Australia Day Awards honour Ballarat’s outstanding residents

The City of Ballarat will recognise its 2020 Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year at a special ceremony on Friday 24 January, 2020, from 5-7pm.

The Australia Day Awards recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations which give up their time to make our community a more vibrant place to live in.

Nominees for the Citizen of the Year include –

  • Gary William Browning (posthumous nomination) for his contribution to Ballarat tourism and community

  • Dennis Collins for his contribution to recycling, establishing the PVC Seperation recycling solution

  • Nick Locandro, founder of not-for-profit organisation This is Dementia, for his contribution to awareness of early onset dementia

  • Merle Hathaway for her volunteer work to preserve heritage buildings and fundraising for refugees, the homeless and those with mental health illness

  • Paul Beechey for his contribution to the Burrumbeet community and region, including 47 years with the CFA and 39 years with the Learmonth Bowling Club

  • Desley Beechey for helping others in the local, regional and international community, including Timor Leste, and

  • Ballarat Roller Skate Fit Club founder and artist Marcia King for promoting fitness and inclusion.

Nominees for Young Citizen of the Year include –

  • Samuel McColl for providing leadership in organisations including the Young Rural Leaders Program, CFA and St John’s Ambulance

  • Shelby Sherritt for promoting art therapy in the recovery from serious illness

  • April O’Neill for empowering disconnected young people in the community

  • Josha-Lyn Gibson for promoting the work and positive outcomes of the Clemente program to improve the lives of others

  • Aleasha Kelly for participation and leadership in the LARF program to help vulnerable young people

  • Rory Taylor for her commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects

  • Tobias Soul for commitment to the Pathways in Technology program, developing projects and games with CAFS

  • Keeley’s Cause founder Keeley Johnson for supporting educational opportunities for children with autism or intellectual disability

  • Ethan Sculley for raising funds for children with special needs and from various cultural backgrounds, and providing socks for the homeless

  • Gabriel Gervasoni for commitment to the Pathways in Technology program and running workshops for Vision Australia, and

  • Evie Crawford for leadership and mentoring in the Empower to Play program, captaining her school’s energy breakthrough challenge and through the Western Bulldogs Leadership Project.

Nominees for Community Event of the Year include –

  • Ballarat Repair Cafe (Mary Duff) for its contribution to the environment and circular economy, and

  • Roller Skate Fit Club (Marcia King and Haylee Hartley) for its contribution to fitness for people of all levels and supporting the development of social networks and inclusion through fun and fitness.

The Awards are open to the public and free to attend, with refreshments and nibbles to follow.

/Public Release. View in full here.

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