2002 - Australia Day Winners

Major Award – Citizen of the Year

Bon & Ollie Thompson

Ollie and Bon have been involved in the conservation of the natural environment of Latrobe City and the surrounding region, by, in particular, on-going voluntary work over at least forty years to record the native flora and fauna, and to advocate its protection with great effect.

In 1985 the late Jean Galbraith wrote, in reference to Bon and Ollie Thompson:

“It is largely through their work that our club (LVFNC) has a reputation for well-researched, well balanced submissions which are listened to by the Land conservation Council” (and, one might add, many other bodies since).

Other significant contributions and achievements:


Contributions to records of the Flora of Victoria through submission of plant material and sightings to professional botanists at the state herbarium and the universities.
Compilation of plant records for the Latrobe region held by DNRE
LVFNC Conservation Coordinator for approximately thirty years from the mid 1960’s to the mid 1990’s


Compilation of photographic records of the flora of this region, many of which are included in the VIRIDANS database
Provision of many of the photographs for the notable publication: Galbraith, Jean, Collins Field Guide to Wildflowers of South-eastern Australia.
Foundation member of the Committee of Management of Wirilda Park for many years (and of other similar organizations)
Member of Central Gippsland Forest Management Area Advisory Committee for many years
LVFNC members from early 1960’s and life members ( a rarely awarded honour) since March 1993.

Major Award – Young Citizen of the Year

Alice Hughes

Alice is being nominated due to her significant contributions to the community in a professional and voluntary capacity.  Alice is an administration officer at the Morwell Aboriginal Co-op.  In this role Alice directs the community to service and provides advice and information as requested.

On a voluntary basis, Alice is actively involved with the Koorie Youth Group, sporting activities and community functions.  Alice was responsible for creating a Koorie Netball Team and Cricket Team.  Alice is also actively involved with groups attending conferences voicing her concerns for people on issues such as Native Title, youth, Domestic Violence and the Stolen Generation.

Major Award – Community Event of the Year


The Federation Parade held on Sunday 1 April 2001.    Whilst the group nominated is Advance Morwell Inc., the credit for the outstanding success of this event must go to Maria Harkins who developed the concept, wrote the submission to the Victorian Government.  The event was an outstanding success because:

The aim of this celebration was to seize the opportunity the Centenary of Federation presented to galvanise local organisations, schools, businesses, clubs and individuals to research their background, and come together to celebrate more than 100 years of achievement.
Planning began in April 2000 and concluded with the publication of the video in November 2001.
The main features of the event were:

The Centenary of Federation Historical Street Parade through the streets of Morwell on 1 April 2001; over 100 floats within Latrobe and other areas; attended by a crowd estimated at close to 10,000.
Federation Play for Schools;  A federation play by a local playwright has been distributed to all schools in the Gippsland area.  The aim to provide a basis for students to study Australia’s history through drama.
Prominent Placement of a Federation Stone; this has been placed at an appropriate spot in Tarwin Street, Morwell to commemorate the celebration of the Centenary of Federation in our area;
Video of Centenary of Federation Street Parade; A professionally prepared visual record of the Parade together with accompanying booklet has been produced and is now on sale to the public.  (Has been given to all the schools in the Latrobe City).
The concept and its presentation was supported by a grant of $25,000 from the Victorian Government and the event received outstanding support from the media, Latrobe City, service clubs, industry and individuals.  The sense of pride, community, and general well being generated before, during and after the Parade has been uplifting with the work of the Celebration continuing on.  This was a Latrobe wide celebration, emphasising our city’s links.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Margo Whelan

Margo was nominated for this award for her voluntary capacity to help others and provide friendship to those who are needy.  Margo assists all people from our diverse community who may be ill, elderly and frail, lonely, disabled, grieving, suffering or traumatised.  She offers her kindness and ongoing support and on many occasions offering people her beautiful cooking.  A mother of 6 and a grandmother of 10, she herself is a very busy person.

Margo's involvements include:

Supporting local churches,
Donating her cooking to Charitable Cake Stalls,
Assisting Red Cross,
Supporting the Church of England and the Elderly Day Care Centre
Supporting community organisations such as Rotary, and;
Margo has been an active member and support volunteer for Red Cross for over 20 years

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Gwyn Schnabl

Gwyn has been nominated for her contribution to the community in supporting clients and their families who suffer with Epilepsy.  Gwyn is the only worker for the region and has served the community for 13 years.  Gwyn is a very caring person who is known to spend many personal hours to assist people in need.

Gwyn involvements include:

Lowanna School Chaplaincy where she encourages the need to look at the needs of individual students. 
Epilepsy Foundation Victoria,
Headway Trafalgar,
Youth Network Inc.,
Anglican Church,
Lowanna Secondary College,
Early Intervention DHS,
Many disability organisations and numerous other networks. 
Gwyn is a sole worker for a vast rural area who relies heavily on volunteer assistance and can be commended for her wonderful support and care of her volunteers.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Rex Daly

Rex has been nominated for his contribution in strengthening and developing the Moe community.

