By Marco Holden Jeffrey
For every tale of hardship during the coronavirus pandemic, there has been another of kindness and selflessness.
And in a one-off “community champions” edition of the Melbourne Awards, the City of Melbourne will recognise the hard work of the unsung heroes who supported their community throughout the pandemic and lockdown.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the awards were being reimagined this year to honour acts of compassion, integrity and heroism in the face of the pandemic.
“Melbourne is a caring city and I am proud of the many ways that Melburnians help and support each other in times of crisis,” she said.
The 2020 Melbourne Awards would honour individuals, businesses and community groups who had a positive impact on the City of Melbourne community during the pandemic.
The Lord Mayor said this could include anyone “from neighbours who came to our rescue in times of need, to essential workers who do so much more than their jobs, and businesses that reach out to support people in tough times”.
Alongside the coveted Melburnian of the Year award, the 2020 awards will include a category recognising an “essential service” champion, such as a medical worker or supermarket attendant, for their work during the lockdown.
Other categories include youth, business, digital innovation, and arts and culture champions.
The Melbourne Awards have been awarded annually since 2007 to “celebrate the inspiring people and organisations that create a better Melbourne through their work”.
Past winners of Melburnian of the Year include oncologist and anti-tobacco lobbyist Dr Bronwyn King, medical research philanthropist and former Western Bulldogs vice president Susan Alberti, and former Essendon great and motor neurone disease campaigner Neale Daniher.
Anyone can nominate or self-nominate an individual or group for any of the categories, even those based outside of the City of Melbourne – as long as their impact was within the city area.
Nominations will be open from July 1 to August 7, with the winners announced at a ceremony scheduled to take place at Melbourne Town Hall on November 14, health requirements permitting •
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