Congratulations 2019 Australia Day Award Winners

Published on 23 January 2019


Winners of Baw Baw Shire’s 2019 Australia Day Awards have been recognised for their service to the community at the annual presentation ceremony held last night at the West Gippsland Arts Centre.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Cr Mikaela Power presented seven community members and groups with awards with assistance from Deputy Mayor Cr Danny Goss. Councillors and members of Council’s Executive team were also in attendance supporting the winners and their nominators.

Official Australia Day Ambassador Paul Wheelton AM KSJ featured as a guest speaker and spoke of what it meant to him to be an Australian.

Melina Bath MP Member for Eastern Victoria contributed some closing words after the award presentations affirming the importance of recognising and celebrating the special people who have contributed to our communities so selflessly.

Mayor Cr Mikaela Power said the awards provide a great platform to recognise and acknowledge those who give back to the community every day without seeking recognition.

"Our Australia Day Awards are a wonderful occasion honouring the special people in our community who go above and beyond the call of duty. We congratulate all seven winners on their achievements", said the Mayor.

“Several criteria are taken into consideration when selecting award recipients. Many strong nominations were received, and the choice was a difficult one. Each category winner should take great pride in their award.

"We are very fortunate to have so many extraordinary people living here in Baw Baw, each truly devoted to making our Shire such a magnificent place to live. We thank each award recipient for their contributions to our community."


Image: Cr Darren Wallace, Cr Peter Kostos, Cr Jessica O'Donnell, Mayor Cr Mikaela Power, Australia Day Ambassador Paul Wheelton AM KSJ, Cr Michael Leaney, Deputy Mayor Cr Danny Goss and Cr Keith Cook.


Image: Mayor Cr Mikaela Power, Australia Day Ambassador Paul Wheelton AM KSJ and Melina Bath MP Member for Eastern Victoria. 

Citizen of the Year – Peter Ware

Peter is a wonderful ambassador for the Baw Baw Shire community whose efforts are tireless and humble. Peter dedicates his time and knowledge volunteering with several different organisation and groups including Meals on Wheels, Volunteer gardening for older people, reading to people with limited vision as well as working with the Friends of Drouin Trees group.

In addition to his voluntary efforts, he has worked hard to inform and educate our community and inspire them to take pride in their environment and its ecology. Peter has a long-time interest in birds, trees and flora and fauna. This interest has seen Peter compiling the piece titled “100 birds of Drouin”. He is a passionate advocate of the preservation and regeneration of natural public spaces within the Drouin urban area.

His ever-increasing interest in the township of Drouin has seen him become a member of the Committee for Drouin, taking office as Secretary. He has conducted numerous events, talks and presentations to school children, the general public, senior citizens and participates in the activities of many groups.


Community Event of the Year – Warragul Farmers Market

The Warragul Farmers Market has become a local institution, growing from strength to strength over the years. The community look forward to the third Saturday of each month where beautiful Civic Park comes alive as a hive of market activity.

The market is more than just a place to buy local produce, it is a place of opportunity. Local businesses have a platform to make their dreams a reality and share their products with the local community. Each month the market committee spend hours planning the best way to showcase our local people and their produce. Team is continuously championing the amazing people, products and produce on offer from Baw Baw Shire and beyond.

Behind this wonderful market is an equally wonderful woman – Sallie Jones. Sallie is always the first to support the community dedicating countless hours of her time to help bring people together and celebrate the region. Through her company, Gippsland Jersey, she helps support farmers in need and is an advocate for the positive wellbeing and mental health of the farmers who are doing it tough in the current climate.

Sallie and the team of dedicated volunteers who run the market each month give the Baw Baw Shire community so much. The success of each market day is a testament to the team’s passion and vision.


Cultural Achievement Award – Lynn Jones

Lynn is a dedicated volunteer who has committed countless hours to her community. She voluntarily ran a youth choir for seven years giving many local children the opportunity to learn to sing and participate in a choir. She has since taken up private singing lessons – always going beyond paid work to assists her students, often travelling to Melbourne to attend exams with them.

