Honour First Nations culture, learn something new among queer allies and catch a blues gig at your local bowls club thanks to the finalists of this year’s Melbourne Awards.
The awards are the City of Melbourne’s highest accolades, recognising inspirational Melburnians who make extraordinary contributions to our community.
The Melbourne Awards program celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022.
This year, we’ve honoured the outstanding work of 27 finalists across eight categories.
Read on to meet some of them. To view the full list, visit Melbourne Awards.
1. The Long Walk
Category: Aboriginal Melbourne – ganbu guljin
Show your support for reconciliation at The Long Walk, a Little Long Walk or a Long Lunch. The Long Walk recognises the legacy of AFL legend Michael Long and his historic 650 km walk from Melbourne to Canberra in 2004. His goal was to meet with Prime Minister John Howard to get the lives of First Nations people back on the national agenda.
2. Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society
Category: Arts and Events
Head to the Flemington Kensington Bowls Club on Tuesday nights to enjoy free blues music and jams presented by the volunteer-run Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society. Sign up to the Blues Weekly e-newsletter to be first in-the-know about ticketed events, the annual International Blues Challenge, and the Women’ N’ Blues and Youth in Blues programs.
3. Travellers Aid Australia
Reach out to Travellers Aid to plan an accessible visit to the city. This not-for-profit organisation assists people with mobility impairments to overcome barriers to physical access. Without their services, many individuals would be unable to enjoy the everyday experiences and events that so many of us take for granted.
4. HER Melbourne
Dine in a wonderland of fine food, sophisticated drinks, art and music, set amidst the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s retail precinct at HER Melbourne. Housed in a former cigarette factory, HER is a prime example of how we can conserve and reimagine heritage places. To learn more, visit An act of love: HER transforms a heritage laneway.
5. Auslan Education Services
Category: Knowledge and Innovation
Imagine if Auslan was widely taught in primary schools and kindergartens to bridge the gap between hearing and deaf Australians. Auslan Education Services is making this happen, bringing together deaf people from across industries – including teachers, Auslan consultants and illustrators — to provide a unique, modern and vibrant language program.
6. Laneway Learning Queer Social
Learn about money management, car maintenance, unicorn cupcake making and much more at Queer Social. These fun and inclusive LGBTIQ+ events invite participants to learn, thrive and connect by learning together. Queer Social is run by Laneway Learning, a charity that champions lifelong learning through short classes on anything and everything.
7. SisterWorks – From Banners to Bags
Buy a tote bag that empowers women from SisterWorks. Through the Banner to Bags project, the group upcycles large event banners into bags to be resold to the public. This creates sustainable souvenirs of Melbourne’s most beloved events, reduces landfill and creates employment for migrant, refugee, and asylum seeker women.
8. Collins Arch and Market Street Park by OCULUS, Woods Bagot and SHoP Architects
Category: Urban Design
Bliss out in 1900 sqm of open space at the first new public park in central Melbourne since the 1980s. The Market Street Park was an important part of the development of the landmark mixed-use tower Collins Arch. This project demonstrates the value of public and private collaboration to deliver green infrastructure in our city.
The Melbourne Awards also include the prestigious Melburnian of the Year Award, celebrating a role model who has made an outstanding contribution in their field and to the city.
‘People make our city the great place that it is – and the Melbourne Awards provide an incredible opportunity to showcase the efforts of ordinary Melburnians doing extraordinary things,’ Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.
‘For the past two decades, we’ve been shining a spotlight on the unsung heroes making Melbourne a better place – pioneering their field, creating positive change, building inclusive communities, and positioning this city as a world leader.’
The winners of the Melbourne Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Saturday 12 November at Melbourne Town Hall and via a televised special on Channel 9 on Sunday 13 November.
‘We’re looking forward to celebrating the outstanding and inspirational achievements of each and every finalist in what will be a night to remember,’ the Lord Mayor said.