Rex in his capacity as President of the Moe RSL has;

Raised funds, and rebuilt the RSL Club, and its recently opened new premises have provided a first class and much needed recreational facility for the town.
Mr Daly made, in conjunction with the City Council, had an area of vacant land close to the centre of town, set aside for the creation of a residential village for frail and elderly war veterans and Legacy widows, Today the attractive RSL Village on Anzac Avenue Moe is home to many elderly citizens.
Coordinated the Annual Anzac Day Street parade and service, and the Remembrance Day service which Mr Daly has developed in the centre of the town. From small beginnings the Anzac Day service has built up, under Mr Daly's enthusiastic guidance, to an major annual event in Moe,
Mr Daly is a person dedicated to the welfare of the city of Moe and merits the public recognition which comes from a civic award.

Mr Daly is unable to make today’s proceedings, Mayor Cr. Brendan Jenkins accepts this award on his behalf.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Beverly McIntosh

Beverly has been nominated for providing an outstanding 34 years of service to the Library users of the Latrobe Valley, which also includes the mobile library service.  Over the last 20 years, Beverly has established a reputation as an expert quarter horse breeder and recently established a Charolais Stud.  Beverly is a member of the A.I. Association as well as the Charolais Cattle Association.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Helen Johnson

Helen has been nominated for her contribution to the community in support and advocacy to families of children with special needs.   Employed at Kiama Kindergarten Early Intervention Program as the Coordinator Helen also voluntarily contributes to other services such as;

Organising respite for families,
Arranging transport assistance for families and
Applying for sponsorship and donations. 
Helens other involvements and achievements include;

Organising a donation of a shed for a local family,
Assisting with car maintenance and arranging respite evenings. 
Helen has also arranged grief workshops and behaviour management workshops on a yearly basis. 
Negotiating with local support service to arrange for children to receive private therapy.  This result has had a significant impact on the progress and development of many young children. 
Zone Leader for the Neighbourhood House,
Member of School Council (Traralgon Special Developmental School),
Vic President School Council (St. Gabriel's),
Fundraising Committee Blundell Hall pre-school,
Secretary - Advisory Committee Kiama Kindergarten,
Treasurer Maryvale Fire brigade (8 years) and
Gippsland Carers Association. 
Helen is a mother of two beautiful boys, Jayden is 11 years old and Ben who is 8 was born with a severe and rare disability.  Helen has made a firm commitment to ensure that services to children with special needs are adequate and that the local community is supportive in the inclusion of these children.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Annette O’Dowd

Annette is nominated for contributions to the community in providing and serving the poor and the disadvantaged in Moe/Newborough and Districts.

Annette’s contributions and involvements include:

Co-ordination and preparation of food, drink and soup, serving to the community in the privacy of their own homes (reaching 150-200 people each week). 
Annette is ready to listen when people need her support. She and her husband ministered in “Marriage Encounter” – empowerment for married couples and also ministered to the youth through Antioch.  . 
She has supported local school tuckshops & fetes and has supported her husband and children in the music ministry at St. Mary’s. 
For many years, Annette visited the sick and elderly as a Eucharistic Minister. 
Annette is also a member of the Newborough Netball Club
Annette is also a diabetic dependent on insulin and likes to help others who suffer.  Annette herself has also overcome major cancer.

Latrobe City Award – Young Citizen of the Year

Clare Crozier

Claire is being nominated for this award for her tireless effort in representing many issues on behalf of other young people.

Claire runs the Celebrate Youth Project at Latrobe City Council, and through her supporting young people through difficult times particularly teenage mothers, she is able to assist them with issues such as education, parenting and how to cope with being a mother.

Latrobe City Award – Young Citizen of the Year

Kiah Salmon

Kiah is being nominated for her contribution to the community in a voluntary capacity.  Being only 12 years of age, Kiah is a highly talented Radio Announcer on the “Koorie Air” radio program, 104.7FM every Wednesday.  This radio program is presented by students at Woolum Bellum KODE School Kurnai College in Morwell.  The program aims to foster change in the community, in which Kiah plays a keen part.  Kiah was also one of the winning co-designers of a fridge magnet that was distributed amongst the community, and which bears the message “Brushing Twice A Day Keeps The Plaque Away to Prevent Tooth Decay”.  This was part of a school wide competition sponsored by Latrobe Community Health.

Kiah is a past member of the Woolum Bellum, KODE School, Kurnai College Federation Dance Group, that represented the local community in the “Celebration of Federation” parade in Melbourne in May this year, in “The Future” section.  Kiah was also the winner in the “Best Indigenous Programmer” section of the Gippsland FM Awards for 2001.

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