Australia Day Award Winners 2020

The winners of the 2020 Australia Day awards were announced at ceremonies across Greater Shepparton today.

Allan Shields was announced as the overall Greater Shepparton Citizen of the Year, with Stephanie Hicks named Greater Shepparton Young Citizen of the Year and the Rock on Murchison, 50th Anniversary of the Murchison Meteorite, winning the Greater Shepparton Community Event of the Year.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Seema Abdullah congratulated all award recipients and acknowledged the outstanding contributions they have made to Greater Shepparton.

“We have many individuals in our region who continue to make Greater Shepparton proud, and it was fantastic to be able to honour them in the way of an Australia Day award,” Cr Abdullah said.

"Thank you to those who took the time to submit a nomination to recognise their fellow citizens, it is fantastic to see both individuals and groups doing great things for their community and it is important that we recognise and celebrate them.”

Awards were presented in Arcadia, Shepparton, Dookie, Mooroopna, Murchison, Tatura and Toolamba and the Greater Shepparton Citizen, Young Citizen and Community Event of the Year were chosen from these regional winners.

See below a list of all award winners from the day, as well as individual profiles on each recipient.

Winners

Overall Greater Shepparton

Recipient

Citizen of the Year

Allan Shields

Community Event of the Year

Rock on Murchison, 50th Anniversary of the Murchison Meteorite

Young Citizen of the Year

Stephanie Hicks

Shepparton

Recipient

Citizen of the Year

Wade Gregory

Community Event of the Year

Shepparton Carols by Candlelight

Young Citizen of the Year

Thomas Saxton

Senior Citizen of the Year

Stan Jezewski

Sports Award

Samuel Brown

Mooroopna

Recipient

Citizen of the Year

Leonard Balfour

Dookie

Recipient

Citizen of the Year

Allan Shields

Young Citizen of the Year

Tim Doornkamp

Community Event of the Year

Children's Hospital Appeal / Dookie Lions Club

Senior Citizen of the Year

Roderick Harmer (awarded posthumously)

Sports Award

Brendan Medows

Toolamba

Recipients

Citizen of the Year

Young Citizen of the Year

Pat Patt

Reeve Evans

Community Event of the Year

Toolamba Lions Club Carols in the Park

Community Service of the Year

Andrea Pogue

Senior Citizen of the Year

Heather Mulcahy

Murchison

Recipient

Junior Sports Award

Riley Plum

Community Event of the Year

Rock on Murchison, 50th Anniversary of the Murchison Meteorite

Citizen of the Year

Tino Catania

Tatura

Recipient

Citizen of the Year

George Ferguson

Community Event of the Year

Tatura Australia Day Committee

Young Citizen of the Year

Stephanie Hicks

Senior Citizen of the Year

Jack Muir

Arcadia

Recipient

Citizen of the Year

Rowan Gribben

Winner Profiles

Shepparton

Citizen of the Year - Wade Gregory

Wade Gregory inspires all that come in contact with him. His passion for music and arts is infectious. Originally from Brisbane, Wade came to Shepparton in 2014 and has been heavily involved in many community groups, particularly in the arts including STAG, GV Community Organisation and the 36 Degrees South Choir.  He is an audiologist, a music teacher, private piano teacher and a mentor to many performers and musicians throughout the Goulburn Valley. As a member of the Goulburn Valley Orchestra, he has devoted countless hours assisting the group in its development.

Community Event of the Year - Shepparton Carols by Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight has been running successfully for 45 years in Shepparton. The Carols by Candlelight Committee has proved its excellence by continuing to organise a fantastic event year after year, with a huge amount of dedication and commitment. The event is attended by more than 3,000 people and is looked forward to every year.  The volunteer committee is very well organised, having planning meetings each month and work collaboratively with various different community groups to ensure a successful event. Carols is a safe and inclusive event for everyone to come together and celebrate the year and festive season. The event encourages social cohesion and harmony by bringing together people from a variety of backgrounds.

