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Australia Day Celebration  

Each year the City of Kington celebrates Australia Day with an event recognising the outstanding contributions residents of the city make to our community every day and welcoming some new members to our city with a Citizenship Ceremony.

In 2021, celebrations were a little different due to physical distancing restrictions, however we were thrilled to be able to hold the event in person and celebrate with 150 guests. For anyone who was not able to attend, the ceremony was recorded for you to enjoy below.



Australia Day Awards

City of Kingston’s annual Australia Day Awards recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of Kingston residents who have made a significant contribution to the local community.

Award winners are announced each year on Australia Day (26 January),  two categories: 

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Community Group of the Year

Nominations for the 2022 Awards will open later in the year.


2021 Award recipients

Citizen of the Year 

Daniel Maitland

Daniel Maitland

Personal Trainer and fireman, Daniel Maitland has combined fitness with fundraising to create ‘Training With Mates’.

Daniel’s sister Bec was just 28 when she suffered from a stroke, changing her life forever. To raise awareness for young stroke survivors and funds for the Stroke Foundation, Daniel organised a 28km charity relay run.

Daniel has also done charity work in the past for breast cancer survivors and other charities. Training With Mates as a collective has raised $20,000 plus for charities over the years.


Outstanding Citizen


Yvonne Hong

Yvonne is the founder and CEO of Pets of the Homeless, the only charity in Victoria which works to keep people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness and their pets together. Despite receiving no ongoing government funding, Yvonne’s determination has resulted in Pets of the Homeless becoming a self-sufficient business, which provides much-needed treatment and care to the pets of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Congratulations also to the other individual nominees for 2021:

  • Milenka Kupresak - A dedicated and genuine support care worker who provides a valuable support service to the most vulnerable people of our community. Milenka always go above and beyond in her duties and puts the needs of her clients first in a very caring and dedicated manner.
  • Phillip Spathopoulos - A young community driven volunteer and advocate for Mental Health. At just 21, Phillip is an Accredited Mental Health First Aider, skills he puts to use in his work with the community in his position as Westfield Southland Concierge.

  • Joey Santos - A member of the City of Kingston Arts Committee, Joey continually organises events and volunteers his service and musical skills at every opportunity, but especially in support of lonely and vulnerable members of the community. As an active member of the Filipino Community in the City of Kingston Joey has promoted the culture, tradition and customs of the Philippines to the broader community.

  • Robert Wilson - Rob has achieved excellence in his long career with St John and with expanding the public’s knowledge of Meningococcal Septicaemia.  After a long battle with Meningococcal Septicaemia resulting in amputations, Rob regularly holds public forums to raise awareness of the illness, living with amputation and inspire others with his message of how precious life is.


Community Group of the Year


Pantry 5000

Pantry 5000 provides groceries and a place to go for hundreds of people who are socially and economically disadvantaged. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Pantry 500 had to re-jig its operations to ensure that its hundreds of recipients did not miss out. The team moved their operation out of the church hall into homes, where they packed and then personally delivered food goods to those in need.

Pantry 5000 does not only feed disadvantaged people, the group does its best to help its clients to alleviate loneliness, by offering them a helping hand and a friendly ear to talk to. When it first started in 2012, it had a team of nine volunteers. Now there are over 60 volunteers, many of whom first came to get support for themselves and joined the team to carry it forward and help others.

Congratulations also to the other community group nominees for 2021:

  • Bayside Community Information & Support Service (BayCISS) - Have been providing emergency food relief and other services to Kingston residents for may years. This support continued throughout COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, despite numerous operational and staffing challenges. During this time, BayCISS partnered with Council to provide opportunities for staff who had lost meaningful work and overcome limitations on volunteer support.  

  • Legends of the Skies (also known as LOT’s) - A local theatre company that believes Australia’s history is part of the present and promotes this message by developing and performing Australian aviation stories, particularly those associated with our local Moorabbin Airport

  • Pets of the Homeless - The only charity in Victoria which works to keep people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness and their pets together. Pets of the Homeless provides nutritious food, routine and emergency veterinary care, and/or temporary foster care, o animals in need, often saving the lives of the pets and supporting their vulnerable owners. 

  • Unified Filipino Elderly Association (UFEA) - An advocate for Health and Wellness programs for elderly Filipino residents and the broader senior community in the City of Kingston. UFEA develop projects aimed at assisting the elderly to maintain a healthy, active and quality lifestyle by providing physical, social and emotional wellness. 




To be eligible for an Award, nominated individuals must be Australian citizens who either live, work or study within the City of Kingston.

Each year we look for people who have made a noteworthy contribution during the current year and/or given outstanding service to the local community over a number of years.


Individuals can only be nominated for either Citizen of the Year or Community Group of the Year; they cannot be nominated in both categories for the same contribution.

Individuals cannot self-nominate.

Community Groups

Community Groups must be not-for-profit organisations, operating with the City of Kingston and must consist of four members or more.

Previous award winners are ineligible to win in the same category.

Assessment Criteria

Nominees are assessed with regard given to:

  • significance and impact of contributions made
  • demonstrated level of commitment to the betterment of the Kingston community
  • degree of difficulty of the achievement and sacrifices made
  • nature and length of activity or service
  • future goals and likely impact on the Kingston community
  • previous awards and recognition received
  • demonstrated excellence in their field
  • individuals: whether their contribution was in the course of employment, volunteering or both
  • personal attributes of the nominee such as being an inspirational/positive role model for their peers, showing vision, leadership, innovation and creativity
  • personal, academic and professional achievements
  • community groups must demonstrate that they meet a community need or priority.

Independent Referees

All nominations are required to be supported by two independent referees.

To be independent, referees must not be a family member of an individual nominee or a member of a community group nominee. The ideal referee is someone who knows the nominee well and can offer insight into the individual’s or community group’s contribution to the City of Kingston.Referees do not need to provide anything in advance, but will be contacted by Council to participate in a short phone interview as part of the selection process. Referees must agree to be part of the nomination process and be contacted by Council.

Selection Process

The selection panel uses the information provided in the nomination along with the referee’s responses to consider all eligible entries against the assessment criteria and select a recipient in each of the Award categories.

The selection panel consists of the Mayor and fellow Councillors of the City of Kingston.