Social Housing Volunteer Awards Now Open

Nominations to recognise outstanding social housing tenants in the Frances Penington and Molly Hadfield Awards are now open.

Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley today called for nominations to help recognise public and community housing tenants who have contributed to their community by working as volunteers.

The awards acknowledge tenants who work as volunteers with a community group, agency or charity or who have supported people in their local area. Last year, 30 tenants and six groups were nominated including a volunteer with more than 25 years of experience in advocating for public tenants.

Marlene McKay  received the Penington Award for her work as Secretary and occasional chair of the Park Towers Housing Tenants Association where she developed material for her neighbourhood in different languages, and trained and mentored other tenant volunteers.

The award honours the late Frances Penington, a Commissioner of the Housing Commission and the first woman appointed to the board of a statutory authority in Victoria. She was a strong advocate for public housing tenants, particularly for women living in housing estates.

The Molly Hadfield Award is named after the late Mary (Molly) Hadfield who was a founding member of the Housing for the Aged Action Group. It recognises the contribution made by public and community housing tenants in supporting older community members.

Last year, the award went to the Let’s Get Together Group, a team of volunteers that formed in 2003 when older community members identified the need for local activities and outings for elderly tenants.

For more information on how to nominate someone for these awards visit or email

Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley

 “These awards are a great opportunity to acknowledge the hard work our social housing tenants put into supporting their local communities.”

“We’re asking the social housing community to nominate tenants who put others before themselves, advocate for people of all ages and make their community a better place to live.”