Community heroes announced as finalists in Melbourne Awards

Twenty-two Community Champions have been nominated as finalists in this year’s Melbourne Awards for their leadership, kindness and generosity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the finalists are all people who have made a difference in their community.
“We received more than 200 individual and community group entrants in this year’s awards, which celebrate the inspiring community champions who stepped up to help their community respond to COVID-19,” the Lord Mayor said.
“It’s been a tough year but so many people have shown care and compassion towards their fellow Melburnians. This year’s awards are all about recognising our community heroes.”
Among the finalists announced today is Kaelan Alexander Dekker, who garnered community support to deliver home-cooked meals to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. The Alex Makes Meals program has since been expanded to deliver more than 50,000 meals to hospitals, homeless shelters, and youth projects across Australia.
Among the digital innovation finalists is the team behind Isol-Aid, a weekly online music festival that brings live music from Melbourne into homes around the world while supporting performers and music industry workers in need. 
“Our business finalists include Fella Hamilton, a fashion retailer that began producing equipment for healthcare workers and face masks for the community. Another business finalist is the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, which has continued to bring the joy of animals to people suffering during the pandemic,” the Lord Mayor said. 
The Melbourne Awards also include the prestigious Melburnian of the Year award, which honours an inspirational role model who has made an outstanding contribution in their field, as well as a significant contribution to the Melbourne community.
The winners of the Melbourne Awards will be announced at 2pm on Saturday 21 November on Channel 9 as part of a special television broadcast: City of Melbourne’s COVID Heroes – 2020 Melbourne Awards.
Previous Melburnians of the Year include Dr Bronwyn King AO, Susan Alberti AC, Neale Daniher AM, Bryan Lipmann AM, Professor Sharon Lewin and Jim Stynes OAM. An independent judging panel of industry leaders and identities selects the Melbourne Awards winners.
The City of Melbourne would like to thank and acknowledge valued partners for their support of the Melbourne Awards. 

2020 Melbourne Award finalists:

Digital Innovation Champion
• MediStays – Jake Coleiro supporting hospital and NDIS accommodation 
• Kids Co – virtual care program for kids 
• Dr Martin Dutch – The Royal Melbourne Hospital – Victoria’s first Virtual Hospital 
• Isol-Aid – online music festival 
Business Champion
• Fella Hamilton – fashion retailer
• Scope – bilingual resources 
• Providoor – food delivery platform created by Shane Delia
• Lort Smith Animal Hospital 
Community Champion
• Cory Memery – Public Housing Residents Network
• Jaswinder Singh – Sikh Volunteers Australia
• Kaelan Alexander Dekker – Alex Makes Meals
• Erika Lodge -supporting Kensington residents
Essential Services Champion
• BOYE Medical Group – delivering PPE to medical workers 
• The Royal Melbourne Hospital COVID Response Team
• Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory
Arts and Culture Champion
• CTO Artist – Street art in Southbank 
• Arts Project Australia – online programs supporting artists with intellectual disabilities
• Melbourne Digital Concert Hall- performances from Melbourne’s established and emerging classical artist
• Multicultural Arts Victoria – Shelter program 
Youth Champion
• Liam Foldi – Kenshi Candles
• Nathaniel Diong – education and employment for young people
• Aayushi Khillan – supporting Victorian students.
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