Local volunteers recognised at Australia Day Awards

Published on 26 January 2021

2021 BoQ Citizen of the Year, Peter Deacon, with family members

Two of the Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale community’s hardest-working volunteers have been formally recognised as the Borough of Queenscliffe announced joint winners of the prestigious Citizen of the Year award.

In a limited-capacity ceremony held at the Pelican Bar in Queenscliff as part of Council’s Australia Day festivities, local residents Peter Deacon and Peter Callahan were each recognised as the Citizen of the Year for 2021.

Nine-year-old Frankie Davis took out Young Citizen of the Year, while Cottage by the Sea and the Queenscliffe Community Indigenous Nursery were each awarded the Community Organisation of the Year and Community Environment Project of the Year respectively.

Queenscliffe Mayor Cr Ross Ebbels paid tribute in his opening speech to the people and groups “that have continued to serve their community throughout what’s been the most challenging twelve months any of us can remember”.

“Even though we have not been able to get together as we have in previous years, people such as yourselves have continued to contribute meaningfully to our community,” Cr Ebbels said.

Winning Citizen of the Year is a recognition of years of community service for Peter Deacon of the Queenscliffe Rotary Club. Mr Deacon was an active member of the club for many years, including a period serving as the club’s President. He secured more than $150,000 in funding for new exercise stations throughout the Borough and was instrumental in leading the innovative project, which now provides free and accessible exercise equipment to people of all abilities in Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale.

Peter Callahan is a face recognised by many throughout the sporting and music scene in the Borough, and this Citizen of the Year gong is a reminder of his ongoing dedication to the community. Mr Callahan has volunteered extensively throughout our community for decades, including currently serving on three committees: the Point Lonsdale Tennis Club, Queenscliff Football and Netball Club and the Queenscliff Music Festival. He has been instrumental in securing financial support for community groups for many years, as well as lending a hand on the ground in a vast array of roles and responsibilities.

Young Citizen of the Year Frankie Davis made newspaper and radio headlines in September last year when her hand-delivered, home-made Cheer Up Weekly publication gained interest in our community and beyond. The newspaper helped keep a smile on the faces of many when we were going through the struggle of another lockdown.

Community Organisation of the Year Cottage by the Sea has been a fixture of Queenscliff for 130 years. During the pandemic, when the organisation had to suspend its childrens’ programs, Cottage by the Sea turned to helping out the local community care and food care program to support those most vulnerable in our townships.

Finally, the Community Environment Project of the Year was taken out by the Queenscliffe Community Indigenous Nursery, which propagated a record number of more than 20,000 plants throughout the last calendar year. These plants have gone on to be used in many vital revegetation projects, including by the Bellarine Catchment Network. 

2021 Award winners:

  • Citizens of the Year: Peter Deacon and Peter Callahan
  • Young Citizen of the Year: Frankie Davis
  • Community Organisation of the Year: Cottage by the Sea
  • Community Environment Project of the Year: Queenscliffe Community Indigenous Nursery