Seven extraordinary Melbourne Awards finalists

The silhouette of a person in a dimly lit space, with zig zag 'electrical' lines forming around them.

Meet the finalists of this year’s Melbourne Awards – extraordinary people who dedicate their time and energy to make Melbourne a world-leading city.

For 17 years, the Melbourne Awards have offered finalists recognition, exposure, industry feedback and connections to help build on their extraordinary achievements.

This year, new categories have helped us better reflect and honour people’s contributions. Here’s a quick snapshot of seven finalists – one from each of the categories.

1. Dans le Noir?
Hospitality category finalist
Dine in the dark at Rydges on Swanston in this sensory experience led by vision-impaired guides. Re-educate your palate and mind to truly experience flavours.

2. Little Dreamers
Health and Wellbeing category finalist
This acclaimed organisation honours young people who provide care for a family member affected by disability or illness. It offers ‘dream experiences’, mentoring, pathways to education and employment, and advice to government.

3. SalamFest
Community category finalist
This inclusive event celebrates Muslim tradition, arts and culture. It aims to demystify Islam for Victorians and build more cohesive communities through art, conversations and cuisine.

4. PonyUp For Good
Environment category finalist
This female-owned and led social enterprise has collected 138,924 kilos of unwanted technology from businesses since October 2016. The team used the income generated from repurposing the technology to deliver 291,701 meals to people in need through Secondbite.

5. Pawa Catering
Aboriginal Melbourne award finalist
Pawa means ‘to cook’ in Gunditjmara language, and this company aims to share its language and culture with the community through delicious food. The catering company also employs Indigenous staff to grow their own native, organic produce.

6. Pause Fest
Arts and Events category finalist
This world-leading festival of business and creativity positions Melbourne as a city of innovation. Over nine years, it has welcomed more than 65,000 movers and shakers to Federation Square, from local startups to NASA.

7. RMIT Building 100
Urban Design category finalist
This project aims to create beautiful bollards that prevent vehicles entering public space without evoking a sense of fear. The team’s smooth ‘floating’ design is surrounded by computer-milled timber and entices you to sit and watch the world go by.

To read about more finalists, visit Melbourne Awards.

The winners will be announced on Saturday 16 November.

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