Community Achievement Awards

Council proudly recognises people whose contributions make this region an even better place to live through the Melton City Council Community Achievement Awards.

The Community Achievement Awards (CAA) Program recognises the work of individual volunteers or persons that clearly exceed the normal requirements of their paid work.  The CAA Program inspires individual and community pride, and strengthens community life in Melton.

2023 Community Achievement Awards

The Community Achievement Awards categories are:

  • Citizen of the Year – for recognition of ongoing community leadership and involvement 
  • Young Citizen of the Year – for community leadership under 25 years old
  • Disability Access and Inclusion Leader of the Year – for commitment to improving the life of people with a disability 
  • Intercultural Engagement Leader of the Year – for leadership that celebrates our diverse community 

2023 Community Achievement Award Winners

Citizen of the Year: Les Chitts
Les has been involved in some capacity with community work since he was young. He has had strong influence in the disability field and has given enormously to ensure that the City of Melton is inclusive and accessible for people living with disability. Les has established groups and held board member positions for a number of disability services.

Les has also been a key member of the Melton Lions Club, being involved in many fundraising initiatives for the community.

He is a regular Friday night volunteer at ‘The GAP on Graham’ youth centre, where he enjoys providing and facilitating a range of services and activities for Melton’s young people. Les has volunteered for the past 3-4 years as a driving mentor with the L2P program, assisting underprivileged young people to gain the 120 hours of driving practice that they require to get their Probationary Licence.

And more recently, Les joined the Harkness Cemetery Advisory Group, where he is supporting the ongoing development of a new cemetery in Harkness. 

Young Citizen of the Year: Shilpa Kumar
Shilpa is a passionate young person, addressing life in a positive manner while overcoming many challenges and embracing her cerebral palsy.

Through her business, Australian Integrated Marketing and Merchandise Services, Shilpa provides a platform for other people with disabilities to sell their products, earn an income and boost their morale. They put together hampers for occasions such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day and personally deliver them to people in the community that they know are going through difficult times.

Shilpa is a role model for many individuals. She advocates publicly for the disability sector and is involved in many community events.

Disability Access and Inclusion Leader of the Year: John McVie
John has been an integral part of Specialist Hoops basketball program since 2020 – an organisation that provides a safe, non-judgmental environment for those living with disabilities to participate in sports.

John is constantly looking for new ways to engage participants and works to provide the best experience and opportunity for participants to play basketball both on foot and in wheelchairs.   John actively communicates and builds relationships and is always seeking new ways of teaching and ways to adapt to different situations and challenges that individual participants may face.

John brings fresh ideas and finds ways to include people living with disabilities, so no one gets left behind and proves that inclusion is possible.

Intercultural Engagement Leader of the Year: Daphrose Tuyisabe
Daphrose is a proud founding member of the Iteka Youth Organisation and is often seen performing for Club Iteka – Burundian dance group. Daphrose networks with the wider community to secure events and performances for Club Iteka to share their cultural dance and heritage.

Daphrose is a Year 12 Student leader at Staughton College and has proven to be a fantastic role model to her peers and younger students. She has grasped all opportunities provided to her during her schooling.

For more information or to discuss the Community Achievement Awards, please contact our Community Grants and Awards Officer on 9747 7247.