An exceptional commitment to opening up pathways for young people with an intellectual disability to participate in Australian Rules Football has seen Philip Ryan named the Sir John Monash Awards 2020 winner for Outstanding Leadership.
Philip is President of the Mazenod Panthers Football Club, which has two teams playing in the AFLVIC/Football Integration Development Association (AFLVIC/FIDA). This competition is for players with an intellectual disability and has 16 clubs participating throughout Victoria.
The nomination for Philip in the Advocate of People with Disabilities category reads: “He is a passionate mentor, who treats everyone equally, and this is evidenced by the respect and relationships he has built up with the players, their families and their carers.”
Mayor Brian Little said 51 nominations had been received for the annual awards, which are highly anticipated by the Monash community.
"Philip and his fellow nominees and winners are wonderful examples of the enduring and strong community spirit that exists in Monash," Cr Little said.
"There are so many wonderful people in Monash who give back so selflessly to the community in many ways, whether it’s running Auskick programs, a gardening club, or helping parents to feel welcome and able to make new connections at playgroups.
"It’s an honour to meet these community champions and be able to thank them for their outstanding work."
The 2020 awards ceremony had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The winners and highly commended in all eight categories of the awards are:
Positive Ageing Leadership
Winner - Pravin Ghelani
Inspirational Women’s Leadership Award
Winner - Mizna Shahbaz
Highly commended - May Ning, Michelle James
Outstanding Advocate of People with Disabilities
Winner - Philip Ryan
Highly commended – Hazel Hockley, Zoe Broomhead
Winner - Manal Tahir
Highly commended – Heather Safstrom, Shobha Sekhar
Winner – Jeff Hocking
Highly commended - Donald Smith, Michael Morrissey
Winner – Boris Lai
Highly commended - Anna Zhang
Winner - Alice Mahar
Highly commended - Sally and Tony Walker (joint nomination), Waverley Garden Club (group nomination)
Volunteer of the Year
Winners - Anthony Hodges, Kerry Ryan
Highly commended - Katy Smith
Council thanks all the award winners and nominees for their valuable work in the community and especially for their continued efforts, leadership and resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
*The winner of the Sir John Monash Award for Outstanding Leadership is chosen from among the all the category winners. Awards recognising members of the local community and honouring Sir John Monash have run in Monash since 1998 when Norm Gibbs won the inaugural Sir John Monash Community Leadership award.