2013 - Australia Day Winners

Major Award – Citizen of the Year

Allan Vickery

Allan Vickery has worked tirelessly for the community for many years in a wide variety of ways.  In recent years, as a senior member of the Traralgon Lions Club, Allan has been instrumental in transforming the Victory Park, Newman Park and Doorty Park precinct from a public space with potential, to a vibrant area with public facilities admired by all.

Through his lobbying, and in partnership with Latrobe City, the park area now contains a Sound Shell, Access for All Playground, barbecue facilities and native shrubs and trees.

When the Farmers’ Market moved to Traralgon, Allan believed the Lions Club could run the market ensuring all profits were returned to the benefit of the local community.  His enthusiasm and dedication has seen the market double in size, making it a true regional attraction and City asset.

He has also been the driving force behind one of the City’s main community events in the annual Carols by Candlelight and has helped it develop into a major regional event.

Allan is always on the lookout for ways to help and truly has his local community at heart.

Major Award – Young Citizen of the Year

Crystal Bertoli

Crystal is a young Aboriginal woman who has overcome many obstacles in her life to become a very effective and highly valued member of our College community. She is a past student of Kurnai College and has gone on to work with the College in many different capacities and has recently been promoted to the role of Koorie Engagement Support Officer in Gippsland. Crystal is a wonderful role model for our Koorie students and also the wider Koorie community.

In her role at the school she has assisted students to become more culturally aware and has taken on such tasks as driving the Dedlee Kultya Dancers - delivery of the living Koorie culture through dance. She has worked effectively in our school and local community to ‘close the gap’ and provide opportunity for Koorie students to do their best and find pathways for their future.

Crystal works effectively because she is culturally aware and respectful and has strong links with the Aboriginal community. She highly values education and demonstrates this through her keenness to learn and her tertiary studies.

Crystal has consistently presented herself in an extremely professional manner and always approaches her duties with great diligence and care. She shows real consideration towards others in all her undertakings. Crystal is a most capable and courteous person who can be relied upon to apply her considerable initiative effectively in all situations. She is an integral part of our school community and deserves to be recognised for her contribution to Aboriginal advancement in our community.

Major Award – Community Event of the Year (Co-winner)

2012 Moe Music Festival

On the 5 and 6 May 2012 the Moe Music Festival, which has been extended to two days with an evening event included at the Moe RSL, was held at Old Gippstown Heritage Park.

It showcased local and visiting brass bands on the Saturday as well as jazz, blues, folk, acoustic and country music on the Sunday in front of appreciative audiences at various historical venues throughout the park.  The Moe Traders Association added their support for the Moe Music Festival by holding the Moe Schools Super Star talent quest final for young primary and secondary students.  Four finalists, two junior and two senior, performed on stage on the Sunday in front of Music Festival Committee Judges before being awarded their well earned prizes.

A Gala Dance was also held in the Moe RSL on Saturday night in the function room featuring the Alan Clark Gippsland Swing Combo.

On the Saturday a raffle was held and drawn, which had a local photographer’s framed picture donated by ‘Furniture, Beds and More’ as first prize and two food hampers, whose contents were sourced entirely from Old Gippstown, as second and third prizes.

Major Award – Community Service of the Year

Lions Club of Traralgon

Traralgon Lions Club has been servicing the Traralgon community for 46 years and is widely respected and recognised within the City and the region.  In the last 12 months, the club has organised its annual senior citizen’s Christmas party entertaining over 200 local seniors.  The club also organised Carols by Candlelight which entertained over 5000 regional visitors and organises and maintains the monthly Traralgon Farmers’ Market which attracts over 40 stall holders and hundreds of visitors to the town every month.

Members continue to support those affected by the Black Saturday bushfires, and contribute strongly towards community projects.  Tree planting in Doorty Park, financial support for palliative care and the Traralgon Special Development School are some of the more recent activities of the club.

The members and the club are well recognised in the City appearing regularly to support various charitable causes such as the Latrobe City Eisteddfod, the Big Red Bus Appeal, Camp Quality and recently purchased a defibrillator for the Traralgon Golf Club

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Joan Black

Joan is a true ‘quiet achiever’ who sees a need and springs into action.  She is a very active member of St Vincent’s Parish and the Catholic Women’s League.  But there are also numerous other projects and annual events that Joan also actively promotes and fundraises for such as Pink Ribbon Day, assisting the Knights of the Southern Cross.

