Community Innovation Award

The Community Innovation Award is one of 10 categories in Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence. The award recognises short term projects that use outside-the-box thinking to promote multiculturalism. Projects may address a particular problem facing diverse communities, or may contribute to social cohesion by sharing a culture’s message to an outside audience.

Selection Criteria

Individuals, organisations or community groups that have run/are running a short-term project between July 2017 and June 2018, which:

  • Shares a community’s culture or message to an audience outside their community
  • Resolves, or aims to resolves, an issue affecting a large community


  • Individuals, community groups, organisations and local governments
  • Multiple organisations working together are also eligible
  • Self-nominations are accepted from organisations
  • Projects that have run/are running for a maximum of three years, including some part between July 2017 and June 2018



City of Melbourne – ‘Act of Translation’

Funded by the Victorian Government and led by the City of Melbourne, ‘Act of Translation’ was a theatre project involving local and international students from countries including China, Iraq, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Brazil and Colombia. The project began with weekly theatre workshops in March 2017 to help students communicate and explore their experiences and challenges, while also gaining skills in performance development. The works were performed at the Melbourne Writers Festival, Library at The Dock, RMIT University and the Immigration Museum and were attended by more than 600 people. They aimed to challenge locals’ perceptions of international students, and vice versa. The project culminated in March 2018 with the launch of a documentary about the experience, made by filmmaker Irene Metter.

Act of Translation was a collaboration with Study Melbourne, RMIT University, the Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS), the Immigration Museum, filmmaker Irene Metter, and independent artistic director Catherine Simmonds.



Bonbeach Life Saving Club

Bonbeach Life Saving Club has sought to bridge the gap in water safety skills that exists between new migrants and refugees and people who have grown up around Australia’s beaches. Through the Multicultural Surf Rescue Certificate program, club volunteers are training migrants and refugees in surf lifesaving skills, with many participants going on to undertake further courses such as first aid or boat rescue. The club has also organised beach days for primary-school aged children from diverse backgrounds, with volunteers sourcing culturally-appropriate beach attire so that all the children can participate. These programs have fostered many new friendships and an increase in intercultural understanding between all involved.