As part of the events, Council presented its annual Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Group of the Year Awards. The Awards recognise residents and community groups in the City of Glen Eira that have significantly contributed to the local community.
Twenty-four individuals and community groups were nominated for Citizen, Young Citizen and Community Group of the Year.
Citizen of the Year — Ian Isaacs
Ian has spent more than 50 years volunteering to support the administration of grassroots cricket. Working in various roles from administrator to junior club coach, Ian has spent time with clubs from all over Victoria.
He has overseen the drawing up of season fixtures and points for the various junior ladders. Ian was tribunal co-ordinator and association delegate to the Victorian Metropolitan Cricket Union. He was also on the Caulfield Park Advisory Committee, a participant in the regional cricket radio show on Southern FM and wrote cricket articles for the local Leader newspaper.
Ian proactively supported and implemented programs that encouraged the development of junior, male and female cricket in Glen Eira. He even helped transition the City of Moorabbin Cricket Association into the South Eastern Cricket Association. Ian continues with his volunteering pursuits today as liaison officer of the Mackie Cricket Club and is a lifetime member of South Eastern Cricket Association and the City of Moorabbin Cricket Association.
Citizen of the Year joint runner-ups — Jeffrey Needham and Lambert Dyt
Jeff and Bert formed the very first men’s shed for Glen Eira back in 2010. For the past 12 years they have led the shed’s growth, created a vibrant and interesting place and ensured that it provides a diverse, respectful and supportive culture that builds friendships and is always inclusive and welcoming of all men in the community.
Citizen of the Year runner-up — Leon Landau
Leon is the General Manager of Chevra Hatzolah Melbourne and the Ambulance Victoria community emergency response team. He has been a volunteer community emergency first responder for more than 17 years, making himself available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to medical emergencies. Over that time, Leon has treated hundreds of patients and saved countless lives.
Young Citizen of the Year — Jessica Hooper
Jessica — or Jessi as she is more commonly called — is a hardworking and responsible young person who cares for others. She is a role model and leader who speaks up about disability rights and encourages others to do the same.
In the last year alone, she has volunteered for organisations such as Notes of Friendship, writing more than 100 cards to seniors who were lonely and socially isolated. She volunteers for the Swinburne University group H-Squad to promote health and wellbeing. Here, Jessi runs social media campaigns for Men’s Health Week, e-Safety Week, Indigenous Health Week and International Day of Persons with a Disability. Jessi helped introduce disability awareness training to staff across her university and her social media campaigns have educated the public about different types of disabilities, including visible and invisible disabilities and treating people with disabilities respectfully.
Jessi also volunteers at Annecto Speakers Bank, where she introduced the celebration of disability and senior awareness days and new measures to make their social media activities more accessible. This included adding subtitles to all videos, captioning all posts for people requiring screen readers and ensuring colours and fonts were made easier to read.
Jessi is a change-maker who is passionate about making the world more accessible and inclusive. We have no doubt she will continue to make valuable contributions into the future.
Young Citizen of the Year runner-up — Emily Collins
Emily is a young leader who generously gives her time to others and readily looks for opportunities to support her community. Emily excels in sport, academically and in community involvement. She does all of this with humility and in an unassuming manner. She participates in regular fundraising activities, takes part in various volunteering roles, is proactive in organising events, finds ways to support her fellow students and participates in all the activities that her school has to offer.
Community Group of the Year — Chevra Hatzolah Melbourne
Chevra Hatzolah Melbourne has been critical to the wellbeing of the community. It saved thousands of lives, particularly over the past two years of the pandemic.
As an Ambulance Victoria community emergency response team, Hatzolah’s volunteers responded to countless medical emergencies. They put their own safety aside to manage patients and help bridge the gap between medical emergencies and the arrival of Ambulance Victoria.
Whilst Hatzolah has seen call volumes increase significantly, the 32 volunteer responders have continued to stretch themselves further. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to attend to all medical emergencies. They also support the community to deliver a range of training and information workshops on stroke, fire safety, adolescent mental health, first aid, vaccination and correct use of personal protective equipment.
The group has been operating since 1994 and has since helped more than 30,000 people in the wider community. They currently respond to about 2,200 calls per year. They provide a wonderful and invaluable community service to our Glen Eira community.
Community Group of the Year runner-up — The South Eastern Suicide Prevention Network
The South Eastern Suicide Prevention Network, a small community organisation, commenced in 2019 with seed funding. Their aim is to empower the community to recognise, protect against and prevent suicide.
They do this by actively engaging community members to openly discuss suicide, celebrate lives lost, recognise the impacts on those left behind and promote awareness and prevention through education. They hope their efforts can reduce further deaths by suicide.
Through increased awareness and meaningful discussion in an open and non-judgmental way, they hope to encourage those at risk, and those who care about them, to speak up and to learn where to seek help and support without feeling stigmatised.
Community Group of the Year runner-up — Little Dreamers Australia
Little Dreamers is revolutionising the way Young Carers are supported, by providing programs that are codesigned by a team predominantly made up of people who have grown up with caring responsibilities. Their programs are recognised as best practice programs both nationally and internationally.
Since its inception in 2009, Little Dreamers has worked closely to support Young Carers in the Glen Eira community with programs focused on identity; health and wellbeing; social connection; education and employment; and financial literacy.
Little Dreamers also advocates for policy change, promotes recognition for Young Carers and raises awareness of the prevalence of Young Carers and the risks and negative impacts they face while promoting ways the community, education system, friends and family can rally around to support them.
We are proud to honour and recognise the work and commitment our volunteers, nominees and awardees of our Citizen of the Year program give to our community and we thank them for making Glen Eira a better place to live.
We received nine very impressive nominations for Community Group of the Year Award:
- Carnegie Community Laneways
- Chevra Hatzolah Melbourne Inc
- K.G. Putt Bentleigh Senior Citizens Club
- Little Dreamers Australia
- ResetLife Youth at Taskforce Community Agency
- South Eastern Suicide Prevention Network
- South Oakleigh Wildlife Shelter.
Thank you to all of these groups for your service to the Glen Eira community.