2011 - Australia Day Winners

Major Award – Citizen of the Year

(Ollie) Ulrich Dobratz

Ollie has worked selflessly and devotedly to preserving local history since arriving in the Latrobe Valley from Germany.  He one of the founding members of the Moe Folk Museum (Old Gippstown) and is still mentoring young people there in restoring irreplaceable artefacts. His years of tireless labour have enabled our historical past to be appreciated by future generations. His modest demure and lack of desire for acknowledgement hake him an outstanding and remarkable citizen.

Major Award – Young Citizen of the Year

Olivia Blackwood

It all started in May 2007, Olivia was 15 years old, she started Interchange.  This is a program developed for children aged between 13 to 17. The children all have a disability ranging from moderate to mild.  Once a month Liv took the children on organised outing, then every three months they would have an organised overnight camp.  Liv had to complete a certificate of competence to assist with Interchange.  In 2008, at the age of 16, she was asked to assist with T.V. camps. This camps was also a port of Interchange although this time working with young adults, 18 to 21 year olds, also with disabilities.  These camps were run over Liv’s school holidays, running from 3 to 4 nights.

In 2009, whilst working part time at Safeway and referring at Traralgon Basketball Stadium, she manager to pass her Ausland level one course.  This was to further assist with people with disabilities. Olivia attended two diversity camps for children with disabilities, run by lady Somers Camps.

October this year Liv attended the VSK (Very Special Kids) camp. These camps are to help families with terminally ill children, some in the grieving process after loosing a child.  She has applied for the next camp held in February 2011.

Major Award – Community Event of the Year

100 Years of Steam – Make Moe Glow

Bought 250 Melbourne visitors to Moe
Total of 1200 people attended the event
33 community groups participated in the event
Gave community groups an opportunity to promote their organisation to a large audience
Ambassadors on the steam train provided information about Moe to the visitors
Monetary value of the event to the municipalities was around $50,000
The marketing by Steam Rail Victoria to their members and railway station throughout the metropolitan are provided Moe with a unique tourism promotion opportunity
The event has shown how orgnisation and business with volunteers covering the manipulates of Latrobe Council and Baw Baw Shire can work together in achieving an outcome that benefits the whole region
200 plus local inhabitants travelled to Traralgon by the steam train which benefited the local economy as well as giving some passengers their first experience of a steam train
The event was promoted not only locally but throughout Victoria and interstate

Major Award - Community Service of the Year

The Morwell Rotary Club

The Morwell Rotary Club is made up of men and women across all professions and vocations, committed to Rotary’s ethos of ‘Service Above Self’. Rotarians are active in raising funds and supporting projects involving health, education and the development of young people in their neighbourhood.  Through activities, responsibilities and opportunity, rotary promotes growth in social skills, public speaking, leaderships and motivation.

Members of Morwell Rotary Club give freely of their time to help local people in need, and to raise money for worthwhile projects like Gippsland Rotary Centenary house, which is an initiative of the Latrobe Group of Rotary Clubs, this facility houses Gippsland patients and families who are attending the new Gippsland Cancer Care Centre located at Latrobe Regional Hospital who would normally need to travel unreasonable distance to be with their loved ones.

The ‘Shine on Awards’ recognise outstanding service to our local and wider communities, certificates of commendation and award trophies can be for any field of endeavour.  These are just two examples of some of our activities. (more examples on nomination form)

Latrobe City Award  - Citizen of the Year

Henry Parniak

Henry has been involved with the Churchill Neighbourhood Centre since 2002 firstly on the committee as Vic President and now Coordinator.   Taking up the coordinator role during a period of flux he steered us to a position where we now have financial stability, positive growth and a bright future.  The pathway hasn’t always been easy but with Henty’s integrity and focus our position within the community has been heightened and consolidated.  Along with his honest and commitment we now have a wonderful “home” in the HUB and we have no reservation about his ability to create within out Centre a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that epitomizes what Neighbourhood Centres’ are all about.

His community mindedness is reflective in the development of the “Men’s Shed’/Community workshop that provides the participants the opportunity for developing friendships and working relationships in a ‘fun’ atmosphere.  Henry always adopts a positive role and his ability to connect with Centre participants and the wider community leave us without any hesitation in nominations Henry for Citizen of the Year.

