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Australia Day Award Recipients

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2018 Australia Day Awards

Congratulations to the 2018 Australia Day Awards winners:


East Gippsland Citizen of the Year – Gerry Ciaverella


Gerry has been a music teacher for 22 years at Bairnsdale Secondary College.  He is a band master and mentor to so many children in our shire.


He is also an area music coordinator for many other schools in East Gippsland.


The Bairnsdale Secondary College Swing Band swing band (which is led by Gerry) is constantly in demand as it performs at many community functions throughout the year and interstate including the Paynesville Music Festival and the Merimbula Jazz Festival.


Gerry’s energy and commitment to promoting music throughout East Gippsland is outstanding and he has been a great positive influence on many of our region’s young residents.


A common theme that was evident throughout the nominations that Gerry received was the he was not just a fine musician, but a very humble man who is giving of his time for the development of his students and the entertainment of others - a true ambassador for East Gippsland.


East Gippsland Young Citizen of the Year – (joint winners Aislin Jones and Jack Peterson)


Aislin Jones


Aislin Jones has made an outstanding contribution to her sport and is currently a member of the Olympic Shooting Team. Aislin made history in Rio when she became Australia’s youngest ever Olympic shooter when she contested the skeet event at the 2016 Games.


Her dedication and commitment is testament of her sporting ability to excel in these sporting events.


Along with her family, her many hours and kilometres of travelling to attend her practice sessions and her attending the various shoots in Australia and the world, she is also currently managing her schooling at a senior level at Nagle College as well as her sporting commitments to the sport of shooting.


Aislin and her family’s attendance at these events are all self-funded except for a small amount of regular sponsorship. 


She is a quiet achiever with high expectations of herself. Through her experiences she has become a role model for our region’s youth.


Aislin has given hope to many experiencing similar challenges of distance, considering the distances that she travels from East Gippsland to Melbourne.


She has shown us all how you can succeed living and growing up in country Victoria.


Jack Peterson


Jack Peterson has been involved in a number of community events and organisations in a voluntary capacity, but none bigger than the Bairnsdale Agricultural Show where he is President this year.


It was through Rotary he volunteered to attend the Bairnsdale Show Crisis meeting in 2015.


Jack was concerned about the Bairnsdale Show’s possible demise because when he was a child growing up in Omeo, he loved the local show and very much appreciated that it was saved from extinction by some local volunteers including his family.


In response to that meeting, Jack volunteered to join a new Bairnsdale Agricultural Show committee that included a number of young people.


It was with this newly formed committee with a combination of young ideas and enthusiasm together with some of the older members expertise which has seen a successful turnaround for our show. 


Jack comes from a very strong community-minded East Gippsland family who has shown great community spirit and commitment.


East Gippsland Community Event of the Year – Mallacoota Winter ‘SALTSTICE’
Youth Festival


The Mallacoota Winter ‘Saltstice’ Youth Festival was an event organised in 2017 by the Mallacoota Year 9 students that attended the School for Student Leadership Snowy River Campus.


The event which consisted of a social movie night, surf day and beach games and required the students, led by Tom Nation and Mali Hodson, to plan and implement a weekend of events that brought together youths in the area for a range of positive winter activities. 


This required students to work with local community members in the planning process and the pull off an event that catered for a range of youths across East Gippsland.


By implementing this event, the students provided a fun and positive event for the youth of East Gippsland.


They influenced others by providing positive healthy fun and inspiration to other youth in their community to show that they were capable of making similar events happen.


Previous Award Recipients (since 2003)


East Gippsland Citizen of the Year

2017 - Richard Rijs

2016 - Darryl Crowley

2015 - Alan Stuart

2014 - Ronda Manhire

2013 - Judith Williams and John Armit

2012 - Jeff Wilson

2011 - Kristine Cordery

2010 - Ian Clues

2009 - Anne Cross

2008 - David Lewien

2007 - Dr David Campbell

2006 - Aunty Cath Solomon

2005 - Olive Hartley

2004 - Beth Allen

2003 - Alan 'Doc' Carpenter


East Gippsland Young Citizen of the Year

2017 - Emiliqua (Emi) East

2016 - Carly Fitzgerald

2015 - Jessica Woodward

2014 - Elizabeth Butler

2013 - Jack Wickfeldt

2012 - Chloe Scott

2011 - William Anderson

2010 - Bailey Thomson

2009 - Matt Furphy

2008 - Cassie Richards

2007 - Erika Lind

2006 - Kara Kendell

2005 - Anna Bassett

2004 - Hamish Nelson

2003 - Aimee Burslem


East Gippsland Community Event of the Year

2017 - Omeo Golf Club RV Muster

2016 - Cooper's Winter Wonderland Masquerade Ball

2015 - Orbost Annual Poker Run

2014 - Mallacoota Kindergarten Fun Run

2013 - Seafarers Multicultural Festival

2012 - Junior and Senior Victorian Surf Lifesaving State Championships

2011 - Convoy for Kids

2010 - Seldom Seen Arts Trail

2009 - 2008 Junior Surf Life Saving Championships

2008 - Mount Nowa Nowa Challenge Run

2007 - Twin Rivers Bream Classic

2006 - Ensay Memorial Car Run

2005 - VAYSAR (Victorian Aboriginal Youth Sport and Recreation) Senior Football and Netball Carnivals

2004 - Bruthen Blues Bash

2003 - Veiling on McKillops Bridge





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