night in Footscray, and West Projections Festival.
Across four unique spaces, Trocadero Art Space showcases engaging and diverse performance, projection, visual arts and installations. More than 400 artists have taken part in annual exhibitions, artist talks and workshops. Trocadero strives to provide a safe and engaging environment for artists to exhibit in, develop from, and contribute to the Maribyrnong community.