Lynn is now working with Mawarra instructing the choir. She works tirelessly to bring joy, song and laughter to people with a disability. She has a special way of working with people to bring out their full potential. Her special care has resulted in some fantastic para-eisteddfod performances.

Lynn combines her musical talents and leadership instincts to nurture many musicians and singers to a high level of competence. Music has helped her students achieve so much by gaining confidence and courage to be onstage.


Australia Day Medallion – Michael Brennan

Michael is entrenched in the Trafalgar and surrounding community having dedicated himself to community activities for many years. Michael’s peers describe him as a true asset for the Trafalgar community and a worthy recipient of recognition.

A tireless volunteer at the Trafalgar Holden Museum, Michael serves as vice president of the museum’s committee of management. Michael spends much of his available time using his specialist skills to restore and present artefacts for visitors to enjoy. He is a major organiser for activities and promotions conducted at the venue. His contribution to the museum is invaluable and significantly contribute to the museum’s success.

Michael also participates in the running of the opportunity shop in Trafalgar which financially supports the local residential aged care facility Andrews House.


Australia Day Medallion – Gayle Chippindall

Gayle has been actively involved in guiding for over 30 years, receiving many service awards including the Banksia, Boronia and Grevillea awards. Gayle has been pivotal in the growth of the Warragul Girl Guide Unit - growing from 2 to 5 units. Her hard work, effective management and encouraging nature has inspired other parents to become leaders. She is always there to guide and provide practical support for new leaders on their journey. Gayle is at the hall many times a week, actively participating in programs and behind-the-scene activities such as attending camps and fundraising events.

What makes her stand out from others is that she is a quiet achiever. She sees a need then quietly and patiently goes about achieving that. She is a great supporter of others, she is a good listener and mentor. Among her peers, Gayle is a valued leader and a role model. She is perceptive and a great listener, always looking to find ways to develop others confidence.


Australia Day Medallion – Tim Hurst

Tim Hurst is described as helpful, kind, unflappable, cheerful, patient, considerate and never bad tempered. Tim is a highly respected amongst his peers, colleagues and community. For over 20 years, Tim has volunteered his time to many various projects including:

  • 11 years on the gate at Buln Buln Football Club.
  • Selling Anzac Day poppies for the Drouin RSL Club.
  • Past player, life member and volunteer at the Drouin Hockey Club.
  • 6 years at Badminton Drouin.
  • Community projects at the Rotary Club of Drouin.
  • Active member and Lion of the Year Award recipient at the Lions Club of Drouin.
  • Volunteer at Food Relief Warragul.
  • Active member at the Drouin KeenAgers Table Tennis activities.
  • Previous umpire at Drouin Squash Club and Drouin Cricket Club.

Tim is always there to lend a helping hand and continues to volunteer his time helping local clubs and organisations achieve their goals. As a most reliable volunteer, he is often called upon to assist and always gives 110 per cent. Additionally, Tim possesses qualities of respect, reliability, trustworthiness, courtesy, conscientiousness and above all, a willingness to help.


Australia Day Medallion – Margaret McDonald

Margaret is an integral member of the Tetoora Road community, heavily involved in the local community centre and local events – including Australia Day celebrations. With her skills as an accountant, Margaret currently serving as secretary and treasurer on the Tetoora Road Community Centre’s committee of management, dedicating many hours to help run the facility.

She displays great leadership, resulting in a vibrant community centre and improved facilities, especially over the last five years. No task is too great for Margaret – at times she has also been the volunteer cleaner, dishwasher and toilet cleaner. At the centre, Margaret facilitates a “Connecting Kids” program engaging school children and their families living in remote areas who travel by bus to school. Through this program, Margaret has instilled the very essence of community. This program has led to new friendships between people of all ages – even resulting in a few dances and card nights.

Margaret has also been treasurer of the Mt Worth and District Landcare Group. She has significantly contributed to the success of the program - at one time managing over $150,000 in grants at an exceptionally high standard.

Margaret’s friends and fellow committee members describe her as a quiet achiever who does not seek recognition. She is passionate about her local community and is a genuine advocate for the region.