Australia Day Awards 2018

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Cr Susan Salter, Borough of Queenscliffe Mayor, extended her congratulations to the recipients of the Borough of Queenscliffe Australia Day Awards 2018 in a presentation at the Queenscliff Town Hall on 26 January.

“I am delighted to announce the 2018 Australia Day Award recipients,” said Cr Salter.

“These Awards recognise those who have made outstanding contributions to the Borough of Queenscliffe community. They acknowledge the diversity of programs run by volunteers in our community and demonstrate the many different aspects of our community that together make the Borough of Queenscliffe such a wonderful place to live,” she said.

The award winners were:

Citizen of the Year: Rob Hurley

Since taking up the position of Principal of the then Queenscliff High School in 1987, Rob Hurley has been a pillar of the Borough of Queenscliffe community. A resident of the Borough for more than 30 years, Rob was an inaugural member of the committee that established the Queenscliff Neighbourhood House and has been an active member of many community organisations, including the Queenscliff Community Association, Queenscliff Music Festival, Queenscliff Golf Club, Swan Bay Environment Area, Swan Bay Gardens for Wildlife, Bellarine Self-help Parkinson’s Group and Trinity Aid for Refugees. As Principal from 1987 to 2001, Rob oversaw the evolution of the Queenscliff High School into the Bellarine Secondary College and introduced innovative education programs such as robotics, electronics and viticulture to the school, as well as dedicating many volunteer hours to cement the school’s reputation as the one to beat at the annual Rock Eisteddfod Challenge. Since his retirement from the Department of Education in 2001, Rob’s volunteer work has ensured that he remains an outstanding contributor to the social fabric of the Borough of Queenscliffe.

Young Citizen of the Year: Isabelle (Belle) Kidd and Alexandra Scorgie (joint winners)

Belle Kidd has been a member of the Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club for over seven years. During that time Belle has attained a number of surf life saving qualifications including her Bronze Medallion, Certificate II Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue), Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Certificate and Surf Rescue Certificate, as well as various awards that she earned during her time as a member of the Nippers program. Belle completed 39 hours of volunteer patrols during the 2016–17 Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club season and 64 hours in the previous season. In the 2016–17 season Belle held the position of Junior Club Captain and her participation in the annual Cadet and Junior Bronze camps in recent years demonstrate her willingness to offer assistance across the Club. Belle is also a netball coach, badged umpire and senior netball player with the Queenscliff Football Netball Club, where her commitment and generosity make her a superb role model and mentor for the junior players. Belle played the leading role in establishing, and captained, Queenscliff's first all-female football team (the Coutas) last season. Through her part-time employment at YMCA Camp Wyuna, Belle also volunteers her time to assist charity and not-for-profit organisations.

In 2017, Alexandra Scorgie became one of the youngest female players for Water Polo Australia Barbarians, a Victorian team consisting of club players in the National Water Polo League. As Captain of the Victorian Water Polo team, most valuable player in the Under-16 Victorian State Water Polo Championships, highest goal scorer in the Under-16 Victorian State Water Polo Championships, Alexandra’s reputation precedes her to the point that other clubs are quick to make use of her excellent skills and explosive scoring power whenever her home club, Richmond, is not competing. Alexandra has successfully balanced her training and playing commitments in Melbourne and interstate with her secondary studies at Kardinia International College. She is a National Identified Athlete on the Australian Winning Edge (AWE) list and a Train On VIS athlete with the Victorian Institute of Sport.

Community Event of the Year: Queenscliff Primary School ‘Biggest Morning Tea’

The Queenscliff Primary School held its Biggest Morning Tea event for the third time in 2017, raising $1,300 for Cancer Council Australia. This amount is almost six times the amount raised at their first event in 2015, an impressive increase that mirrors the school’s remarkable growth in enrolments over the past 12 months. The 2017 Biggest Morning Tea brought the entire school and members of the wider community together in difficult circumstances to create a wonderful event that raised awareness, as well as funds, for Cancer Council Australia. Catering for the event was entirely provided by volunteers and donations from within the primary school and Borough of Queenscliffe community. The event provided students with an opportunity to showcase the skills gained in their fortnightly cooking classes as well as an additional transition activity for Queenscliff Kindergarten students in the lead up to their Foundation year.

Community Environment Project of the Year: Conservation Volunteers Australia

Conservation Volunteers Australia embarked on their relationship with Council in 2013. In the following years, Conservation Volunteers Australia have removed 210,000 square metres, or 20 tonnes, of weed across 12 work sites in the Borough and collected 1,325kg of rubbish and 60kg of seed over 180 project days. The total amount of work put in equates to 1,200 days or a massive 8,400 hours of volunteer work, a priceless gift to Council and the community. But the benefits delivered by the relationship between the Borough of Queenscliffe Council and Conservation Volunteers Australia add up to much more than just cost savings. The removal of environmental and noxious weeds and the reestablishment of indigenous plant species have created safer tracks for walkers and improved habitat for local wildlife, and generally boosted the amenity and attractiveness of the Borough landscape. The outstanding results achieved by the volunteers have motivated other members of the community to participate in caring for the environment, created an atmosphere where friendships can flourish and provided volunteers with the necessary skills to seek paid employment in the field.