High achievers celebrated in Kingston’s Community Awards
Published on 19 May 2023
The Mordialloc Jazz Orchestra’s Musical Director Peter Foley is Kingston's 2023 Citizen of the Year.
A talented, inspiring, and inclusive leader, Peter has made an enormous contribution to the cultural fabric of our city in his over 30 years at the helm of MoJO, with thousands of people of all ages experiencing the joy of music through both rehearsals and performances in that time.
Of particular note is the multiple generations of children of all-abilities and from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds who have been empowered and inspired and benefitted from Peter’s tutelage, with many progressing to become professional musicians and teachers themselves.
His work at MoJO also creates important social connections and a feeling of wellbeing for many. So much so that aspiring musicians from all over Melbourne come to Mordialloc each week to play with the band.
The success of events like Jazz-a-oke, Carols by Kingston and the Big Band Sunsets concerts, including the involvement of stars such as James Morrison, Kate Ceberano and Marina Prior, are also testimony to Peter’s vision, capacity, and tireless work.
The Community Group of the Year award has been awarded to two groups this year, with STEM Incubators and the Cheltenham Community Centre both recognised for their tremendous work.
Grassroots for purpose charity, STEM Incubators, is focused on creating a thriving young Australian generation by supporting them to develop key life traits such as resilience and leadership and STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Maths) related skills including analytical thinking, innovation, complex problem solving, and critical thinking.
They are particularly active in the local Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities and work closely with deep-tech industries, universities, and public organisations to provide tailored programs, career pathways and innovative solutions to real world issues.
STEM Incubators are currently working on an AI-based mobile app that helps track the best-before-date on grocery items to reduce food waste.
The Cheltenham Community Centre has strengthened the Kingston community through the provision of low-cost health and wellbeing programs for 37 years.
The centre provides a warm, welcoming, and inclusive environment with a particular emphasis on the needs of disadvantaged and isolated people and promoting social connection.
Among the offerings and programs at the centre are childcare services, school holiday activities, life skills classes for people with disabilities, English language classes and the drop-in Soul Café.
Importantly over 1200 people of all ages, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds are supported by the centre each week.
Mayor Hadi Saab presented the awards at the Kingston Volunteer Appreciation event on Thursday night and said the winners were selected from a fantastic group of nominees, all of whom had helped make Kingston such a strong and connected community.
“Peter, the STEM Incubators and the Cheltenham Community Centre all make remarkable contributions across a wide range of areas in Kingston are great examples for us all to strive towards,” Cr Saab said.
“We have some amazing citizens, community organisations and volunteers in Kingston and these awards and event are a great way to thank them for their efforts and acknowledge the outstanding impact they all make.”
For more information about Kingston’s awards program visit kingston.vic.gov.au/council/awards