Southbank-based television service celebrated in the Melbourne Awards
After moving to Southbank, not-for-profit community television service Channel 31 (C31) is seemingly going from strength to strength with its latest achievement of becoming a 2022 Melbourne Award finalist.
The channel’s importance has been highly noted during the past couple of years, particularly since it faced fears of closure in 2021 before receiving a surprising last-minute extension to its broadcasting licence from the federal government.
Surviving through the lockdown has been no small task for the C31 staff, and it is the reason behind why C31 operations and business development manager Lisa McLean said it was hopeful that winning the award would continue to “remind the entire community that [they] are still here and going strong”.
Since its licence extension and release of Australia’s first community broadcast streaming service, C31 has proven its worth as a diverse and inclusive service, that survives to benefit and serve the local Melbourne community.
It is for these reasons that the television service has been included in the community category.
“C31 broadcasts voices and stories not usually heard in mainstream media, with most of our programs made by community volunteers and independent program makers,” Ms McLean said.
“These programs tell their stories, and share the traditions, news and culture of communities across Melbourne and beyond.”
The Melbourne Awards are a time to celebrate all the inspiring people and groups that have come together for the benefit of the community, and C31’s recent project was recognised for doing just this.
“Being named as a finalist in the City of Melbourne Awards for the project Telling Melbourne’s Stories recognises the amazing work done by the C31 team of staff and volunteers,” Ms McLean said.
“The Award specifically focuses on two stories; faith broadcasts during lockdown and beyond, and our partnership with The Attitude Foundation to support internships for aspiring broadcast professionals with lived experience of disability.”
“These stories truly represent the values of community television, with C31 ensuring that space is made for everyone to have the opportunity to make and be part of programs that are truly representative of our Melbourne community.”
The Melbourne Awards are considered one of the City of Melbourne’s highest accolades, and this year marks its 20th year.
Running alongside C31 as finalists in the community category are Kensington Neighbourhood House, Meals With Impact, and Travellers Aid Australia.
Other categories making up the awards are Aboriginal Melbourne – ganbu guljin, Arts and Events, Hospitality, Knowledge and Innovation, LGBTIQ+, Sustainability, and Urban Design.
Southbank’s premium event space Metropolis Events, located in the Southgate precinct, has also been nominated within the Hospitality category, a recognition general manager Phillip Williams said it was “honoured” to have received.
“Being a finalist acknowledges all the hard work the team has completed since we opened in 2016 and establishes our brand as a leader within the events industry,” he said.
“Being a finalist (and if we win) means we can continue to contribute to the economic impact in Melbourne by attracting overseas and interstate travellers whilst being a pioneer in the rapidly changing hospitality landscape.”
As a “relatively young company” having only opened in 2016, Metropolis Events has continued to satisfy its customers with “picture-perfect views, fabulous food, and a service team that is second to none”, with hopes to continue to provide for the community.
The award ceremony will take place in person on Saturday, November 12 at Melbourne Town Hall, and will be televised on Channel Nine the following day.
While it’s a night to recognise the selected winners, it is also a time to acknowledge and celebrate all the incredible hard work being done by all the 27 finalists making up the eight categories.
“We’re looking forward to celebrating the outstanding and inspirational achievements of each and every finalist in what will be a night to remember,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.
“People make our city the great place that it is – and the Melbourne Awards provide an incredible opportunity to showcase the efforts of ordinary Melburnians doing extraordinary things.”
A Melburnian of the Year will also be recognised and celebrated for being a role model who has made an outstanding contribution to the city, and within their field of work. •
Caption: L-R: General Manager Shane Dunlop, Head of Production Lauren Colosimo, Programming Manager Rachel Webster, and Operations Manager Lisa McLean.