2017 winners

Citizen of The Year Award

The Citizen of the Year Award acknowledges outstanding service and contribution over a number of years given by an individual to their local community.

It is conservatively estimated that Paul Sheehan has been primarily responsible for injecting more than one million dollars’ worth of funds into various sporting bodies within Port Fairy over the last forty years, as well as over two hundred thousand dollars to local health charities. And if this wasn’t enough, he is also the undisputed Australian Potato Picking Champion with a ‘hat trick’ of titles!

He has also contributed tens of thousands of hours of his own time – all completely voluntary – to improve sport administration and facilities within his Port Fairy.

Paul first became involved in the Port Fairy Cricket club in 1978 when the club was almost financially insolvent. He apparently said “he would give it a go for a year” and has since served 38 consecutive seasons. By the end of his first year the club was back on its feet financially. Over the next six seasons they won a division two premiership and were promoted back to division one. He was granted life membership in his twelfth year and in his eighteenth year oversaw the move from the Gardens Oval to the Southcombe Park Sporting Complex.

In his thirtieth year he had the whimsical idea of raising the clubrooms and building dedicated change-rooms beneath. He worked tirelessly to make this a reality and helped create an asset unrivalled anywhere in country Victoria. Of course, when it came to dedicating the pavilion there was no question that it be known as the P F ‘Wally’ Sheehan Pavilion.

His latest project came to fruition in 2016 with the Indoor Training Centre completed after many years of lobbying. He also does a lot of the mundane maintenance tasks; cutting the grass on both the ovals every week, watering the two ovals over three summer months moving the sprinklers several times a day, as well as spraying weeds and marking the boundaries. He rarely misses a Thursday night tea-team selection and never misses a working bee.

During the winter months Paul has dedicated himself to the Port Fairy Football Netball Club. A committee member from 1973-1982, and 1997-1999; team trainer from 1972 to 1981 and as a player early-mid 70’s. He has also been a passionate advocate/supporter of the netball teams since their inception in 1988. He was made a life member in 2010.

Paul has been a lead organiser of the wine bar at the Port Fairy Folk Festival since 1997 which, along with the annual auction night, has raised over $40k/year for the Football Netball Club. These funds have helped pull the club out of financial difficulty saving the club from installing pokie machines. He rarely misses Thursday night training and still volunteers his time for innumerable unpaid tasks such as collecting admission fees, selling raffle tickets, contributing at working bees, weed spraying, fertilising and turf maintenance.

Other sporting club contributions include:

Southcombe Park Sporting Complex Committee of Management: Member 2009 - present
Port Fairy and District Sports Club: Committee Member 1989 - 1999 (serving 5 years as President)
Port Fairy Basketball Association: Player 1969 - 1990
Port Fairy Tennis Club: Player 1969 - 1995
Port Fairy Squash Club: Player 1980 - 1995
Port Fairy Golf Club: Player 1994 - present.

His non-sporting contributions include:

Heather Holcombe Day: Emcee and Auctioneer 2007 – present; this annual event raises over $10k/year in profits to cancer charities
Port Fairy Hospital Fundraiser: One of only three team captains and 15 individuals who participated in the inaugural ‘Murray to Moyne’ cycling event in 1987
Port Fairy Community Youth Club: Leader 1972 - 1978
Port Fairy Agricultural Show Society: Organiser of Miss Showgirl events from the mid 70’s - mid 90’s

St Patrick’s Church Parish Council: Paul contributed more than a decade of service to the local Catholic Church on its financial committee that helped run the church and primary school.

Young Citizen of The Year Award

The Young Citizen of the Year Award acknowledges outstanding service and contribution given by an individual (under the age of 27) to their local community.

Stephen Mirtschin has been awarded the 2017 Moyne Shire Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year Award for his commitment to education, volunteering, and sport.

As a student who enjoyed school it is apt that Stephen Mirtschin has found his career back in the classroom as a teacher. Valuing a life of inquiry based learning and leadership development, teaching has become a passion and a career path that he says he always wanted to follow.

While the trip from the Woolsthorpe Primary School to the Hamilton and Alexandra College where he is employed as a teacher may be short in distance, the journey has incorporated many accomplishments both locally and as far away as St Jose Balide’s in Timor Leste and on exchange for a brief period at Cambridge University, England.

Stephen extended his commitment to the people of Timor Leste volunteering to assist their AFL International program and their university and teaching programs. He has participated as the assistant coach and team manager of the AFL IC Timor Leste football team and organised uniform and equipment drives where clubs, such as the Port Fairy Football Netball Club, were key contributors. Additionally, Stephen works online in a global teaching environment where he mentors, through engagement of conversation and sharing resources, pre-service teachers from Timor Leste.

With a passion for the environment and sustainability Stephen is active in organising school resources with the focus on reusability with donations being sent to schools in need.

Stephen’s appetite for education also means he has shared his talent for sport with others, as a coach particularly with the Port Fairy Cricket Club and the Western Waves and is an advocate of the Moyne Shire promoting the liveability and the standard of lifestyle. This has led to bringing international standard cricketers to the region which in turn assists the development of our community’s upcoming juniors.

As a quiet achiever, Stephen’s passion for his community, near and far, and leadership had him represent the Moyne youth at the 2015 Rural Councils Summit and is an active member of the Moyne Youth Advisory Group for young people 18 years and above.

Community Event of the Year

The Community Event of the Year Award is presented to the person or group who has staged the most outstanding local community event during the year.

It has taken only nine years for the Koroit Truck Show to go from a fill-in event at the Koroit Agricultural Show to a major standalone event attracting trucks and visitors from every state in the country.

Shirl McCosker and Graeme Morris, founding members of the Koroit Truck Show Committee, held their first event in 2007 as there was the horse influenza that year and there could be no horse events held at the Koroit Agricultural Show. So to fill up the oval Shirl and Graeme said they’d get a few trucks out on display.

There were no trucks on show in 2008, as horses were back on the oval again, and then from 2009 to 2011 trucks reappeared as part of the Agricultural Show.

In 2012 a committee was formed and the Koroit Truck Show was created which is now held every January at Victoria Park Koroit.

Each year the numbers of trucks and visitors have grown with the 2016 event attracting 160 trucks, 50 Harleys, 50 Hot Rods and over 3,500 visitors through the gate.

The event is not only popular with the trucking community but now also provides a highlight for holidaymakers over the Australia Day weekend each year. With children’s entertainment and novelty events, such as the 50 metre ‘truckies sprint’, the event has become a real family day out.

While there are many prizes awarded to participants the event still manages to contribute to local charities including over $5,000 to Peters’ Project, $4,000 to Beyond Blue with the Leila Rose Foundation selected to receive funds from the 2017 event.

The Koroit Truck Show is now nationally recognised – an amazing achievement by the small but dedicated committee to take an event from a fill-in to stand alone in such a short period of time.