2015 - Australia Day Winners

Major Award – Citizen of the Year

Lois Williams

Lois Williams has lived in Latrobe City since 1964 and has always been an active member of her community.  She has devoted her life to the advancement and well-being of other people both young and old. And even though her husband Bryan passed away earlier this year, she continues unselfishly to plan, coordinate and activate all kind of activities for older citizens of Latrobe City.

Lois stated her working life as a teacher at Moe High School in 1965 and soon became involved in other community activities and became accredited to run a Pastoral Care Program.  She followed her families’ interest in sport and be became involved with the Newborough Football Club and the Yallourn Swimming Club and lobbied to have an Indoor heated pool at Newborough. After her involvement in the Swimming club she joined the Yallourn Golf Club.  Lois is life member of the Mid Gippsland Football League, Yallourn Golf Club, and the Central Gippsland Out and About Recreational Network.

Lois also organises shipments of textbooks and educational material to needy primary schools in Vanuatu, knits woollen singlets for Aides babies in Africa and supplies premature baby wear, and beanies to the Churchill Lions Club.  She is a real jewel in the crown.

Major Award – Young Citizen of the Year

Brodie Logue

Brodie is a 15 year old student at Flinders Christian College and a member of the Latrobe City Youth Council she is a

Member of the Morwell Mine Fire Community Recovery Committee
Deputy Youth Mayor on the Latrobe City Youth council
Has raised $750 for Berry Street Morwell
Was selected to represent Victoria at the 100th Centenary of the ANZAC at Gallipoli next year
Strong Advocate for the Morwell Mine Fire Long Term Health Study.

Major Award – Community Event of the Year

Baringa School – The Friendship Games

Baringa School is now in its 7th year staging its annual soccer tournament for Special Schools from across Gippsland entitled the Friendship Games. The tournament extends the invitation across Victoria, hosting Officer Specialist and Wangaratta Special School as well as all of the Gippsland Special Schools including Bairnsdale, Sale Traralgon, Warragul, Wonthaggi, Leongatha, and of course Baringa in Moe.  Students participate in a full day tournament in 2 divisions.

The tournament has grown over the years and this year hosted over 200 students.  Regardless of ability, all students are encouraged to join in and take great delight in doing so.  By the end of the day, the students that are more abled are changing shirts, swapping teams and assisting the losing teams so that everyone experiences success.  All students are awarded medals and prizes at the end of the day with the help of generous sponsors.

This program enables students with a disability to experience success in a sporting activity feeling uninhibited and encourages fitness.  We have students from mainstream schools participate to assist us taking on roles in the opening ceremony and umpiring games, developing awareness of disability.

Major Award – Community Service of the Year

The Kelso Road Project

A group of Yallourn North residents noted that one of their friends, who had suffered multiple tragedies, was living in a home in dire need of repair.  They decided to do something about it.  Their lead inspired many to donate work-hours, others to donate money for materials and still others to donate material and services.  The result is a refurbished hours and garden that looks a million dollars.  For the owner and her family it means that treasured memories and possessions have a home with extended longevity.  Living is now so much more convenient, besides being fresh and pleasant in appearance.

The project was begun as the 2013-14 holiday period approached which meant that people were more able to give time for all the necessary construction work. The freedom, together with the number of people involved, meant that what eventuated as an almost total refurbishment was completed in weeks, not months.

At the end of the project, a need had been met.  For those involved in hands-on activity there was a wonderful feeling of camaraderie – an unprecedented unity. This project t initially focussed primarily on the needs of one household, but amazingly, enlivened the sense of community in the whole town.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Donna Faulkner

Donna Faulkner has been nominated for the success she has had in creating social inclusion for people with a disability, injury or health condition over the past 20 years.  Through this time Donna has assisted more than 1600 people into employment, helping increase disability awareness throughout Australia.  Without the work Donna has done, people with disability would not have the same opportunities as they currently do to improve their lives.