Young Citizen of the Year - Thomas Saxton

Thomas Saxton is an inspiration, working to make things better for young people in Greater Shepparton and the wider community. His list of achievements and contributions to the community is long and impressive, and he has a great desire to raise the future prospects for the young people of Shepparton.  Some of his achievements include:

  • Volunteering with the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project as chairperson of their Youth Table 2018/19
  • Representing Youth Affairs Council Victoria
  • Spoke to a Parliamentary inquiry into careers education in schools in Melbourne
  • Spoke at the National Youth Commission
  • Performed 80 hours of volunteer work at the Heart Foundation, conducting research and preparing reports
  • Represented Shepparton at the State Secondary Schools Parliamentary Conventions and represented Victoria in the National Secondary Schools Parliamentary Convention Canberra last year
  • A member of the Notre Dame debating team and House Captain for school house Jennings in 2019

Senior Citizen of the Year - Stan Jezewski

Stan is an inspiration to all that he meets. He provides mentoring and guidance and is an active member in the Shepparton Search and Rescue Squad, which he has been involved in for 47 years. He always offers guidance and advice, encouraging others to be involved and take-on tasks involving emergency services and rescue. He has seen trauma and attended many emergency incidences in his 47 years, treating everyone with dignity and respect to get the best possible outcome in often difficult situations. He is a true hero and inspiration.

Sports Award - Samuel Brown

Sam is one of the highest ranked juniors in Australasia in Dancesport.  He prides himself on being a great role model to younger children whether it be at school, tennis, soccer or dance.  He is a good sport and fair to all, always encouraging, mentoring and inspiring people to take up the sport of dance. Sam promotes the benefits of health and fitness, both in the social aspects and also the competitive arena.  Sam has proudly represented Shepparton on the national stage, winning multiple Australian titles.  Sam is also involved in Kialla Scouts, Shepparton Lawn Tennis, Shepparton Junior Soccer and is a member of Richmond Football Club.

Mooroopna

Citizen of the Year - Leonard Balfour

Leonard Balfour excels in areas of community and charity. Leonard holds a number of positions at the Mooroopna Fire Brigade, including mentoring juniors as their coach. His achievements include CFA National Medal 2018, Service Medals and a Black Saturday Medal. He is also involved in the Volunteer Fire Brigade Victoria Council, Mooroopna Recreation Reserve Committee, Past Players Association Mooroopna Football Club and he is a member of the Historical Society of Mooroopna.

Dookie

Citizen of the Year - Allan Shields (Overall Greater Shepparton Citizen of the Year)

Allan is an active participant in the community, consistently contributing his time, property and passion for raising awareness. Allan is an all-round ‘good bloke’, and a kind hearted person who never hesitates to jump in and help out.

Allan has been actively involved in the Royal Children’s Hospital as the main organiser of the Lamb Drive where he has assisted in raising over $60,000 in the past three years. Along with this, he has been donating blood every month for the past 40 years, continuing to save lives.

Allan also contributes to the community with involvements in the Dookie Lions Club and Kids with Cancer.

Senior Citizen of the Year - Roderick Harmer (awarded posthumously)

With his happy and positive nature, Rod made you want to be part of whatever organisation or activity he was part of.  Rod had a profound, varied and positive influence on many aspects of the Dookie community including the Dookie Tennis Club, Dookie CFA, Dookie Bowling Club, Dookie Football Netball Club, Cosgrove Gun Club, St Andrews Church, Dookie Show Society, Dookie RSL, Cosgrove Stock and Domestic Water, while also volunteering at Lifeline and Citizens Advice.

Young Citizen of the Year - Tim Doornkamp

Tim is a dedicated member of the Dookie United Football Club, always willing to mentor others in the club and help out wherever he is needed. He is always contributing, whether it be running the water to players in games or running the boundary if asked by the coach.

