Congratulations to our Alpine Shire Australia Day Award recipients

INDIVIDUALS and community groups have been recognised for supporting their communities and excelling in their chosen fields this Australia Day.

The annual Alpine Shire Australia Day Community Awards celebrate the hard work and dedication of local volunteers and outstanding residents.

Alpine Shire Mayor Jan Vonarx said Australia Day is a time to recognise the achievement of people who give their time and resources to make our communities special.

“Congratulations to everyone who received an award, and to all those nominated,” she said.

“We rely on nominations from our community to help us recognise these unsung heroes, who often give so much of their time to help others, so thank you to everyone who nominated.

“It’s fantastic to see the diversity of individuals and groups who have been recognised - from L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program volunteers to the organisers of the Mount Beauty Half Marathon.

“We have some truly inspirational residents in the Alpine Shire, like our Alpine Shire Citizen of the Year Barbara Pyle and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Stuart Hargreaves.

“People like Ron Cherry and Elisha Hazeldine are the reason our communities are vibrant and supportive places to live.

“These awards also recognise our young people for excelling and playing an important part in their communities, so congratulations to Sam Northey and Breanna Johnson for receiving Local Young Achiever awards for their districts.”

The Alpine Shire Australia Day Award recipients for 2015 are:

Award Recipient
Local Achiever of the Year Kiewa Valley Barbara Pyle
Local Achiever of the Year Bright and District Ron Cherry
Local Achiever of the Year Myrtleford and District Elisha Hazeldine
Local Young Achiever of the Year Kiewa Valley Sam Northey
Local Young Achiever of the Year Myrtleford and District Breanna Johnson
Community Event of the Year Mount Beauty Half Marathon
Community Organisation of the Year Alpine Shire L2P Program
Lifetime Achievement Award Stuart Hargreaves
Alpine Shire Citizen of the Year Barbara Pyle

Local Achiever of the Year – Kiewa Valley - Barbara Pyle
Barbara’s contribution to the Kiewa Valley community involves very active participation in committees, boards, clubs, schools, and many other organisations for more than 40 years.
Barbara was an executive member of both Falls Creek and Mount Beauty Chambers of Commerce, ensuring that both benefitted from each other. She was also a member of Tawonga and District General Hospital Board of Management and honorary Treasurer for many years, playing a vital role in the development of the hospital and assisting with many fundraising activities.
Barbara is also part of the Mount Beauty Music Festival team, working in the office area since 2007.
She played a huge role in the inception of the Bendigo Community Bank branch at Mount Beauty, and continues as a Director and Chair of the Sponsorship and Marketing sub-committee.
Her involvement with the Mount Beauty Rotary Club is extensive. The Kiewa Valley Historical Society is one of Barbara’s great passions. Barb has been involved with the KVHS for 20 years and has been president for the last five years. She was instrumental in the planning and delivery of the historical displays at the Mount Beauty Visitor Information Centre.

Local Achiever of the Year - Bright and District - Ron Cherry.
Many locals and visitors alike enjoy a leisurely 18-holes at the Bright Country Golf Club, but few would know the major role Ron had in its development.
For 70 years, a mountainous 14-hole course near Toorak Avenue was home to Bright’s small golf club, until Ron saw an opportunity develop a new site on Back Porepunkah Road. It was to be a huge project, the likes of which had never been attempted by the Club.
His dedication and persistence to the community’s vision for new and improved golfing facilities culminated in the re-establishment of the golf course in its current location after many years of complex negotiation with the relative government departments.
Without Ron’s drive and tenacity, this monumental project would never have succeeded. Ron overcame many obstacles to acquire the land, and spent many years and countless hours of his time developing the new course.
Ron remains actively involved in the Bright Country Golf Club today and demonstrates excellence in his past and present ability to commit his time to the on-going growth of a valuable community facility and Shire asset.

Local Achiever of the Year for Myrtleford and District - Elisha Hazeldine.
Elisha is hardworking and community-minded. She is also the mother of three children – Jack 7, Jade 6 and Zahra 4.
Along with her family life, work at Myrtleford Lodge and St Mary’s Primary School, Elisha offers her time to many community activities.
She is involved in basketball, not only as a player, but coaching her son Jack’s team and taking on 20 kinder to prep-aged kids as Aussie Hoops Coordinator.
Elisha is involved in volleyball as secretary for a voluntary committee.
Along with her husband Rory, Elisha started an indoor soccer competition.
At Myrtleford playgroup, Elisha has been a part of the volunteer committee and has been in Vice President and secretary roles. Without volunteers like Elisha, playgroup would not run at all.
Elisha has also given time to the Pony Club and was one of the organizers of Carly’s Fundraiser, an event created to help a friend diagnosed with Cancer. More than $30,000 was raised for Carly and her family at the fundraiser.
Elisha is willing to give her time so that children within the Myrtleford community can have the same opportunities that she had growing up. Without Elisha’s help, there would not have been extra funding or the opportunity for our children to learn, interact and play sport.