In 2001 Donna commenced a Disability Employment Service in Gippsland that would provide a reputable specialist employment service for people with a disability and become one of only 5 private providers in Australia.  Work Solutions Gippsland was founded by Donne and has grown from 3 offices with 8 staff to 10 offices with 37 staff. Work solutions Gippsland with Donna as the Owner, CEO and Director have just secured contracts in what was an extremely competitive market, until 2018.  Work Solutions Gippsland has assisted 957 people with a disability into open employment across Gippsland making a major contribution to these people’s lives

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Dr Fred Edwards

Since arriving in Australia from England in 1990, Dr Fred Edwards has devoted himself to providing affordable medical services to the people of Gippsland.  His commitment to rural Victoria has been constant for 23 years.  Dr Edwards was one of the first practitioners to open bulk billing clinics in the community, therefore making good medicine accessible to all.  Throughout his time he has worked tirelessly to not only provide good quality medicine, but also to increase the medical resources in the rural area, by mentoring non VR Doctors, registrars and students.

Dr Edwards first started work as a General Practitioner in Churchill at the Community Health Centre in 1990.  However, in 1993 he decided to open his own clinic, Hazelwood Health Centre.  Initially he was operating out of a caravan, such was his drive.  He then moved into the present premises at 9a Georgina Place, Churchill.  Dr Edwards has been involved in the expansion and setting up of many clinics in the ensuring 16 years.  Dr Edwards has been a pioneer in the health care for our region and to this day plays a significant part. 

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Lisa Sinha

Lisa Sinha is the Director of Gippsland Multicultural Services that is run by a committee of Latrobe City residents and has been assisting refugees and migrants in Latrobe City for the last 20 years.  Lisa as the head of the organisation has the strongest belief and passion in access and equity for migrants and refugees in this area and is very well respected for her proactive work in getting their voices heard, both by those she is helping and service providers with whom she collaborates.  Lisa has shown leadership in every aspect of her role and has given GMS the best reputation within the local community.

Lisa is known across Gippsland for her humanitarian work and ease with which she engages with everyone she meets.  Lisa actively advocates, supports and engages CALD communities to use their strengths and abilities to empower themes elves, create more opportunities and increase their sense of belonging in Latrobe Valley.

In more recent times during the Hazelwood Mine Fire (2014), Lisa has worked tirelessly to make sure that the CALD communities were safe, had a voice and were represented in the enquiry process.

Latrobe City Award – Citizen of the Year

Jill Williams

As at October 2014, Jill has completed a very impressive 28 years’ service with the Moe Fire Bridge.  Her service started in 1986 as a volunteer fire fighter, in 2005 she continued as a Brigade member. In 2007 she took on the role as Brigade Treasurer which she still holds, and has received her 25 year badge.

Jill was training in the ‘We Care Program’ administered by Latrobe City Council  in 2006 which   encourages personal ‘one-on-one’ friendships with the frail and elderly, including being involved in regular outings and has continued with this program till today.

In 2009 she joined Moe’s ‘Meals on Wheels’ as a committee member and still delivers regular meals.

Jill, although not in full health herself, has never let this hold her back and continues to contribute so much voluntary Serve to her community.

Latrobe City Award – Community Service of the Year

Make Moe Glow

For the past eight years or so, Make Moe Glow has been the instigator of a large number of projects designed to improve and maintain the aesthetic condition of the locality and to foster a greater sense of community pride.  During the last two years, Make Moe Glow has been the creator of at least nine significant projects in Moe with more planned and some still on-going.  Those nine are:

Indigenous Art Show at the Moe Town Hall.
The ‘Code 1’ Victoria Police Rock Band to raise funds for the local schools breakfast programmes.
Create new Moe post cards and a Ollerton Bush flora/fauna DVD
Repair and re-painting of the Moe CBD seats, which are being done by the GEST RRR Emporium, the Moe Lions Club and Moe Rotary.
Decorate the seats in front of the Moe Post Office by local artists.
Remove the Walhalla sculptures from the roundabout at the bottom of Moore Street, carry out repairs and re-panting to same, and re-install at the Moe Railway Station precinct.
Remove the Moe Railway Station precinct station master statue, have it sand blasted, powder coated and re-installed.
Re-introduce the Moe Grevillia Bronze Rambler to the town’s gardens.
Create a new Moe Visitor Guide, which was accepted by the Federation Square Visitor Centre in Melbourne.

