Australia Day awards pay tribute to community champions

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Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A historian, primary school teacher, model aeroplane teacher and CFA volunteer have received the top honours at the City of Whittlesea Australia Day awards.

Gillian Borrack was named Citizen of the Year, Joshua Beare received the Access and Inclusion Citizen of the Year award, Senior Citizen of the Year was awarded to Brian Crowley and Young Citizen of the Year was presented to Liam Gallagher.

Mayor Cr Lawrie Cox said 20 nominations were received for the Australia Day Awards.

“The awards are a great opportunity for Council and the local community to recognise community champions who have made generous contributions to the lives of many,” Cr Cox said.

“The nominations highlight the strong volunteer spirit that is so widespread within the City of Whittlesea.

“Every nominee had made selfless and generous contributions to the community which made it hard to choose winners.

“Throughout the year I encourage everyone to look around their local communities and when the awards open again later this year nominate someone who is making a positive difference.”

2019 City of Whittlesea Australia Day Award recipients:

Citizen of the Year – Gillian Borrack

Gillian has led the process of achieving museum accreditation for Ziebell's Farmhouse and Garden from Museums Australia Victoria in 2018. This achievement was the result of the far-sightedness and tireless efforts of Gillian. She spent ten years focussing on achieving this goal. She has also been responsible for the development of the following policies: ‘Volunteers’, ‘Collection’, ‘Maintenance and Donations’ and has been involved in the rewriting of the FOW Constitution. Gillian has also been the backbone of the Friends of Westgarthtown Executive for all twenty-four years of its existence, having served as a secretary and a treasurer during that time.  Aside from that, her dedication to the community goes back more than forty years. She has also developed and run a number of events which includes Descendants' Days, Council's Annual Cultural Heritage Program events and Germanfest.

Access and Inclusion Citizen of the Year – Joshua Beare

Joshua has made significant contributions to the students and staff of The Lakes Primary School by going beyond his official role as a staff member. Josh has assisted students from different cultural backgrounds who have struggled to behave appropriately inside and outside of the classroom and those who have become disengaged with attending school. Joshua has acted as a positive male role model through working with the students to improve their behaviour and to improve their engagement and interest in learning. Joshua is also involved in providing students with a number of opportunities outside of the standard curriculum including camps, gender specific sport programs and aquatic education programs.

Senior Citizen of the Year – Brian Crowley

Brian has contributed to his local community through sharing his passion for model aircrafts with others. As a member of the Model Aircraft Club, Brian has been teaching students for more than a decade regarding the art of building model aeroplanes. Brian has ensured that his passion is something that is accessible for all, teaching people of all abilities the art of building a model aircraft. Brian also dedicates his own time and resources to ensuring it is an activity which can truly be enjoyed by all. His efforts in this area have not gone unnoticed as he has been featured in the local Leader newspaper.

Young Citizen of the Year – Liam Gallagher

Liam has volunteered with the Epping CFA since 2016. Liam's contributions to the CFA have been well acknowledged with Liam winning Epping CFA Firefighter of the Year in 2018, The Peter Hewett Community Awareness award and the Captain Cliff Smith Memorial Award. Liam is on call to attend situations that most could not imagine. He is also heavily involved in the fundraising activities of the CFA such as the Epping CFA Santa Run and the Royal Children's Hospital Appeal. Liam is also the Communications Coordinator for the Epping CFA. In December 2018 he was a part of a contingent of Victorian CFA volunteers deployed to Queensland to provide assistance.