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Winners of the 2021 Victorian Protecting Children Awards announced

After a record-breaking number of submissions this year, the winners of the 2021 Victorian Protecting Children Awards have been announced.

At an online event yesterday, outstanding individuals and teams from across the child and families services sector were recognised for their work in protecting the wellbeing of children.

“The Centre congratulates Luke Rumbold on winning the inaugural ‘Leaving a Legacy’ award at the Victorian Protecting Children Awards.

Luke Rumbold has devoted his life to the care of children and young people in rural Victoria during his 40-year career. Graduating as a Social Worker from the University of Melbourne in 1980, Luke was first employed as a Community Based Case Worker by Mallee Family Care in Kerang. In 1984, Luke moved to take up the role of Director of Upper Murray Family Care (UMFC).

With 37 years at the helm, it is rare for an individual to leave such an enduring and remarkable footprint on an organisation and its local community. As well as expanding its reach to become a cross-border organisation, UMFC also extended its services from legal and family law to disability care and child and family services.

The sector has benefitted from Luke’s involvement in serving on Boards with the state(the Centre) and federal peak (FRSA).

As Luke contemplates retirement, the child and family services sector acknowledges his lasting legacy not only on UMFC, his local community, and throughout regional Victoria.

The winners include:

Category Winner and highly commended
Robin Clark Leadership Award Winner

Beth Allen, Department of Families, Fairness and Housing

Highly commended

Aileen Ashford, Kids First Australia

Robin Clark Making a Difference Award Winner

Staughton Road, MacKillop Family Services

Highly commended

HEALing Matters, Monash University

Minister’s Award for Innovation in Protecting Children Winner

Caring Dads, Kids First Australia

Highly commended

Power to Kids: Respecting Sexual Safety, MacKillop Family Services

CREATE Award Winner

Murray Geddes

Modelling a Generous Community Award Winner

Morgan Cataldo, Berry Street

Walda Blow Award Winner

Kristen Munro

Leaving a Legacy Award Winner

Luke Rumbold

Carer Award Winner

Kristine and Rick Foord, OzChild

Education Initiative Award Winner

Education First Youth Foyer – Shepparton, Berry Street

Supporting Young People in Care Award Winner

Bonnie O’Leary, Department of Families, Fairness and Housing

Highly commended

Youth Services, Child and Family Services Ballarat

Nicholas Varcoe and Kade Rzepecki, Berry Street

Chief Practitioner’s Award Winner

Sinead Grene, Department of Families, Fairness and Housing


Congratulations to all winners and finalists.

To view the full list of winners and highly commended recipients please visit the Victorian Protecting Children Awards website.  Here you can read about each of our deserving recipients.

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