Council announced as finalist for prestigious sport award

Published: 6 May 2021

Cardinia Shire Council has been announced as a finalist in the Victorian Sport Awards.

Council is a finalist for our ‘Mental Health in Sports Clubs’ program under the Bunnings Trade Local Government Initiative of the Year category.

The Victorian Government VicSport’s annual awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of those who have shown commitment and dedication to sport in Victoria. 

Council’s Mental Health in Sports Clubs program was established to help build the capacity of volunteers through a recognised and accredited mental health first aid course, in partnership with Monash Health and the Richmond Institute - an accredited provider and the education arm of the Richmond Football Club who proudly partner with Mental Health First Aid Australia.  

Between October and December 2020, 24 individuals from 15 clubs across 8 different sporting codes in Cardinia Shire completed the mental health first aid course.  

Cardinia Shire Council Mayor Councillor Brett Owen said it was a privilege to be nominated for such a prestigious award.  

“We are so pleased that our Mental Health in Sports Club program has been recognised at a state level.  

“Council conducted a survey last year to see how we could best support our local sporting clubs. 

“Mental health was identified as the number one priority area both in understanding mental health and supporting club members and the community, especially as so many were experiencing social isolation and disconnection during the lockdowns. 

“The clubs benefited not only from the training, but also from the partnership between Council, Monash Health and the Healthy Sports Club Initiative, which supported the clubs’ ongoing development and implementation of mental health strategies. 

“We are proud of our staff for working with the Richmond Institute and Monash Health to deliver such a fantastic and relevant program to our community.” Cr Owen said. 

Through the clubs’ individual mental health ‘game plans’, a number of actions have been implemented including: 

  • promoting self-care and mental wellness ideas for coaches 
  • creating a mental health policy for the club 
  • organising presentations by previous players to talk about their mental health journeys 
  • appointing a Safety and Wellbeing Officer at the Club. 

The success of the program inspired Council’s COVID-19 recovery team to deliver more subsidised mental health first aid courses to community organisations who support our residents. A further 24 representatives from community organisations such as neighbourhood and community houses, seniors groups, men’s sheds and other not for profit groups, are currently completing their mental health first aid accreditation. 

The Victorian Sport Awards will be held on Thursday 3 June. 

For more information about the awards, please visit 

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