2023 community award recipients announced

Noorat’s Brendan Williams has been named Corangamite Shire’s 2023 Citizen of the Year.

He was presented with the award at the official Australia Day event at the Noorat Recreation Reserve.

The Young Citizen of the Year award was presented to Willoughby Perriss, of Cobden.

The Community Event of the Year Award went to the Colour Terang Festival.

Australia Day Ambassador Greg Sassella gave the keynote address.

Mr Williams has been an active volunteer across a number of organisations and community events for more than 30 years.

“I was inspired by a couple of local people in particular that I looked up to: John Conheady and Elizabeth Clarke,” he said. “They were incredibly busy individuals and despite both running large farming operations they were involved in so many important voluntary roles and always displayed the highest level of professionalism with everything they did.”

Brendan said the award was “humbling and a great honour”.

“Volunteering isn’t something you do for personal accolades but at the same time it’s wonderful to have it acknowledged that what you’re doing is worthwhile and your contribution is valued by the community. I’d like to pay tribute to all the other nominees. And thank them for everything they do to make their communities, and our shire, a wonderful place to live.”

Willoughby is the second Perriss Sibling to be named Young Citizen of the Year after sister Matilda received the laurel in 2019.

“It’s a family culture. We believe it’s necessary to give back to the community,” he said.

“It’s important for young people in particular to support the community. “It’s pretty hard to find people willing to give their time but time is the most important thing you can give to the community. I feel better knowing I’m contributing. You meet some amazing people. You’ve got to make those connections.”

Colour Terang Festival’s Ben Dennis said the eight person committee—himself, Gabrielle O’Brien, Ken McSween, Anne Corbin, Mary Bell, Des McKinnon, Carolyn Emeny and Claudia Morriss—were rapt to be able to put on the festival again.

“We’d fully planned it for the previous two years but couldn’t because of COVID,” he said. “We were rapt with the turnout. It was a great day for the community to come to. We’re very pleased to get this recognition for all the hard work that goes into it. It’s a 12-month process.”

Mayor Ruth Gstrein congratulated the winners and 31 recipients of Australia Day achievement awards.

“We are very fortunate to have such dedicated community champions in our Shire,” Cr Gstrein said.

“They all give generously of their time to benefit their towns and our wider community.

“Today we formally acknowledge their contribution and also recognise all of the unsung heroes across the Shire who work tirelessly to help make Corangamite a connected and thriving community.”


  • Jim Anderson, Derrinallum
  • Bill Berry, Timboon
  • Andrew Bodman, Skipton
  • Alison Byrne, Camperdown
  • Matthew Coverdale, Bostocks Creek
  • Sanjan Dawson, Skipton
  • Georgie Green, Skipton
  • Paul Hay, Terang
  • Sue Hunneybell, Skipton
  • Gary Kimber, Cobden
  • Laura Leslie, Skipton
  • Vicki Marr, Glenormiston
  • Margaret Moloney, Terang
  • Jan Murphy, Skipton
  • Anna Nash, Skipton
  • Gabrielle O’Brien, Terang
  • Faye Phillips, Noorat
  • John Peeters, Skipton
  • Kim Pringuer, Cobden
  • Denise Robertson, Cobden
  • Neville Robertson, Cobden
  • Peter Smith, Skipton
  • Jake Burleigh,Lismore
  • Keely Clark, Skipton
  • Patrick Gowans, Skipton
  • Abbie Hanks, Jancourt East
  • Monthly ‘What’s Noo?’, Doug and Kerrie Pollard Noorat
  • Tenth Anniversary of TOPS, Timboon
  • Pandemic First Responders Free BBQ and Mini Golf Fun Day, Cobden
  • Skipton Football Netball Club, Skipton
  • Skipton Flood preparation and clean-up — Skipton Youth, Skipton

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