The Leadership Award recognises people who have shown exceptional influence or leadership in support of a community, people, groups, organisation or cause in Victoria. Nominees are inspiring people who may have built effective networks, empowered others or coordinated effort, or they may have motivated, encouraged, guided or supported others.

Please find the list of Leadership Award winners below:

Faye Bendrups

Victoria State Emergency Service

For over 10 years, Faye has inspired and motivated scores of State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers and empowered the community be safer and more resilient. She displays exceptional hands-on leadership: guiding, training and supporting other SES volunteers, and building networks nationally and internationally. Faye has improved training methods to reflect real world disaster management, quadrupled her local membership, and is a representative on eight working groups in four agencies.

Rufina Chan

The Lions Club of Melbourne and Chinese Stroke Support Group
A driving force for diverse volunteering bodies over 23 years, Rufina is the President of two not-for-profit organisations, vice president of four associations and a contributor to many others. With positivity and commitment, she leads a team running care and activity programs for stroke survivors. She founded the MC2 computer project in Kew and Boroondara, which over eight years has helped 3,000 aged groups with computer literacy. Rufina also volunteers as an evening broadcaster on two community radio stations.

Judith Cox

Wheelers Hill University of the 3rd Age

Recognising the growing need for seniors in her area to connect and share, Judith founded the Wheelers Hill University of the 3rd Age. Under her watch as tutor and administrator this group has quickly grown to over 150 members and more than 17 classes. Judith advocates for inclusion, embraces diversity, and her ability to entertain and connect with an audience is described as truly skilful. Judith has also been an active leader in the disability and community house sectors, volunteering her time on countless boards.

Mohamed Mohideen OAM

Islamic Council of Victoria

Always setting a positive example, Mohamed has shown leadership and commitment to many causes including the Muslim community, interfaith dialogue, domestic violence and multiculturalism. He brought together over 40 ethnic communities to work in harmony and oversees the Islamic Council’s interfaith portfolio. Mohamed is a strong advocate against domestic violence and is a White Ribbon campaign Ambassador. His leadership style is to listen, consult, and get those involved to take ownership so everyone feels included.

Linny Phuong

The Water Well Project

Linny established a volunteer organisation improve the mental and physical health of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers through health education sessions, and has inspired and engaged a team of volunteer health professionals to contribute their skills and knowledge. Linny chairs the committee and together they coordinate over 300 healthcare volunteers. Since 2012, the education sessions have reached approximately 2,500 new arrivals with positive flow-on effects to their friends and families.

Luke Spielvogel

Hanging Rock Action Group

With perseverance, diplomacy and a sense of responsibility, Luke led efforts that resulted in positive outcomes for the Hanging Rock environment and local community. He founded the Hanging Rock Action Group, bringing together a diverse coalition of community members and had them working together effectively. The group held government to account, secured $1 million in maintenance funding and inclusion of the ‘Rock’ on the Victorian Heritage Register – ensuring that Hanging Rock will be enhanced and protected for everyone.