Prominent businesswoman and Richmond Football Club President Peggy O’Neal AO has been crowned 2021 Melburnian of the Year for her work in advocating for women in leadership roles.
Since moving to Melbourne from West Virginia over 30 years ago, O’Neal has forged a successful career as a lawyer, and in 2013 became the first-ever female president of an AFL club.
O’Neal is also a board member of Women’s Housing Ltd – helping disadvantaged and vulnerable women gain access to safe housing.
Previous Melburnian of the Year winners include leading medical researcher, Professor Doug Hilton AO and radiation oncologist and tobacco-free lobbyist, Dr Bronwyn King AO.
The prestigious award forms part of the annual Melbourne Awards program and recognises an inspirational role model who has made an outstanding contribution to their field and the Melbourne community.
Eight organisations and companies have also been recognised with Melbourne Awards for their valued work across a range of industries.
2021 Melbourne Award winners:
Melburnian of the Year: Peggy O’Neal AO
Aboriginal Melbourne – Kommargee Ketherba Award: The Torch – a program supporting Aboriginal art in prison, and in the community.
Arts and Events Award: Music Victoria Awards 2020 – an event recognising Victoria’s best acts, albums, songs and musicians.
Community Award: Little Dreamers Australia – support programs co-designed with young carers.
Hospitality Award: Farmer’s Daughters – a food and dining experience that champions local sourcing and sustainability.
Knowledge and Innovation Award: RMHive – an app developed to respond to the unique mental health needs of health care workers.
LGBTIQ+ Award: All The Queens Men – the creators of spectacular theatrical and participatory art experiences.
Sustainability Award: Great Wrap – the only Australian-made compostable cling wrap.
Urban Design Award: State Library Victoria Vision 2020 redevelopment by Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen – the refurbishment provided more diverse facilities for users and opportunities for tenants, creative practitioners and entrepreneurs.