A turnout of more than 200 people at the Nowa Nowa Recreation Reserve on Saturday 22 January celebrated the outstanding contribution of 33 individuals and community events at the annual Australia Day Awards.
Hosted by us, the shire-wide awards tapped into the Australia Day theme of “We’re all part of the story – reflect, respect, celebrate”.
Held in Nowa Nowa for the first time, the awards included a welcome to country by Gunaikurnai elders Aunty Sandra Patten and Uncle Lennie Hayes, a flag unfurling by the Bairnsdale Scouts (on a flagpole the Scouts on site for the day), songs from the Nowa Nowa Men’s Choir, and a keynote address from visiting Australia Day Ambassador Paul Wheelton AM.
Twin Rivers Lions Club had the sausages and bacon and egg rolls sizzling throughout the morning.
We hold the shire-wide awards prior to Australia Day to allow winners and finalists the opportunity to attend celebrations in their own towns on Australia Day, 26 January.
The event was supported by the National Australia Day Council.
Read more about the nominees and winners, and view some of the photos from the event below.
Citizen of the Year 2022 - Ann and Stan Barker
Ann and Stan Barker, of Lakes Entrance, were announced as Citizen of the Year for their extensive volunteer work.
Founders of the Bushfire Recovery Project, Ann and Stan have potted over 6,000native plants and trees and distributed across the East Gippsland region to those affected by the bushfires.
This hard-working duo has contributed to the restoration of native flora in East Gippsland and have had a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of those affected by the bushfires.
As members of the Australian Native Plants Society and Lakes Entrance Garden Club, Ann and Stan have contributed to community life for many years in a voluntary capacity, including opening their own garden.
Nominees: David Appleton, Peta Bassett, Laurel Calvert, Paul Carroll, Debbie Carruthers, Barbara Dodd, Angela Dunkley, Norm Elliott, Claire-Lise Gamble, Brodie Gaudion, Lorna King, Judy Marsden, Cathy McLellan, David McCoy, Peter Neal, Elaine Newcomen, Ronald Edwards Pepper, Ula Sheather, Peter Sindrey, Amber Wade, Robert Wright.
Young Citizen of the Year 2022 - Paris Davis
Paris Davis has been volunteering as the Youth Leader for Gipps Youth Club at Orbost for the past four years.
Paris goes over and above to young people to participate in health and lifestyle programs and activities to benefit their health and wellbeing.
Paris is an inspiration to the community, assisting with raising funds for the Youth Club to support social activities for the young people and their families.
Nominees: Damen Bassett, Brydie Bourke, Chloe Peters.
Community Event of the Year 2022 - East Gippsland Winter Festival
The inaugural East Gippsland Winter Festival was a series of community events including lantern parades, laneway street food nights and food van feasts with live entertainment, projections, art and light installations, bonfire nights, concerts, exhibitions, ticketed dinners, performances, workshops and tours across the region.
It brought the community together and encouraged collaboration. The entire festival was designed around promoting the region - not one individual event. This included promotion of towns right across East Gippsland as well as local restaurants, wineries, breweries, chefs, producers, studios and galleries, and tourism operators.
Organisers collaborated and involved over 50local businesses and sole traders and 200 local community members with the festival in a volunteer capacity.
Nominees: 7 Generations Art Mural, Colour Ya World Bairnsdale, Landcare Sustainability Expo (Orbost Show), The Sandhill Ashes, Winter Festival Lantern Parade (Orbost).
East Gippsland Citizen of the Year
2022 - Ann and Stan Barker
2021 - Leo op den Brouw
2020 - Blake Hollonds
2019 - June Drake
2018 - Gerry Ciaverella
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
2022 - Paris Davis
2021 - James Bush
2020 - Annie Rogers
2019 - Torin Troy
2018 - Joint winners Aislin Jones and Jack Peterson
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
2022 - East Gippsland Winter Festival
2021 - Paynesville Classic Boat Rally
2020 - Joint winners 100th Orbost Uniting Church Annual Flower Show and Paynesville Music Festival
2019 - Cann River Volunteer Appreciation Day
2018 - Mallacoota Winter ‘SALTSTICE’ Youth Festival
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
Are you a Victorian born on 26 January? Then you’re a 26er!
Join the Australia Day Committee exclusive 26er club. Membership is free and you can join at any time by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of Victoria's 26er club are sent a birthday card and lapel pin for Australia Day each year.
For more information about the 26er club, visit 26ers Club.
We are proud to provide funding support to these community events that were held on Australia Day:
Time: 7.30 – 10.00 am
Location: Rotunda, Main Street Gardens
Contact: Bairnsdale Classic Car Club
Time: 8.30 – 10.30 am
Location: Central Reservation, Main Street
Contact: Bruthen Lions Club
Time: 8.00 – 10.00 am
Location: Mick Baum Park
Contact: Cann River Community Centre
Time: 10.30 – 12.00 pm
Location: Swan Reach Primary School
Contact: Twin Rivers Lions Club
Time: 7.30 – 10.00 am
Location: Lindenow Hall
Contact: Lindenow Lions Club
Time: 8.30 – 12.30 pm
Location: Court House Gardens
Contact: Omeoshire Lions Club
Time: 7.30 – 10.00 am
Location: Forest Park
Contact: Rotary Club of Orbost