Latrobe City Award – Community Service of the Year

The Morwell Neighbourhood House

The Morwell Neighbourhood House and Learning Centre Inc. is a vital organisation in the Latrobe Valley Community.  During 2012 and present day the House has demonstrated strong leadership within the community.  The House actively engages, support and advocates for the community.

During the 2014 Mine Fire Emergency, the Neighbourhood House became a critical partner to authorities and emergency services.  They provided innovative approaches to community building and local support with a particular focus on those more vulnerable within the community, of which there are many.

The Morwell Neighbourhood House is a grass roots organisation that has provided vital support to the community at all time, but especially around the response and recovery during the Morwell Mine Fire Emergency.  They worked on a local level to inform, support and advocate for their community through the provision of weekly information sessions.  They linked communities and authorities through a range of strategies.

Latrobe City Award – Community Event of the Year

2013 Duncan’s Run 100

This Event is a trail run in memory of runner Duncan Orr who passed away from an accident in 2013. Duncan’s dream and Goal was to use the beauty of our area at Tarra-Bulga National park to hold a 100Km trail run on the Grand Strzelecki Track, part of the iconic Strzelecki Ranges. The inaugural run was held on 21 and 22 December 2013 and was a huge success. The run is based around the tiny village of Balook and the spectacular Tarra-Bulga National Park and adjacent forestry plantations. The main event was a 100k solo run, with support events of 100k relay, 50k solo and 30k solo.

The event was organised by his wife Anna who along with family and friends of Duncan were able to put together a challenging and exciting event. The event was well supported by runners from the ultra-marathon running community whose friendly attitude made it a great day to remember Duncan and saw local, interstate and overseas competitors compete on the day.

The event was also well supported by the Grand Strzelecki Track, Friends of Tara Bulga, Balook and District Residence Association, Parks Victoria, HVP Plantations, GDF SVEZ Hazelwood, the Traralgon Harriers, the Australian Ultra Runners Association Inc. and Latrobe City Council.

Latrobe City Award – Community Event of the Year

2013 Latrobe Valley Relay for Life

In 2014, 40 teams and over 900 registered participants through the Latrobe Valley Relay for Life, raised $140,000 for Cancer Council Victoria’s cancer research, prevention and support programs.  This year will be the 12th year that the event has been held.

Our Relay for Life event is organised and run by a local volunteer committee on behalf of Cancer Council Victoria.

It is a small committee of 10 who run and promote the event for the whole year leading up to the next relay and work hard in the local community to raise awareness of cancer prevention and support.

Latrobe City Award – Community Event of the Year

German Club Astoria – Oktoberfest

The annual Club Astoria Oktoberfest has been held now for some 13 years and is seen by many as the ‘go-to’ event in the area for all ages.

The Oktoberfest showcases many aspects of German culture that has been synonymous with festivities and good cheer.  On sale to the public was a large selection of home-baked cakes and coffee, pork hocks, German sausages with sauerkraut, Aussie BBQ and of course a wide selection of German beers.  Most members wore traditional costumes which added to the cultural flavours as did the music, Austrian dances and Dutch Clog dancers.  This year in particular the Oktoberfest drew record crowds that were estimated to be over 2000 people, with Morwell CFA collecting a gold coin donation on entry for their fund-raising.

Feedback from visitors was very positive, with many enthusing about how much they had enjoyed the food, dancing, music and atmosphere.

Club Astoria is proud of its record of staging a safe (trouble-free) event that caters to the broad community promoting multi-cultural harmony while having a fun-filled time within German culture and tradition.  The event has certainly been embraced and supported by the Gippsland community with visitors attending from Melbourne and across Gippsland.

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