Then there are the frequent kindnesses that Joan does, such as cooking meals for families in need, cleaning the Sacred Heart Church; knitting blankets for the needy overseas. Joan instigated the school and parishes of Morwell and Churchill to knit squares to become blankets for the ‘Born to Knit’ program.  She was a major organiser of fundraising to build a school in a village in Nigeria – raising $10,000.

For many years she (along with her friend Pam) made hundreds of gifts for Mother’s and Father’s Day stalls for the children of St Vincent’s and Lumen Christi Churchill.

A great organiser with a HUGE heart of gold – one of the most generous people you would ever meet.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Keith Chenhall

Keith Chenhall is Foundation Member, Past President and Life Member of the Traralgon Apex Club formed in 1949. He is also Vestry Member of the St James Anglican Parish for forty plus years and Delegate to the Synod of the Anglican Church in Gippsland.

As a member of Traralgon Chamber of Commerce he conceived the idea of, and campaigned tirelessly for, the establishment of the off street car park in Seymour Street, Traralgon.

Keith has also been a member of the Traralgon Cemetery Trust for thirty years.  He is a past Chairman, and was the prime mover and to have the Gippsland Crematorium established.

Has provided annual financial assistance to the Latrobe Valley Eisteddfod, since its inception and in 2002 he created the Keith Chenhall Charitable Foundation. Each year the foundation has made disbursements to a variety of community organisations totalling $196,000 to date.

In 2002 he was awarded the Traralgon Rotary Clubs’ Community Service Award and in 2011 his service to the community was also recognised by the Lions Club of Traralgon with a Community Service Presentation.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Garry Hammer

Garry has made an outstanding contribution to his local community by playing leadership roles at local, regional and state levels.  One of Garry’s passions lies in building inclusive communities where all people are included, welcomed and valued.  Garry has been a tireless advocate in advancing the access and inclusion of people with a disability through his involvement in community building and policy development.  Having a disability himself, Garry believes that sustainable social change is bought about by encouraging and supporting other people with a disability to develop their leadership skills and take up positions on boards and committees to influence community planning.

Another of Garry’s areas of interest is environmental sustainability.  Garry has spent many years farming in Gippsland and has first hand knowledge and experience of the importance of protecting our natural assets and resources.  A diploma in Natural Resource management gave Garry a theoretical basis for his work in environmental sustainability which he has put into practice through his involvement on various committees and task forces.

Garry was a foundation member of the Gippsland Linking Local Action Network and filled the position of Chairperson for approximately nine years.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Cynthia Rawlings

Cynthia, every year, helps organise Relay for Life in Latrobe Valley and takes part herself in walking the laps of the oval.

For Daffodil Day she raised $6000 with her efforts and she organised the Biggest Morning Tea as well

Cynthia has spent over 19 years serving her community fund raising for Cancer Council.  She is very dedicated to this great cause.  She is a true advocate for Victoria’s Cancer Council.

She is an ideal role model for those who need inspiration.  Because even after two hip replacements she is still and active member of her community and proud of what she achieved through her efforts with fighting for cancer.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Greg Samson

Greg moved to Traralgon with his family in January 1974 where he joined the 1st Traralgon Scout Group as a leader in the Scout section. He also joined the Training team to train new leaders in the Region, and then in 1980 he became District Commissioner in the Traralgon District.  He held this position until the amalgamation of the Traralgon and Strzelecki Districts in 1995.

With the formation of the new regions Greg joined the Region Staff and is the Assistant Region Commissioner for Development in Eastern Region and is still very involved today. In 2011 he received a 50 year service to Scouting award.

He is also very involved in the community and gives many hours of service in the Traralgon Uniting Church. Greg is and Elder and Church Councillor, has been secretary and chairperson many times since 1974 and is the secretary of the Church Council at this time. He is also on lots of other committees that assist the work of the local and the wider Church.

Greg is a member of the Rotary Club of Latrobe Central and helps where needed especially with many B.B.Q’s at Bunnings.

