Winners of the 2024 Local Heroes Awards announced

10 May, 2024 |

The winners of the Vision Super Local Heroes Awards were revealed at a gala awards ceremony that took place at the Victorian Trades Hall Council on Thursday 9 May. In partnership with the Australian Services Union (ASU), the Vision Super Local Heroes Awards recognise the outstanding contributions of local government workers.

There were five awards in total, celebrating the local government employees who go above and beyond for their community.

The Neighbourhoods Team at the City of Melbourne took out the top prize for demonstrating an unwavering dedication to their community and a commitment to empowering others.

The team is made up of manager, Michelle James, and seven neighbourhood partners who provide support to communities living in the ten neighbourhoods within the City of Melbourne. The Neighbourhood Model provides a unique place-based approach to community engagement.

Our winner: Neighbourhoods Team, City of Melbourne.

The partners are Nas Mohamud for Carlton and Parkville, Rei Chin for CBD, Fadi Qunqar for Docklands, Kimberley Pierzchalski for East Melbourne and South Yarra, Melanie Del Monaco for Kensington, Tallia Gilarry for North and West Melbourne, and Ash Lee for Southbank.

The partners play a vital role in simplifying the sometimes hard-to-navigate processes for their community, which includes a high proportion of multicultural and migrant people. As City of Melbourne councillors do not serve communities by ward, the partners are there to provide a familiar and approachable local face for members of their community.

The four runners-up, each with their own remarkable story, were:

  • Abbas Sheikh, Wyndham City Council
  • Craig Waters, Darebin City Council
  • Maree Renden, Wyndham City Council
  • Millicent Burke, Moonee Valley City Council.

Abbas was nominated for his Engaging Communities Through Sport initiative, which aims to bring together Culturally and Linguistically Diverse young people, newly-arrived young people, and those from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. This initiative has increased connection, understanding and inclusion of young people from diverse cultural backgrounds in the community.

Runners-up Abbas Sheikh and Maree Renden from Wyndham City Council.

Craig was nominated for his support and advocacy for other City of Darebin staff, and his involvement in countless community organisations. A dedicated Scout Leader for over 40 years, he is passionate about bringing Aboriginal culture and ways of caring for the land to Victoria’s scouting movement.

Maree was nominated for working tirelessly to protect people’s rights and their welfare. An ASU delegate for over 20 years, she is committed to getting the best outcomes for the Wyndham community and encourages her colleagues to stand up if they think the way council is working isn’t achieving that.

Millicent was nominated for her unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and community empowerment. She started a conservation network to bring together the different community environment groups and works with these groups and local Indigenous leaders to develop conservation projects with an ethos of respect and care for the land and its people at their core.

The six other shortlisted nominees were also acknowledged as finalists:

  • Elizabeth Shield, Hume City Council
  • Jack Hill, Mitchell Shire Council
  • Lachlan Cozens, Campaspe Shire Council
  • Mary Mai, City of Melbourne
  • Sarath Asseddumage, Darebin City Council
  • Tahira Sheikh, Brimbank City Council.
Runner-up Craig Waters and colleagues from Darebin City Council.

Nominations were open to all local government workers, including employees of associated organisations operated by the council and local libraries, who could demonstrate at least one of the criteria:

  • Made a significant difference to a community or member of a community
  • Contributed to the safety of an individual or group in the community
  • Made a substantial contribution to the welfare of a vulnerable person or group in the community.

The calibre of entries for this year’s awards was extremely high and choosing the winners proved to be a difficult decision for the panel of judges, comprised of members of the leadership teams at Vision Super and the ASU.

Vision Super was founded in 1947 and was originally established as a public sector fund to provide superannuation cover for local government, the water industry, and other authorities in Victoria.

The fund now has around 84,000 member accounts and works on behalf of members across all industries to help them retire comfortably — but retains a strong link to its local government heritage.

Runner-up Millicent Burke and colleagues from Moonee Valley City Council.
14 May, 2024 |

Must reads

Fund news, General, must read  | 7 May, 2024 |

Message from the CEO – Autumn 2024

The team here at Vision Super is hard at work on end of financial year tasks, as well as continuing to work on all the other projects we have in progress, including the merger.

General, must read, Superannuation  | 30 April, 2024 |

Simple ways to help manage your money better

Fund news, General, must read  | 1 November, 2023 | 4 minute read

Education 101

In a world where financial security is a top priority, our educational, on demand content assists those seeking to improve their superannuation knowledge.

Fund news, General, Investments, must read  | 1 November, 2023 | 5 minute read

Investment Update – October 2023

Global equity markets fell in the quarter ending 30 September 2023, following a period of robust performance in the first half of the year. Although inflation in the developed world has fallen from its peak, it is still elevated compared to central banks’ targets.

Build a better future for you and your family

Invest in your future self

Sustainable products, quality advice, education and of course, low fees.

You have options when it comes to saving in your super and drawing from it on retirement. Find out which of our retirement products is most suited to you.

The latest