Latrobe City Award - Citizen of the Year

Roger Reis

Roger Ries has, for almost 30 years, served his community as a volunteer treasurer; and worker. The committee is the management committee under the Crown Lands (Reserve) Act 1978, responsible for the Recreation Reserve (comprising Golf Club, Tennis Courts, Skate park, Cricket Club, Playgroup, Equestrian Centre, Village Green, Federation Grandstand, Bicycle track and playground. Administration of the tens of thousands of dollars each year and accountability to the Minister has been Roger’s responsibility. Additionally, Roger is the key liaison person for which most community consultation occurs that fall under our management along with the broader community as well.

As a result of the significant work that Roger has committed to over the years, Toongabbie’s vast recreational area, with improved facilities, is well placed now, and into the future, to successfully serve the community of Toongabbie in supporting our affiliated clubs to maintain and attract new members with improved lifestyle options for full family participation and involvement.

Latrobe City Award - Community Event of the Year

2010 Gumleaf Quilters Quilt and Craft Exhibitions

Dear Diary - Today I attended our Churchill Neighbourhood Centres Gumleaf Quilters and Craft Exhibition.  It was advertised through local newspapers, radio stations, flyers and banners. Local sponsors were sought and enlisted-local community groups engaged-anyone who paints, stitches, knits or sews were encouraged to use this forum to display their work.

Entering Monash Unit Auditorium (a venue that you may never have had the opportunity to visit) a view of wonderful quilts and craft was beautifully displayed. A throng of visitors from local and outlying areas viewed and conversed about the venue, the displays, and the whole experience.

The Quilts were well complimented by wooden stands constructed by the ‘Men’s Shed’, while the stage afforded a perfect setting for decorative art, bears, bags and embroideries.  People lingered at the working displays put on by local community groups – intricate lace making, stunning china painting, not forgetting the Embroiders Guild and C.W.A.  We watched local artists create felt and sculptures.

Over Devonshire tea I cast my votes for my favourite items as prizes for each section had been generously donated by local groups and businesses.

The opportunity afforded local people to display the quality and diversity of their work along with the number of visitors and the continued support by community groups and businesses made this an outstanding event and a credit to our community.  I enjoyed the day immensely as did everyone who attended.  Thank you to the Gumleaf Quilters for their brilliance in organising this wonderful event. Signed - Jackie McLure.

Latrobe City Award - Community Service of the Year

Bocce Committee – Italian Australian Sporting and Social Club of Gippsland

The reason for nomination of the Bocce Committee is for providing a community service to Latrobe City residents through participation in the Italian Australian Club’s renowned Bocce Centre.  The sport of Bocce is a passive sporting recreation which provided fitness and health to the entire community.

Organisation and management f the Bocce Centre rests with the Club’s voluntary Bocce Committee who have worked tirelessly over many years running programs for a number of user groups.  These groups included Club members, both senior and junior, local service clubs, i.e. Lions, Rotary and Apex groups, both secondary and primary school groups, intellectually disabled and handicapped groups, elderly citizen associations, other sports club, i.e. lawn bowls, and corporate hospitality days for large and small industry groups.

The game of Bocce is considered an alternative sporting recreation to the more traditional mainstream sports.  The club is in gratitude of the Bocce Committee’s outstanding efforts and achievements over the years in promotion this traditional game to the entire community of Latrobe City and surrounds as a low cost alternative to participate in a sporting recreation or endeavour for the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our community.

Latrobe City Award - Community Service of the Year

Gippsland Ethnic Communities Council (GECC)

The Gippsland Ethnic Communities’ Council (GEC) is a non –profit organisation run entirely by volunteers.

The aims of the organising are to promote harmony and understanding of ethnic groups; assist ethnic individuals achieve their potential, assist and advice elderly ethnic persons and advocate for the disadvantaged.  Consequently, the organisation runs the Gippsland Multicultural Festival which won the Australia Day Award in 2009, organised a Pre-Parliament of World Religions event in Morwell, International Food Festival at Old Gippstown and support other ethnic festivals and events in Latrobe City.

Individual members, many who are retired, are sill active participants in the community and contribute to communities and respond to community consultations for the betterment of our society.

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