He loves living in Latrobe City and is happy to continue volunteering his services for as long as he is able.  Greg is a tireless worker and gives 100 per cent to all activities he is involved in so is a very worthy recipient of this award.

Latrobe City Award – Young Citizen of the Year

Jade Carpenter

Jade has a wonderful talent and a beautiful nature and loves to do whatever she can for her community, wanting nothing in return.

Jade was involved with the Moe Schools Superstar event. Jade has sung at nursing homes, entertaining the elderly.  She has sung the National Anthem at the Special Olympics for the past three years.  She has sung for Christmas in July at the Ladies Legacy twice.  She has also sung at Christmas Carols at many places and many more things.

Jade has been involved in school musicals and even sung at her teacher’s wedding.  She was in the play ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ performed by the Latrobe Theatre Company.  She has also sung at the Moe Senior Citizens on several occasions.

Latrobe City Award – Young Citizen of the Year

Lauren Hood

Lauren has actively been fundraising for the Tyers CFA Brigade since the 2009 Bush Fires, personally raising over $600. Now 12 years old, Lauren was only 10 years of age when she presented the Tyers Fire Brigade with her first fundraising cheque.

Her fundraising has consisted of selling eggs, making truffles and tin rattling with her family and friends.

Lauren is also the vice president of the Traralgon Grey Street Primary School.

Lauren has grown up in Tyers on a rural property.  She and her family have been threatened by the Moondarra, Coopers Creek and the 2009 Bush Fires.  The Tyers Fire Brigade put out a request to Tyers residents for donations to allow us to buy extra firefighting equipment and Lauren took this request to heart and she has been fund raising for the past three years.

Latrobe City Award – Community Event of the Year

Gippsland Antique & Collectables Fair

This event has always been outstanding with greater involvement from sponsors and the broader community each year. It’s been fantastic to be able to pull together organisational, business and overwhelming community support to make this annual event the success it is and each year promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Our contribution to the community comes in many shapes and forms. It provides an opportunity for like-minded people of all ages and backgrounds to meet together over the weekend to discuss and share stories about their collectables like one big show and tell. It is accessible to all sectors of the community.

It is informative and educational with our experts knowing their own fields well and we invite historical societies to join with us in this education process of historical things of significance.

The popularity of the fair encourages and draws many to travel long distances to attend, some staying for the whole weekend. All planning and pre-event work is done on a voluntary basis by the co-coordinator, committee and various club members to put together a professional event looking to cater to the needs of everyone in the community and maximise community attendance and involvement.  It also provides the opportunity to pick up that something special people have been seeking

Latrobe City Award – Community Event of the Year

2012 Gippsland Multicultural Festival

The Gippsland Multicultural Festival is a unique annual three day festival that

occurred in March 2012.  The Youth Multicultural Festival with the theme of “Bridging the Multicultural Generation Gap” showcased talent from school children from across Gippsland as well as enthusiastic students in research and education, by generating interest in their heritage, foreign languages and contemporary society. The Long Table Lunch which also formed part of the Gippsland Food and Wine Festival, served ethnic cuisine using local produce from the region. On the third day, the Multicultural celebrations occurred in Immigration Park with ethnic performers, food stalls, displays, activities and a ceremony for unveiling new names on the wall.

This year, the Minister of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Hon Nicholas

Kotsiras attended the Sunday event in Immigration Park to launch the first regional Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY).

This community celebration of Multiculturalism was possible through the work of the Gippsland Ethnic Communities’ Council (GECC) in partnership and cooperation with a number of organisations including the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and GippsTAFE. The generous contribution and support from many local businesses and organisations have made this three-day multicultural celebration a success.

Latrobe City Award – Community Event of the Year

2012 Moe Schools Superstar Event – Moe Traders

The Moe Traders wanted to invigorate the township of Moe by creating a showcase event in the town that encompassed the whole community. The Moe Schools Superstar event was created to be held in the centre of the CBD and involved nearly every local school, community services and most community groups.

It was an event that gave children the chance to showcase their wonderful singing talent, community groups to be on display and involved on the day and the general public to come, relax and enjoy a day of free entertainment.

The event brought the town together, and gave the opportunity for all the Moe groups to work together. The event was enjoyed by all ages and attracted a crowd of between 2500 and 3000 people. It was inspiring to see all the groups working together with the support and backing from council and local businesses, which made our dream of an event that would be embraced by the town and put Moe on the map, come to fruition.

