2024 Australia Day Local Award winners

aus day reps and mayor with winners.jpg

Mornington Peninsula Shire has announced its 2024 Australia Day Local Awards winners.

The winners are:

Citizen of the Year: Nancye-Joy Gardner

Young Citizen of the Year: Hannah O'Loghlin

Community Event of the Year: Dromana Australia Day Event

Lifetime Achievement Award: Bruce Foster Turner and Greg Fitzgerald

Community Spirit Award: Somerville Family Day

About Citizen of the Year recipient – Nancye-Joy Gardner

Nancye-Joy is being recognised for her commitment to road safety over the past 25 years. Her nominator says Auntie Nance, as she is often referred to, is someone who shakes up her community and is"a force to be reckoned with. Nancye knows how to make events happen and get people involved."

Nancye has a passion for guiding her community towards zero road deaths and has run road safety programs on the Peninsula and south east Melbourne for 30 years with Wiser Driver Programs.

Since 2016 Nancye has run Senior Driver Expos, which help senior drivers improve their driving skills and knowledge of road rules.

She is a volunteer judge of Junior awards for the Lions Club and has been involved in the Sir Hubert Opperman Bicycle Education Competition for over 20 years. This event is a Mornington Peninsula exclusive and encourages Grades 5 and 6 students to showcase their bicycle skills and compete against other primary schools in a friendly environment.

Nancye is also a Justice of the Peace and a volunteer for the Coast Guards at Safety Beach. Nancye's contribution to the Peninsula is highly commendable.

About Young Citizen of the Year recipient – Hannah O'Loghlin

Hannah is being recognised for her various volunteer roles in the community. For four years Hannah was involved with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Youth Advisory Group, now known as the Youth Advisory Committee.

In 2023 Hannah was invited to apply for the 2023 Mornington Peninsula Shire Citizens Panel. This panel covered many hot topics affecting the Shire including Open Air Burning Local Law, Visitor Paid Parking Pilot, Waste Collection, Urban Forest Strategy, Safer Speeds, and the Road Safety Strategy.

While she was on the panel she was invited to speak at the Australian Local Government Women's Association (ALGWA) national conference about her experience with the citizens panel.

Hannah is also involved with the Australian Scouting Association, as a Venturer with the Dromana, Rosebud, Red Hill, Sorrento Venturer Unit. She is the head of fundraising in her unit. She was the leader of the group of eight Scouts from the Peninsula who attended the 25thWorld Scout Jamboree, making sure they were covered and informed during the unforeseen events that took place.

Hannah was recently recognised for her efforts by Getrude Matshe (Mart-shay), a Global Curator and Founder of HerStory Circle, by being interviewed by her for HerStory Circle.

Hannah also volunteers with the Dromana Community Garden and the Country Women's Association and has leadership roles at her school.

About Community Event of the Year recipient – Dromana Australia Day Event

For 18 years the Dromana Australia Day event has been running on the Dromana foreshore and brings in thousands of locals and visitors with an estimated 7,000 attending last year.

Originally started by the McCrae Lions Club with a free breakfast on the foreshore to celebrate Australia Day, it is now organised by the Dromana Australia Day Committee with over 30 dedicated volunteers. Sponsorship and donations are also received from more than 50 sources including Mornington Peninsula Shire, Community Bank Southern Peninsula, National Australia Day Council, Hillview Quarries, Ritchies IGA and Bunnings to name a few.

The morning starts with a free community breakfast. There is live music, children's entertainment and free activities including a giant slide, face painting, as well as displays by local community groups, food vendors, announcement of the Ray Barnard Brown community youth awards, a boat shed competition and flag raising. A fun day for many and well attended!

About Lifetime Achievement Award recipient – Bruce Foster Turner

Bruce is being recognised for his esteemed and long service to the Rosebud RSL sub-branch.

In 1986 Bruce joined the club, becoming a member of the committee in 1987, then Vice-President in 2003 and now President since 2013, and has brought about enormous changes for the club. He has encouraged and developed a professional committee culture which resulted in the club's first strategic planning workshop in 2021. These will continue annually and be responsible for the development of annual business plans and the continuity of the club's masterplan.

Since the introduction of Gaming, Bruce has been instrumental in the procurement of top line entertainers relating to the club's demographic as well as for special commemoration events, particularly ANZAC Day with uniquely themed shows. Bruce is also one of the very few Advocacy Training Development Program accredited Level 4 Tribunal Advocates in Victoria and has successfully represented thousands of veterans and widows. He has also maintained his status as the Senior Welfare Officer in Rosebud where he and his team of volunteers have performed thousands of hours carrying out veteran welfare.

In 2022, Bruce was inducted into the RSL Hall of Fame with his peers recognising his achievements and contributions to the community. Bruce was awarded Life Membership with Gold Bar in August 2023 in recognition of his service to, not only the RSL, but also the community in general.

About Lifetime Achievement Award recipient – Greg Fitzgerald

Greg is being recognised for his service to Rotary and the Dromana community.

Greg joined the Dromana Rotary Club in 2000 and has been president twice. He received a Paul Harris Fellow Award which recognises achievements in Rotary.

He has lobbied the Shire on behalf of Rotary many times to get things done around Dromana. He was behind the building of BBQ shelters and picnic tables around the town with Rotary support. Greg got club members involved in the Hillview Reserve project and was the main driver in forming the Peninsula Mountain Bike Committee. The reserve now has picnic spaces, a BBQ shelter, walking and bike tracks and toilet block. It has also had major native planting and weed control thanks to Greg. Greg was also instrumental in establishing the highly successful Halloween event complete with bonfire and the Dromana Christmas decorations. He initiated the 'Town Crier' Facebook page for all Dromana news and events announcements.

He represents the club on the Bay Trail Project and is currently lobbying for a walking track under the chairlift on Arthurs Seat.

About Community Spirit Award recipient – Somerville Family Day

Somerville Family Day is an annual event held in March, run by a small group of volunteers. It's a fun filled day for the community, showcasing all that Somerville and surrounds has to offer.

There's a great selection of market stalls, rides, sporting clubs, community groups, Scouts, Country Fire Authority and State Emergency Service, historic displays, food vendors, a huge car show and plenty of free kids' activities. Funds raised from the day are donated back to different groups and associations in need. The event began in 2015 as a sausage sizzle to raise funds for Auskick, growing each year and now attracts over 10,000 visitors.

Since 2017, nearly $45,000 has been donated to various groups and causes like the Country Fire Authority, Tyabb Primary School and Somerville Secondary College, Somerville Community House, Nathan's Cause, Breast Intentions, Somerville Bowls and various local sporting clubs.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Councillor Simon Brooks:

"On behalf of myself and all my fellow Councillors, I extend my congratulations to all 2024 award winners. Your contribution to this community is priceless."

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