More than 150 people attended this year's East Gippsland Shire Council Australia Day Awards at Newlands Arm Community Centre on Saturday 21 January.
You can watch a recording of the ceremony on our YouTube channel.
This year's recipients are:
Simon has been helping Sarsfield’s recovery from the Black Summer bushfires.
As part of the Sarsfield Community Association, Simon has led the committee with enthusiasm and dedication to obtain the best future for Sarsfield.
He has been passionate in driving surveys to find out what was important to the wider community as he always advocates the role of the committee is to serve the community.
Simon has inspired many people to step up into leadership positions on the committee.
He inspired the rest of the committee to keep fighting when a grant application for a new hall, playground, and community space was denied on a technicality.
He kept the committee positive and drove public awareness of the issue – to the point the decision was reversed.
Simon has been president of the Sarsfield Community Association for two years and is also president of the Sarsfield CFA.
Tillyrose is a fundraising dynamo. She is a fundraising leader for her school and has raised funds for multiple foundations throughout her young life.
Tillyrose was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age seven. When she was nine, she raised $1500 for charity by cutting off her waist-length hair. The hair was used to make wigs for sick children.
Taking part in STEPtember, Tillyrose and her family raised $3000 for a cerebral palsy charity.
The MS Readathon has also benefited from Tillyrose’s charitable endeavours – with almost $2000 raised over three years.
Tillyrose has been an active member of Girl Guides for seven years and is working towards her Junior BP Badge, which takes its name from Lord Baden-Powell and the guides’ motto of Be Prepared.
Tillyrose is an exceptional young woman who has stayed positive and supportive of others despite her own challenges.
Bairnsdale’s National Tree Day event is organised by Bairnsdale Urban Landcare Group. Each year, the group works with the Bairnsdale Scout Group and the community to educate and provide a hands-on opportunity for the public, especially children and youth, to revegetate and maintain the Mitchell River Walking Track.
The event has demonstrated excellence in drawing together a diverse range of people from the community.
An annual event over the past decade, its ongoing legacy is the natural environment that has been created as a consequence of the mass-planting events.
This, in turn, has created a wonderful outdoor venue for recreation and leisure.
Helen Martin – a long-time resident of East Gippsland and Director of the East Gippsland Community Foundation – joined us at the Australia Day Awards to talk about service to community.
As well as being an active volunteer with the Country Fire Authority and Red Cross Emergency Services, Helen has held senior positions in government which included work with community recovery from disasters.
The Black Summer bushfires gave Helen a clear view of the impacts of natural disasters on individuals, communities and the environment. Helen is a graduate of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program and is strongly committed to enhancing the East Gippsland Community Foundation’s role in assisting recovery and building resilience.
Helen was also a member of the Gippsland Coastal Board from 2006 and chair between 2009 to 2012. She was also a member of several state government advisory councils.
“I feel honoured to be selected as East Gippsland’s Australia Day Awards Ambassador. These awards are a true reflection of the community spirit and acknowledge the local people who go above and beyond for their community,” Helen said.
East Gippsland Citizen of the Year
2023 - Simon Hof
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
2023 - Tillyrose Hambling
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
2023 - Bairnsdale National Tree Day
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
Were you a Victorian born on 26 January? If so, you’re a 26er!
Join the Australia Day Committee's exclusive 26ers Club. Membership is free and you can join at any time by emailing: email@example.com
Members of Victoria's 26ers Club are sent a birthday card and lapel pin for Australia Day each year.
For more information about the 26ers Club, visit 26ers Club.
Time: 7.30 am - 9.15 am
Location: Rotunda, Main Street, Bairnsdale
Contact: Bairnsdale Classic Car Club
Time: 7.30 am - 10.00 am
Location: Lindenow Hall
Contact: Lindenow Lions Club
Time: 8.30 am - 12.30 pm
Location: Court House Gardens (Memorial Hall if raining)
Contact: Omeo Shire Lions Club
Time: 7.30 am - 10.00 am
Location: Forest Park
Contact: Rotary Club of Orbost
Time: 10.30 am - 11.30 am
Contact: Twin Rivers Lions Club