Victoria’s top champions of health promotion have been recognised for their hard work in creating and supporting healthier and happier communities at VicHealth’s annual awards night.  

Winners of the 2015 VicHealth Awards were announced at a ceremony at the National Gallery of Victoria last night (1 December) by Minister for Health, The Hon. Jill Hennessey, Opposition Leader, The Hon. Matthew Guy, VicHealth Chair Professor John Catford and VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter.

Winners included a program to reduce the harm from problem gambling in Chinese-speaking communities in Melbourne, an initiative to celebrate diversity in sport, a project that works with children to build empathy and awareness of race-based discrimination and an initiative that worked with superannuation funds resulting in the divestment of tobacco stocks worth a total of $1.5 billion.

Ms Rechter said the VicHealth Awards showcase the diversity, quality and impact of health promotion programs, empowering communities to take control of their health, preventing chronic disease and keeping Victorians healthy.

“The standard of entries was very high and the quality of finalists was outstanding,” Ms Rechter said. 

“There are so many organisations with such dedication to preventing chronic disease. The results from all the nominations in this year’s awards highlight how health promotion activities are returning great results in improving the health and wellbeing of Victorians.”

“Congratulations to all the inspiring winners and finalists for their hard work, which helps us all to see what’s possible in making our lives healthier.” 

2015 VicHealth Award winners:

Promoting healthy eating

The Good Foundation and Jamie’s Ministry of FoodThe Good Foundation and Ministry of Food
Jamie’s Ministry of Food is a community cooking program that aims to improve eating habits by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and reducing the amount of processed and takeaway foods eaten. The program gives participants the skills to cook their own healthy food options through practical and hands on cooking classes.

Encouraging physical activity

The Active Maribyrnong Spring Into Summer SeriesMaribyrnong City Council
The Spring Into Summer Series program was designed and implemented to be a catalyst to help improve the health and wellbeing of local residents through a series of free physical activity programs. Residents could take part in their choice of twelve health and wellbeing programs including yoga, tai chi and Pilates.

Preventing tobacco use

Tobacco Free Portfolios Dr Bronwyn King
Tobacco Free Portfolios aims to reduce and eliminate tobacco investment from the Australian finance industry. The initiative has led to the divestment of tobacco stocks worth $1.5 billion.

Preventing harm from alcohol 

A Digital Alcohol and Drug Tool for Young People Youth Support and Advocacy Service 
This project helps young people consider their position in relation to their alcohol and drug related needs. It encourages young people to seek help where necessary and offers support in a youth-friendly manner.

Improving mental wellbeing

Sisters and Brotherscohealth Arts Generator
The project works with children aged 8-12 years to build empathy towards those who experience discrimination through an innovative music program. The program also raises awareness about race-based discrimination and the harm it causes.

Communications in health promotion

Chasing the Luck?Inner East Primary Care Partnership with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
This project aims to reduce the harm from problem gambling in Chinese-speaking communities in Melbourne’s inner-east. Activities include the development of an extensive media campaign in traditional and social media spaces, a website and an online competition.

Building health through sport

The Pride Cup Yarra Glen Football Netball Club, Yarra Valley Mountain District Football Netball League, Yarra Ranges Council, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Headspace, beyondblue, Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria, Eastern Health, AFL, Netball Victoria and the Warburton Millgrove Football Netball Club
The Pride cup is a locally born initiative to celebrate diversity in sport but has since been promoted throughout Victoria and to the LGBTI community.

Building health through arts

TanderrumIlbijerri Theatre Company with the Melbourne Festival
The five nations of the Eastern Kulin came together to open the 2014 Melbourne Festival. Through a festival of song, dance, trading and cultural exchange, performed by local and international artists, Tanderrum increased community connections through the reclamation of cultural tradition.

Research into action

National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women Survey The Social Research Centre with Social Sense Marketing, The University of Melbourne and VicHealth
The NCAS aims to measure community knowledge of and attitudes towards violence against women in order to identify areas that need attention in future. The surveys also track changes in attitudes over time.

Outstanding journalism on health promotion issues

Miki PerkinsThe Age
Miki’s coverage of violence against women has significantly focused on the need for attitude change and the link between violence against women and gender inequality. Her stories are compelling, told respectfully and show a strong knowledge of the subject matter.

The Nigel Gray Award for Excellence in Health Promotion

Mental As…Australian Broadcasting Corporation
This award is in honor of Nigel Gray who was one of the true visionaries and leaders in health promotion in Australia. The award recognises an outstanding project or initiative that has a profound and positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Victorians.

The ABC’s Mental As began as a week long national campaign in 2014 and was an extraordinary, ground-breaking initiative, involving all the ABC’s channels, aimed at bringing mental health into the mainstream to help kick-start a national conversation about mental health across the wider community. It raised more than $1 million for mental health research, which directly benefited 13 research programs and funded Australia’s next generation of emerging researchers.

In its first year, Mental As was supported by a number of high profile Australians including actress Deborah Mailman, Network Ten presenter Jessica Rowe, designer Alex Perry, advertising guru Todd Sampson, musician Missy Higgins, actor Shane Jacobsen and ABC presenters Jeremy Fernandez and Emma Alberici. The ambassadors helped to raise awareness of the initiative and stimulate conversations about mental health and wellbeing.

In 2014, Mental As was conducted during Australia’s National Mental Health Week from October 5 to 12 and across World Mental Health Day on October 10. It was the biggest ever cross-platform programming event conducted by the ABC. Mental As ran again this year demonstrating the ABC’s commitment to tackling mental illness.

Further information

Call VicHealth on (03) 9667 1315 or email

Download: 2015 VicHealth Awards Nomination Brochure (PDF, 363KB)
Download: 2015 VicHealth Award Finalists Brochure (PDF, 264KB)