Community Event of the Year - Children's Hospital Appeal/Dookie Lions Club

Dookie Lions Club was formed in 1973, and is a dedicated and active club for the Dookie community. In particular, the club runs the local Lamb Drive event for the Children’s Hospital Appeal, which always ends in a huge donation on behalf of the community.

Sports Award - Brendan Medows 

Brendan is a key member of the Dookie United Football Club and the wider Dookie community. Brendan captained the U18 Dookie United football team in 2019, consistently displaying leadership qualities and mentoring for his teammates.

His strong sportsmanship and competitiveness is infectious for the boys that play alongside him. Brendan is always willing to help out when required, often running the water or boundary for the other Dookie United football teams.

Toolamba

Citizen of the Year - Pat Patt  

Pat is a quiet achiever in the town. She is constantly involved in community activities, keeping out of the spotlight but making significant contributions nonetheless. In the past 12 months Pat has been running the publicity for both the Lions Club and the Toolamba CWA Wrens, which is critical to keeping Toolamba in the spotlight in Greater Shepparton.  Pat rarely misses a committee meeting of both clubs.  She also undertook a CWA Judge’s course this year to assist the new Toolamba CWA Wrens Club with participating in CWA competitions.  She is always one of the first community residents to put up her hand to help out, whether it is crocheting squares for homeless blankets, taking photos, writing articles about the Toolamba community for publication in the media or delivering calendars.

Senior Citizen of the Year - Heather Mulcahy  

Heather has operated as the President of Toolamba Lions Club for that past two years.  During that time, Heather has increased the profile of the club significantly through significant media coverage for the club in local press articles.  Heather coordinated the first ever Toolamba Clean-Up Day this year, which brought together multiple service clubs to pick up litter across the town and within the forest.  This allowed Toolamba to put itself forward for the Australian Tidy Town Awards in 2020.   While Heather moved out of Toolamba in 2019, she continues to manage the Toolamba Lions Club and commits herself to community service in the town.  Heather is an energetic leader and positive role model for younger Toolamba citizens.   

Community Event of the Year - Lions Club of Toolamba Carols in the Park

The Toolamba Community Choir is the brain child of Amanda Sibio and is made up of Toolamba Community members that sing at various events including Carols in the Paddock, ANZAC Day, Australia Day and other community events.

Community Service of the Year - Andrea Pogue

Andrea Pogue has numerous leadership roles in her employment and these qualities are carried into her community involvement, where she has not only been involved in various community organisations in Toolamba but taken on committee positions and leadership of individual projects. She is chair of the Toolamba Steering Committee, a member of Toolamba Lions Club and has sourced and organised the towns Christmas decorations in the past several years. She took a lead role in the Toolamba Clean-Up Day and assists at community BBQs and afternoon teas. Andrea is a member of the Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Advisory Committee and Vice President of the CWA, she is the number one BBQ chef at the Tatura Netball Club and is also involved in the Shepparton Rowing Club.

Young Citizen of the Year - Reeve Evans

Reeve is an active member of the community, representing his school and the town of Toolamba in sporting activities at state level. Reeve is inspirational in all sports that he undertakes. He has countless achievements and titles at the Shepparton Little Athletics Centre.  Reeve displays great sportsmanship and always encourages others.

Murchison

Junior Sports Award - Riley Plum

Riley demonstrates excellence in motorsport across two different disciplines. Riley is very competitive and always competes displaying great sportsmanship. He had been racing for three years and is very focused and committed to the sport. Riley has ADHD and has come a long way displaying a positive and respectful attitude.

Community Event of the Year - Rock on Murchison – 50 year anniversary of the Murchison Meteorite (Overall Greater Shepparton Community Event of the Year)

The Murchison Meteorite broke up over the skies of Murchison on 28 September 1969 at 10.58am.

