Australia Day Awards 2019

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Cr Bob Merriman, Borough of Queenscliffe Mayor, presented Council’s 2019 Australia Day Awards at the Borough’s annual community celebration on 26 January.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the recipients of the 2019 Australia Day Awards,” said Cr Merriman.

“The Borough of Queenscliffe community is a generous one, where people go out of their way to contribute for the benefit of others. The Australia Day Awards acknowledge the impact of this generous spirit on the wellbeing of the entire community.”

“It is very satisfying for Council to be able to identify and recognise a cross-section of local people and organisations with these awards,” said Cr Merriman.

The award winners were:

Citizen of the Year: Graham Christie JP
Graham Christie has worn many hats in his service to the Borough of Queenscliffe community. A Justice of the Peace, former Councillor, Chair of the local Business Association, and cricket coach, Graham also played a major role in the organisation of the annual March and Service for Anzac Day and Vietnam Veterans’ Day. He was instrumental to the 2018 Remembrance Day March and Service marking 100 years since the end of World War One, coordinating schools, community groups and organisations to participate in the anniversary ceremony.

A veteran himself, having served in Vietnam at Fire Support Patrol Bases Coral and Balmoral, Graham’s commitment to remembrance has seen him selling poppies in Hesse Street, Queenscliff, speaking at local schools to ensure future generations understand the value of service and sacrifice, and providing support and understanding to returned service men and women. The 2019 Borough of Queenscliffe Citizen of the Year Award follows the prestigious Shrine of Remembrance Medal presented to Graham in 2018.

Young Citizen of the Year: Ruby Dalton
Returning home from her part-time job, Ruby Dalton stopped to help a man who had suffered a heart attack while cycling. Demonstrating courage and presence of mind beyond her 16 years, Ruby performed CPR and defibrillation, with two other community members, until paramedics arrived.

Ruby’s Young Citizen of the Year Award recognises her initiative and sense of responsibility in a very challenging situation. Her calm, compassionate response sets a positive example for everyone in the community.

Community Organisation of the Year: 3225 Community Calendar
The popular 3225 Community Calendar is a true ‘whole of community’ initiative. Compiled with information from businesses, community organisations and Council, the calendar provides a comprehensive source of information about local activities and events for residents of Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale.

The self-funded calendar is currently assembled by an enthusiastic team of two and delivered free of charge during the Christmas-New Year period by a group of willing walkers. Founded in 2011, its circulation figures reached 3,600 in 2018 and are expected to grow to 4,000 in 2019.

Community Event of the Year: Queenscliffe Literary Festival
First held in 2015, the Queenscliffe Literary Festival has developed into one of the Borough’s cornerstone events. The 2018 program featured keynote speakers Robert Dessaix and John Bell among a host of well-known and emerging writers from the Borough of Queenscliffe, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, regional Victoria, Melbourne and interstate. The Borough’s literary and artistic communities united to deliver a list of events that engaged people of all ages, attracting 1,100 attendees, and demonstrated the impressive depth of the arts and culture scene in Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale

The Queenscliffe Literary Festival Committee is made up of a team of volunteers and supported by a dedicated group of people in the community who also donate over 2,000 hours of their time each year to maintain the event’s high standards. Audience feedback about the 2018 Festival confirming an event satisfaction and recommendation rate of over 95%, combined with an increase of approximately 25% in the Festival’s mailing list, confirms the Festival’s status as a marquee event on the Borough of Queenscliffe calendar.

Community Environment Project of the Year: Kids Teaching Kids Local Conference – St Aloysius Primary School
For their 2018 Kids Teaching local conference, St Aloysius students from grades four, five and six designed a variety of workshops about local marine science and environmental issues and presented these to over 100 students from local and regional primary schools. The St Aloysius students held their conference, Inspiring Young Marine Scientists – Stewards of Swan Bay, at The Pavilion in Princess Park, Queenscliff, highlighting the potential of their immediate environment as a learning space.

The St Aloysius conference was organised by the Student Environmental Leadership Team and involved support and contributions from various local community groups and businesses. Participant feedback indicated a high level of enjoyment, enthusiasm and engagement. The St Aloysius students developed presentation and teamwork skills and a passion for environmental leadership through their participation, with a group of the leading students proceeding to the subsequent Melbourne Water Kids Teaching Kids Conference.