Monash celebrates outstanding community leaders - Sir John Monash Awards 2017

 15 May 2017

Monash Awards Winner 2017

A determination to improve the lives of children with Cerebral Palsy and their families has been recognised with Claire Cotter winning the Sir John Monash Award for Outstanding Leadership at a glittering event at the Monash Gallery of Art.

Claire is the founder and CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre in Glen Waverley, an early intervention centre for children with complex disabilities. Claire’s ground breaking model of therapy helping children live to their fullest potential is recognised world-wide and has given dignity and hope to thousands of children and their families.

Mayor Rebecca Paterson said 40 nominations had been received for the annual awards, which are held during National Volunteer Week.

"Claire and her fellow nominees are wonderful examples of the enduring and strong community spirit that exists in Monash," Cr Paterson said.

"There are so many wonderful people in Monash who give back so generously to the community in many ways whether it’s delivering meals on wheels, helping a child with a disability grow and learn or championing the rights of all to live in safety and freedom."

"It’s an honour to meet these heroes of our community and be able to thank them for their tireless work."

The winners and finalists in all eight categories of the awards:

  • Multicultural Champion – Nawal Moudgil.
    High Commendations – Helen Andrikopoulos, Deon Manasis

  • Active Monash – Waverley Gymnastics Centre

  • Outstanding Advocate of People with Disabilities – Claire Cotter.
    High Commendations – Elizabeth Gosper, Vicki Hayes

  • Sustainability Leadership – Deborah Butler.
    High Commendation – Fiona Sherlock and Ashwood Children’s Centre

  • Youth Leadership Award – Emma Spencer.
    High Commendations – Tiffany Yang, Cherie Fung

  • Volunteer of the Year – Kristine Mitchell.
    High Commendation – Erin Mullner

  • Inspirational Women’s Leadership – Faduma Musse.
    High Commendation – Sunila Shrivastava, Nga Hosking, May Hu

  • Positive Ageing Leadership – Kathleen Banks.
    High Commendations – Helen Browne, Upa Upadasa

The winner of the Sir John Monash Award for Outstanding Leadership, Claire Cotter, was chosen from among the category winners. Each winner will be profiled in the Monash Bulletin newsletter over the coming year, so people can learn more about their special contributions.

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.

Contact: Jo Robertson 0418 391 979 or email

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