In 2019, Murchison celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Meteorite, holding a major event with many activities. The celebration was an outstanding success with more than 1600 people attending.  Feedback about the event was very positive.  The event was able to attract 11 high profile scientists and international leaders in their field.  In total 14 community groups were involved, with the entire town of Murchison coming together to showcase the event.

The event was an outstanding achievement pulled together by volunteers, the community and supporting businesses. It delivered an extensive program, attracted Australia-wide media coverage and even produced an Australian postage stamp, putting Murchison on the map and attracting many visitors to the region.

Citizen of the Year - Tino Catania

Tino is a positive role model who has inspired many in community. Tino is the first to put his hand up to help around the community, volunteering with several organisations including Murchison Primary School, Shepparton Little Athletics and at the Murchison Community Centre.  He is a life member of the Murchison Fire Brigade, Life Member of the Shepparton Little Athletics Club and a National Medal recipient for services of the CFA.

Tatura

Citizen of the Year - George Ferguson

With his welcoming and friendly leadership qualities, George is an ambassador for Tatura and district and is a dedicated and respected member of the community.

An active member of the Tatura Community Plan Committee, George has developed connections with many members of the community that represent various volunteer groups in Tatura, and recognises opportunities to volunteer his time and knowledge across the community. Assisting at ANZAC Day services, Remembrance Day, Christmas Carols and many other events throughout the town, he offers many hours both physically and behind the scene, not only for organisations he is directly involved with, but the entire community who benefit from his contributions.

He is involved in the Tatura Irrigation and Wartimes Camps Museum, Victory Hall, Tatura Bulletin, Turaton, Greater Shepparton Heritage Committee, Anglican Church, Shepparton and Tatura Carols by Candlelight and local schools and charity events.

Community Event of the Year - Tatura Australia Day

The Tatura Australia Day Committee brings the community together to celebrate local heroes and recognise those people in the local community that are making outstanding contributions to the region.

The Australia Day Committee is a team of dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to organise the Australia Day celebrations for Tatura. The Committee make every effort to ensure we review, update and modernise the Australia Day celebrations. The success of their efforts is evidenced by the increasing numbers in attendance each year.

Young Citizen of the Year - Stephanie Hicks (Overall Greater Shepparton Young Citizen of the Year)

Stephanie is an outgoing, friendly, bubbly and happy girl with passion and drive. Stephanie is a role model for the youth of today to become involved in their local and broader community.  She is only too willing to give her time to many causes whenever she is approached.  Stephanie has a delightful personality and a very caring manner.  She provides leadership in the community and school and is involved in many activities.  Stephanie inspires the community by gaining qualifications to enable her to be further involved including kitchen operations, netball umpiring, lifesaving and first aid.

She has been involved in community events such as ANZAC Day, Easter, Christmas and Remembrance Day and has been involved in many community and sporting clubs throughout the town.

Senior Citizen of the Year - Jack Muir

An outstanding community member, Jack has been a contributor in the Tatura community since 1956 and is still an active member at the young age of 94. His selfless and active mind is inspirational to younger members of the community.  He is a life member of Masonic Lodge, Lions, Rotary, Small Engine Club Goulburn Valley, Tatura RSL Sub Branch and the Shepparton Tatura Race Club.

Jack retired as the leading workshop supervisor for Northern Victoria in the Irrigation Industry to which he has 40 years of service.  He has also worked in Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea for the Australian Government. He is a strong advocate for the Labour Party, over the course of his life striving for ‘fair working conditions for all’.

Arcadia - Citizen of the Year

Rowan Gribben

Rowan is a successful wool classer and primary producer and a great contributor to Arcadia. He is involved in the Arcadia CFA, the Shepparton Show and is a Shearing Competition Committee member. His involvements also include Arcadia Progress Association, Arcadia Landcare Group, Kialla West Uniting Church treasurer and a constant contributor to the Arcadia Christmas Party and Australia Day celebrations. He is always willing to give assistance where needed and is a well-known and respected member of the Arcadia community.

 

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