Aunty Mollie Dyer, a proud Yorta Yorta woman, is remembered as a courageous advocate for the rights of Aboriginal children and families. She held an unwavering belief in the strength of the country, community and culture, believing that “Our kids are the most viable enterprise we can be engaged in”.

She fostered many children and young people in her life, and advocated tirelessly for Aboriginal community, especially for Aboriginal children in care to be placed with Aboriginal families whenever possible.

Aunty Mollie Dyer helped to found VACCA, and was instrumental in establishing other Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, including the national peak body SNAICC. She received many important awards for her work including the Order of Australia, International Year of the Child Award, and the Advance Australia Award. She remains an inspiration to many people today.

The Mollie Dyer Awards celebrate work that supports Aboriginal children, young people and families to feel safe, strong and proudly connected to culture and community. The theme for the Mollie Dyer Awards in 2021 is Leadership through Crisis – Celebrating Extraordinary People in Extraordinary Times.

This theme celebrates service excellence, people going beyond, and the everyday heroes whose dedication ensured that services were delivered and urgent needs were met during the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Awards honour excellence in three categories:

  • Emerging Leaders (18-24 years of age)
    Celebrating an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young person living in care who has shown strength and leadership in a time of need and crisis. Our young people are the next generation of change-makers and we want to celebrate how deadly they are.
  • Community Leaders
    Recognising an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community member living in Victoria who has shown leadership through crisis. This could be by adapting to new challenges and changes, advocating for the needs of their community or caring for their community during difficult times.
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation Leaders
    Recognising an exceptional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who, through their work, has adapted to the challenges of crisis and positively contributed to the lives of Aboriginal children, young people and families. This could be through improving practice, service excellence, raising awareness or advocating for the rights of Aboriginal children, young people and families during times of crisis. 

Anyone can nominate a Victorian Aboriginal young person, community member, or employee in the Aboriginal child and family services sector living and working in Victoria.

In each category we celebrate individuals whose commitment helped to overcome challenges of service delivery and meeting urgent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you know someone who demonstrated such qualities and deserves recognition for their efforts, please nominate them before or by the deadline – 5pm on Friday 8 October 2021.

Nominations open on Monday 30 August, 2021 and will close 5pm on Friday October 8, 2021.

You can make a nomination in several ways:

There is no limit to how many people you wish to nominate for any award. 

No, the Awards are not self-nominating.

No, we require that each nominee consents to being nominated.

The winners of the Mollie Dyer Awards will be announced at VACCA’s in-service and AGM on Friday 26 November 2021.

More details about the event will be released closer to the date. Please register your interest via awards.vacca.org to get updates on the progress of the Awards.

Please read our Nomination Guide for all information relating to the nomination criteria, process and judging process. You will find the Nomination Guide on awards.vacca.org.

The winner of each award will receive a commemorative plaque and a cash prize of $3,000.