Local Young Achiever of the Year - Kiewa Valley - Sam Northey.
Sam is a Tawonga resident and at 18 years of age has already made a significant contribution to the community through his volunteer work, particularly with the CFA, both in Mount Beauty and Tawonga.
Sam played a key role in Mount Beauty CFA’s rescue of a father and son at Beechworth Gorge last summer. He has pursued training in structural fire fighting, rope rescue, road accident rescue, and advance trauma care adding to the skill base available to the communities requiring the CFA’s assistance.
Sam has also been spotted collecting for Royal Children’s Hospital, helping Santa deliver Christmas treats and also MC’ing at the local Deb Ball.
Sam has also achieved excellence on the hockey field as a member of the Australian Wanderers U18 team travelling to Europe and UK, playing nine matches in England, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. In his second year as a member of the Albury/Wodonga Spitfires, Sam played in the Capital League in Canberra, and for his third year was drafted to play in the hockey 8’s charity tournament playing alongside Australian players helping to raise over $60,000 for local charities.

Local Young Achiever of the Year for Myrtleford - Breanna Johnson.
Breanna has been dancing in Myrtleford with the Body Basic Dance Academy since the age of 4. She has a passion for both dance and acting and has undertaken extensive hours of training to develop her skills.
In addition to her full time studies at Marian College, Breanna travels to Benalla three times a week for further dance and singing lessons as well as her usual lessons in Myrtleford.
Breanna gets enjoyment from helping the younger dancers in the many competitions that she attends, although at 14 years of age she is too young to teach.
Breanna has won many dance awards and one day wants to be a dance physiotherapist and dance teacher, however her love for musical theatre and entertaining people is higher on her list at the moment.
Breanna’s dance teacher encouraged her to audition for Melbourne company “Kidzact” and she was successful out of 500 applicants. Acceptance into this company resulted in Breanna taking part in a production of The Little Mermaid, a role that required travelling to Melbourne twice a week for 16 weeks for practice and then two weeks of sell out concerts in April 2014.

Community Event of the Year - Mount Beauty Half Marathon
Known as one of Australia’s most scenic races, the Mount Beauty Half Marathon has been running for 34 years. With an emphasis on fun for the whole family and serious runners alike, the program consists of 3km, 10km and half marathon races, taking in the scenic views of the Upper Kiewa Valley.
Conducted by the Kangaroo Hoppet in conjunction with the Mount Beauty Chamber of Commerce and with the help of over 50 volunteers, it is the first event in the Great Alpine Challenge (the other two events being Kangaroo Hoppet and the Mitta to Mount Beauty Bike Race).
In 2013, a record number of entries were received with over 500 participants across the three races. The event draws hundreds of people from all over the state, and helps promote the Alpine Shire and its exceptional lifestyle and beauty as well as the importance of being healthy and active.

Community Organisation of the Year - Alpine Shire L2P Program
The L2P Program is a state wide initiative funded by the TAC, managed by VicRoads and delivered by local councils. It provides young learner drivers 120 hours of supervised driving practice. The program is delivered at a local level by volunteer mentors who are trained by VicRoads, undertake security checks to be eligible to work with youngsters and attend regular meetings to update their skills.
Additionally, the mentors must make themselves available to their mentees at times that are convenient for the learner - most of whom are school students - and also at other varying times as they are required to drive in a range of road conditions, including a set number of hours at night.
The L2P mentors are:
From the Ovens Valley: Margaret Attard, Ian Glanville, Trevor Isherwood, George McPherson, Ray Owens, Ian Cheyne and Michael Jinette
From the Kiewa Valley: Ken Darling, Gael Little, Bill Little, Helen McDougal, Noel McDougal, Keith Pike and Paul Sharman

Lifetime Achievement Award - Stuart Hargreaves
Stuart has always been a “hands on” person. He has been a member of the Bright Fire Brigade for 60 years and was made an honorary life member of the CFA in 1992. For 50 years Stuart has been involved with the Apex Club of Bright. He was a foundation member, president, board member and is now a life member of Apex. Stuart is also heavily involved with the Rotary Club of Bright, notching up over 35 years as a member.
Stuart was the Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Bright branch of the Bendigo Community Bank and has continued as a Director since its opening in 2006. Stuart was also a foundation member of the Alpine Probus Club.
Many positive outcomes from projects in which he has been involved or influenced are evident in Bright, including fundraising for the purchase of an ambulance for Bright in the 1950’s, extension of the Youth Club Hall to create what is now the Bright Community Centre, and the development of the Bright Sports Centre, the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, and the Rotary water slide.


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