Now in it’s fourth year, the We Are Brimbank Awards celebrate the pride and potential of our city. The awards publicly recognise the exceptional contributions, hard work and determination of organisations and groups that make a positive difference within Brimbank.
This year, two winners share the Culture, Arts and Tourism award: the Friends of the H V McKay Memorial Gardens and Utsav Melbourne Association. These organisations both demonstrate outstanding contributions to the rich cultural, heritage, tourism and artistic fabric of the Brimbank community.
The Friends of the H V McKay Memorial Gardens
The Friends of the H V McKay Memorial Gardens (the Friends) was established in 2007 to promote the restoration and maintenance of Brimbank’s only heritage listed gardens.
The organisation work tirelessly to promote the gardens, and increase awareness of their historical significance. They also engage with Council and the community in rescuing the gardens from vandalism and neglect.
The Friends’ activities vary from researching the history of the gardens, leading historical walking tours, hosting community festivals and planting and weeding days, and making submissions to Council.
In addition, the Friends run the only community festival in Sunshine. They proudly showcase the talents and diverse cultures of Brimbank as well as local youth. They have established collaborative associations with other volunteer groups in Brimbank and encourage and support others in their goals.
The Utsav Melbourne Association (UMA)
Utsav Melbourne Association (UMA) is a vibrant Bengali/Indian community charity. It brings people from varied professional backgrounds together to promote and celebrate their culture and traditions.
In 2020 UMA hosted Durga Puja, one of the largest annual Indian/Hindu festivals. However, due to the pandemic UMA had to quickly pivot to an online event. Every effort was made to re-create a live event, arranging online trivia quizzes and local restaurant dinner delivery to the viewers. The online event involved over 150 local performers showcasing Indian traditions, music, culture and history.
During the pandemic, UMA has delivered food to people impacted adversely; including the homeless. They have organised grocery collection drives across the local area, as well as raising funds for Foodbank Australia.
Additionally, some UMA members that are psychologists have organised counselling sessions to provide support during the pandemic.