City of Melbourne announces recipients of this year’s Melbourne Awards

Melbourne-Awards-APHIDSThe Melbourne Awards have entered a new era, announcing the first-ever Young Melburnian of the Year, alongside the prestigious Melburnian of the Year award.

“The Melbourne Awards shine a light on our city’s unsung heroes – the people going above and beyond to make Melbourne the great place that it is,” said Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

“This year’s finalists are a testament to the dedication and drive of our community – those who are pioneering new ideas, innovations and technologies, bringing Melburnians closer together and positioning our city as a global leader.”

“We’re looking forward to celebrating the 30 inspirational individuals and organisations who have been recognised as finalists,” said Ms Capp.

Georgie Stone OAM, 23, is the inaugural Young Melburnian of the Year, recognised as a passionate advocate for trans and gender diversity on a national and global scale. As the first trans actor to star in the iconic Australian drama show, Neighbours, Georgie has proudly brought positive representation of young trans people to audiences in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Founder and CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM was named the Melburnian of the Year. At the age of 28, Kon founded his own not for profit organisation, ASRC, in just eight weeks. Since 2001, the organisation has raised more than a quarter of a billion dollars and helped more than 30,000 refugees and people seeking asylum.

Cross-artform collaborators, APHIDS were presented with the Arts and Events Award. An artist-led experimental art organisation founded in 1994, APHIDS create experimental work across art forms and contexts: in public space, festivals, digital platforms, across visual and performing arts, major institutions and beyond.

Collaborative and future-focused, APHIDS works with people inside and outside of the art world to bring attention to urgent social, political and cultural concerns. Over their almost 30-year history, the organisation has created over 85 new works, resulting in 175 presentations across Australia and the world.

Winners of the 2023 Melbourne Award winners are:

Melburnian of the Year:
Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM

Young Melburnian of the Year:
Georgie Stone OAM

Aboriginal Melbourne – ganbu guljin:
The Long Walk – a charity event putting lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the national agenda.

Access and Inclusion:
Mojo Festival for World Schizophrenia Day
An event featuring stand-up comedy, music, theatre, visual art, writing and animation in a safe and supportive space.

Arts and Events:
APHIDS – an artist-led organisation making experimental work in public space, festivals, digital platforms, across visual and performing arts, major institutions and beyond.

City Design:
Victorian Family Violence Memorial – a memorial for victims and survivors of family violence, featuring a field of purple flowers and a small seating area.

The Living Room – a health service providing free healthcare and support to improve the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of those who are or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Knowledge and Innovation:
Auslan Education Services – an education service teaching Auslan through an online learning program, bringing innovation to language-learning in primary schools.

Melbourne Sexual Health Centre – a health centre providing services in public health, clinical care and research, both locally and globally.

RCYCL – an organisation dedicated to revolutionising the fashion industry through implementing an innovative clothing recycling program.

For more information about the Melbourne Awards and this year’s winners, visit: for details.

Image: APHIDS win the Arts and Events Award at the Melbourne Awards (supplied)