For the past 15 years YMCA Victoria has helped the Father’s Day Council search far and wide for the state’s top dad and father figure to name them the Victorian Father of the Year. The award celebrates the important role dads and father figures have in the lives of young people and their communities.

Over this time the two organisations became so symbiotic and mutually reliant that the board decided to merge the organisations in late 2020 to be within the YMCA umbrella. The Father’s Day Council is now a voluntary advisory committee within the Y, with all committee members still involved in the award process.


Over the past 15 years, the Father’s Day Council and YMCA Victoria have been working together to champion ordinary dads with extraordinary stories. It’s been great collaborating with them over the years to elevate all the amazing father figures in Victoria based purely on impact and values rather than education, privilege and status. We can’t wait to see how the award evolves in the future.” Barry Novy, Chairperson of the Father’s Day Committee.


In 2020 Stephen Curran was unanimously chosen for this prestigious award by YMCA Victoria in association with The Father’s Day Council of Victoria.

In a step towards evolution, the 2021 award wanted to recognise the amazing work that traditional and non-traditional fathers do to support young people. We also wanted to acknowledge that DNA alone doesn’t make a dad and that you can have no children yet still be a father figure.

We really emphasised the concept of a father figure in all of our promotional materials and actively encouraged nominations of partners, community leaders, relatives, role models, non-biological and biological fathers.

As a result of this campaign, we received 74 nominations from a diverse range of categories and 44.6% of them were for father figures of non-traditional families (blended, broken, widowed, adopted etc).


We hope this shift in perspective invited more nominations from young people across Victoria who previously didn’t think the deserving father figure in their life was eligible. We want to acknowledge and celebrate all the father figures who believe in, support and inspire young people in their own unique way.” Carolyn Morris, YMCA Victoria and Kingswim CEO and Father’s Day Committee Member. 


We were delighted to announce that Sam Chew was named the 2021 Victorian Father of the Year.

Victorian Father of the Year 2021

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