Because of the success of the event, and the support from within the whole Moe community, preparations are already in place to make this an annual iconic event for Moe.

Latrobe City Award – Community Service of the Year

Jon and Maree Hall

Maree Hall (Miller) and Jon Hall have lived in Moe all of their 60 something years and both are truly passionate Moe people. Over the years both Maree and Jon have been heavily involved in community groups and their own voluntary work in Moe.

Maree’s late father Lenny Miller played for St Kilda Football Club and subsequently played and coached the Moe Football Club. Following in her father’s foot steps Maree has been involved in local sport in particular tennis which she played at the highest regional level.  Jon has been involved in many community groups such as Moe CFA and is a keen gardener who volunteers at the Moe RSL maintaining the garden beds around the venue.

For the past 15 years Maree and Jon have carried out their own voluntary work. Every Sunday morning for at least two hours, Maree and Jon have cleaned up litter from around Moe Railway Station, Lloyd St down to Gippsland Heritage Park and along Saviges Rd. Their significant efforts over the years have ensured that the areas that they attend to are litter free and looking good from week to week which demonstrates their passion for the town. I am sure their efforts contributed greatly towards Moe winning the 2007 Tidy Towns Award.  Maree and Jon have never sough recognition or compensation for their thankless efforts which over the years equates to 2700 combined hours of voluntary community work, which is a conservative estimate. It is also important to note that they don’t look like stopping for some time yet.

Latrobe City Award – Community Service of the Year

Rev Abraham Maluk

Abraham Maluk arrived in the Latrobe Valley six years ago after having spent 17 years in a refugee camp at Kakuma, Kenya. It was here he studied theology which influenced his future. When he arrived in Australia he attended language sessions to gain a better command of English.

He then completed a degree in Community and Social Welfare and a Masters degree in International Relations at Monash University.

Abraham is the Priest in Charge for the Anglican Diocese church in Moe for the Sudanese community. He is held in very high regard by them, always providing assistance and advice to those who are in real need, especially to those who cannot understand systems and processes.

Abraham has been employed as a teacher’s aide to the Language School based at the Liddiard Road Primary School Traralgon; visited schools as part of a Community Awareness Program which involves telling others of the refugee experience and difficulties new arrivals face when coming to new country, given talks to a number of service clubs and is respect by the wider community.

Abraham was recently chosen to be a member of the first Gippsland Regional Multicultural Advisory Board. 

He must also be commended for not forgetting his people back in Sudan and particularly his efforts in setting up the Bor Orphanage & Community Education Project. He has enlisted many Gippslanders to assist this project.

Latrobe City Award – Community Service of the Year

Janice and Ted Timmins

Janice and Ted Timmins through their annual Art Exhibition Fundraising venture at the Kath Teychenne Centre in Traralgon, 2011 ‘Parade of Treasures’ and for many years previously have raised thousands of dollars for the Latrobe Regional Hospital, Special Care Nursery Thomson Ward.

The funds are raised in memory of Janice and Ted’s son John who died aged 13 of meningitis over 20 years ago.  Janice also brings the joy of making art to hundreds of adults and children of our municipality and further afield in Gippsland through provision of art classes.

Latrobe City Award – Community Service of the Year

Brenda White

Brenda is a local nurse at Latrobe Regional Hospital who is well known for her kindness and generosity not only at work, but in her life in general.  She is a mother of two teenagers with a supportive husband, but still has time for others, willing to help at a ‘drop of a hat’. She is very loyal, caring and loving.

Brenda has a special way of making people feel valued, accepted and loved, especially when you are at your darkest time.

She is proud of her Canadian heritage, always willing to share this culture, like cooking Canadian pancakes at her kid’s school.  She is equally proud of becoming an Australian Citizen and her new homeland of seven years.

A Christian, Brenda is a trained volunteer with Access Ministries and enjoys teaching  Christian Religious Education or “RE” to Grades 3 & 4 at Grey Street Primary School as well as co-ordinating the RE team at Kosiuszko Street Primary School.

What makes Brenda so special is how generous of nature she is, offering a supporting role for those in need.

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