We Are Brimbank Awards: Celebrating the pride and potential of our city. Winners Announced.
Culture, Arts and Tourism Award: This award demonstrates outstanding contribution to the rich cultural, heritage, tourism and artistic fabric of the Brimbank community.
Winner: Sunshine Short Film Festival
Award accepted by: Bruce White
The Sunshine Short Film Festival in its 7th year has added culturally to the area and created awareness of Melbourne's west on a global scale, attracting entries from overseas filmmakers. Often original content entered into the Sunshine Short Film Festival goes on to win awards at other local and international film festivals including St Kilda, Sydney, Canada film festivals to name a few.
The objective of the event has always been to encourage young people into creative and positive pursuits, alongside an educational overlay. This event itself is nine months of work for the few volunteers with the purpose of sending positive messages to the broader population, to tackle some of the misperceptions held about Melbourne’s west. This event has made the Millennium Man of Sunshine famous.
Honourable mention: Vaiusu
Award accepted by: Fipe Preuss
Vaiusu is an arts organisation that has created opportunity for diverse communities in Sunshine to connect and feel a sense of belonging. Projects have included ‘My Island Dream’ that saw more than 1,500 Pasifika young people from secondary schools in Brimbank to come together to celebrate their cultures through song and performance.
Environment & Sustainability Award: This award demonstrates outstanding contribution to the protection, enhancement and awareness of Brimbank’s natural and urban environment.
Winner: Scalise Studios
Award accepted by: Steven Scalise
Scalise Studios is lifting the bar on sustainable townhouse development in Brimbank. Each Scalise Studios development draws on nature, sustainable technology, and the fundamentals of good design. Their recent Bula Bula Galk development in Albion was inspired by the Indigenous Lightwood Wattle, and the spirit, culture and history of the Wurundjeri people and their connection to the Western Victorian plains, as well as the neighbouring Kororoit Creek which the project sits adjacent to.
The contribution of this project to the local area in recognising and responding to ‘place’, including the land form and Indigenous connection, is community leading.
Honourable mention: Little Litter Project
Award accepted by: Candace Colaco
The Little Litter Project is a not-for-profit organisation started by Candace Colaco. After seeing the amount of rubbish scattered over freeways and intersections, and doing clean ups locally, she started up the Little Litter Project to raise awareness and educate others on the issue and how it is effecting us and future generations. Candace has been featured in the local newspaper and she will soon be popping up at local schools talking about the project educating the younger generations on the positives of cleaning up and managing our waste.
Employment & Enterprise Award: This award demonstrates outstanding contribution to the prosperity of Brimbank.
Winner: Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services
Award accepted by: Trish Heffernan and Steve O’Byrne
Since 2007, Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services have been working in partnership with Western Health to create a pathway to employment. This project has two purposes - to create sustainable ongoing employment opportunities for local jobseekers; and to provide work ready applicants for roles in Health Services Assistance at Western Health. Djerriwarrh offers the Certificate II in Community Services (preparation for Health Services Assistance), which has been developed in collaboration with Western Health. The course includes an industry placement at one of Western Health’s locations.
Students who successfully complete the Certificate II are eligible to apply for a paid traineeship at Western Health, leading to a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance and ongoing employment.
Honourable mention: Café Sunshine
Award accepted by: Jen Morillas
With the support of a ‘Pick My Project’ grant, Café Sunshine has recently opened with the sole purpose of providing skills and training to people in the local community who have experienced difficulty in finding employment. Partnering with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Cafe Sunshine has employed eight people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds who had previously been unable to find employment despite their training and experience. Unlike other programs, Cafe Sunshine will continue to employ and support each staff member until they have successfully gone on to gain employment elsewhere.
By providing the first stepping stone to employment, they aim to allow individuals, families and the wider community to prosper.
Inclusive Brimbank Award: This award demonstrates outstanding contribution to promoting participation in community life and supporting proud, safe and healthy citizens.
Winner: The Youth Junction
Award accepted by: Kristine Bugeja
In 2005, The Youth Junction Inc. established the Visy Cares Hub in the heart of Sunshine. The Hub is a one-stop-shop of 14 co-located essential not-for-profit youth services offering more than 20 programs that respond to the needs of disadvantaged young people between the ages of 12 and 25 who live in Brimbank.
The mission of the Youth Junction Inc. is to create opportunities for young people to build resilience and enable them to make a positive contribution to society. By doing this, they improve their lives, enabling them to be positive, adjusted and productive young adults.
Honourable mention: Community Soccer Hub
Award accepted by: Nuredin Hassan
Since 2014, the Community Soccer Hub has created opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to know what it feels like to belong to a local Australian sports club. The soccer hub is focused on making people feel welcome and connected, and to provide an opportunity to participate at an affordable price. Their programs work to improve health and wellbeing, social connectedness, and a sense of community through the world game, soccer. They are designed to be flexible, engaging, and fun.
Their doors are open no matter where you are from, your skill level, how long you want to stay, or how much you can pay. The main beneficiaries of the programs are people from migrant, refugee, asylum seeker and low socio-economic backgrounds. The program started with around 30 participants and has grown to over 500 participants this year.
Learning Excellence Award: This award demonstrates outstanding contribution to the ongoing education, learning and engagement of the Brimbank community.
Joint winner: Kontiki Cultural Women Empowerment Inc.
Award accepted by: Charles Sesay
Kontiki Cultural Women Empowerment is a voluntary not-for-profit organisation from Sierra Leone, African and non-African communities. The group’s main goal is to build the capacity of women and participants of all ages, from refugee and migrant backgrounds, to become self-sufficient, learn new skills, and become socially connected.
The group does this by engaging women and participants in artistic fashion, creating sleek designs utilising gara and batik ink tie-dye techniques, creating fabric flower/corsage, macramé and basket weaving. Kontiki Cultural Women Empowerment provide training and have developed a sewing program for women within Brimbank and beyond.
The group also offers work experience to place job seekers in activities where they can gain and develop skills employers want, increasing their confidence and showing that they are ready to work.
Joint winner: RMCC Volunteers
Award accepted by: Alice Wojcik, CEO
RMCC Volunteers work with the Refugee Migrant Children Centre. RMCC is the only organisation in Australia providing specialist support focused on the ongoing barriers and needs of school-aged children and youth from refugee, asylum seeker and migrant backgrounds.
RMCC collaborates and brings together the key figures in each child’s life - their school, teachers, family, community and other services, in a holistic and tailored approach that is moulded to each child’s needs. RMCC Volunteers provide support and are instrumental in delivering mentoring programs that have four target focus areas: education, identity and belonging, life skills, and mental health and wellbeing.
These target areas tackle the unique and complex barriers kids from refugee and migrant backgrounds encounter by creating confidence, improving educational engagement and outcomes, establishing social connections, and increasing independence.
Honourable mention: University of the Third Age Brimbank
Award accepted by: Helen O’Flaherty
U3As are volunteer-run seniors' groups that provide educational and related recreational and social programs. Each U3A is organised by and for people active in retirement or semi-retirement. Established nine years ago, the U3A Brimbank 'Mission' is to provide opportunities for seniors to learn, teach, share and give mutual support to each other in a friendly and warm environment, regardless of ethnicity, religion, ability or disability. U3A Brimbank has grown to an active annual membership of 300, which is a remarkable figure.