2018 winners

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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.

Community organisations are only as effective as the volunteers that run them, and it’s fair to say there are a number of community organisations that would be less effective if not for Judi Robertson.

It would be quicker to list the groups in Mortlake that Judi is not involved in. She is an integral part of the community development committee, the recreation reserve committee of management, and the St James Anglican Church Parish Council. She is also heavily involved in volleyball, netball, tennis, and football.

Judi also puts together the Mortlake Lions Newsletter each month, produces entry forms and certificates for groups and events such as the Mortlake Rose Show, and she’s a water runner for the Terang Mortlake Football Netball Club under 18s and seniors. She also helps provide dinner to the boys after training.

There is further evidence of Judi’s caring and generous nature in the fact she works permanent part-time for Abbeyfield – a place where she also volunteers outside of her work hours.

Judi doesn’t seek recognition for all these things she does for the community, although she has been recognised on occasion. She was awarded a life membership of the Hampden Football Netball League last year, a Paul Harris Fellowship from the Mortlake Rotary Club, and has been recognised previously at Australia Day Awards.

But Judi does these things because they need to be done and because she cares about the Mortlake community. She does them because she is a “doer”. Judi has been carrying out many of these roles for a number of years and Mortlake is all the richer for her doing so.

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.

If Mortlake produces a sudden burst of top-level women cricketers in the future, it will be more than likely that Georgia Wareham is responsible.

Once upon a time, Georgia was the only female playing cricket at the Mortlake Cricket Club. There are now seven women of varying ages playing for the club across five sides. And there are likely to be many more to come, thanks to Georgia’s work establishing a cricket academy for girls in years six to nine at Mortlake P-12 College last year.

Georgia has been an inspiration to young girls in Mortlake, showing them where a future in sport can take them. She has not only led by example by becoming the youngest woman ever signed to play in the Women’s Big Bash League, but she has also worked hard to share her knowledge and be a good role model.

But not only has Georgia inspired the next raft of young female cricketers to take up a bat and ball – she has also been an inspiration to her fellow students. She has led the way as senior sports captain, and has shown incredible discipline to complete her VCE studies while playing cricket at a national level.

Georgia is on her third contract with the Melbourne Renegades in the Women’s Big Bash League and has also signed on to play with Victorian Spirit in the Women’s National Cricket League. She has also represented Australia in an under 21 team’s tour of Sri Lanka, and played in a Governor General’s XI against England.

Georgia is immensely proud of where she has come from – read any interview with her, and Mortlake is almost always mentioned. But Mortlake is also immensely proud of Georgia. Her talents, dedication and ambition are an example to not only the young people of this town, but also the older generations too. To many, Georgia is a trailblazer, but she is also generous and warm-hearted. In short, she is a great representation of everything we hope our young people in Moyne Shire will be.

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.

On April 25 2017, Panmure hosted by far the biggest ANZAC Day commemoration the town had ever seen. The event spanned the Tasman Sea, featured an air force fly-over, and brought to light a tale of two soldiers who met 102 years ago. And at the centre of it all were two towns named Panmure – both of which sent many young men off to war, never to return home.

Panmure Action Group members worked together to make the event a powerful, important, and truly international one, with the presence of Mt Wellington-Panmure Returned Services Association padre Major Colin Burgess highlighting the New Zealand part of the ANZAC story.

Major Burgess’ connection with Panmure Action Group member Lisette Mill demonstrated the deep roots ANZAC day has in our two countries, as well as in our cultures, our histories, and our families.

In 1915, Major Burgess’ father – Sergeant Frederick Arthur Burgess – met Ms Mill’s grandfather – Sergeant Alfred Hampton Barwick – at a New Zealand training camp. Soon after, they were fighting in Egypt and Palestine as members of the Wellington Mounted Rifles.

One hundred and two years later, Major Burgess, as a representative of Panmure, New Zealand, was presented in Panmure, Australia with an Australian flag that had been flown at the War Memorial in Canberra. Meanwhile, Brauer College students sang New Zealand’s anthem in Maori, and children from the Panmure and Cudgee primary schools sang Advance Australia Fair. The day also featured a pipe band performance, speeches on the Battle of Beersheba, and veteran Mary Harris’ unveiling a plaque detailing the names of the local soldiers who didn’t return from WWII. A New Zealand flag, presented by the New Zealand High Commissioner, flew alongside the Australian flag.

Panmure has set a very high bar for all future ANZAC Day ceremonies in the shire, and did a stirring and sterling job of commemorating the memories of those who fought to protect that which we hold dear.