Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 12, 2016 Edition Contents PAGE 38 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2016
SOUTH GIPPSLAND SHIRE NOMINATIONS
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council will congratulate its leading citizens and community events
with an Australia Day Awards Ceremony on January 20.
The ceremony kicks off at 7.30pm at the Leongatha Memorial Hall.
Nominees and recipients of Australia Day Awards will be announced for South Gippsland Citi-
zen of the Year and South Gippsland Event of the Year.
The South Gippsland Youth Community Contribution and South Gippsland Achievement
Award for a Person with a Disability Certificates will also be awarded.
Join in to congratulate the shire’s best
Citizen of the year
Maxine Kiel, Mirboo North
Currently President of Mirboo
Country Development Incorporated
(MCDI), Maxine has volunteered for
the group for over 20 years and was
instrumental in the development of
the Mirboo North Market.
This event provides the town with a
regular stream of income from which
many community events and facilities
Working with and engaging commu-
nity members are Maxine’s strength.
She was the inspiration behind the
recently built, community-funded bus
shelter, she works with main street
traders during the Christmas shop lo-
cal event (now in its fourth year), is
a member of the Arty Gras Commit-
tee, organises the annual Santa in the
Park event, the music festival and the
Mind, Body and Soul event.
As well as her commitment to MCDI,
Maxine works with Prom Country Re-
gional Tourism, Mirboo North Histor-
ical Society and Mirboo North RSL,
where she continues to be one of two
Vice Presidents of the Sub Branch.
Her contributions have included;
ongoing fundraising, researching and
recording details of local residents
who served in WWI, arranging the ac-
quisition of ceramic poppy tiles on the
graves of WW1 Servicemen buried in
the Mirboo North Cemetery and leading
the acquisition of military memorabilia.
Glenda Smith, Korumburra
A qualified nurse, Glenda has been
actively involved in a broad range of
community activities, including 10
different organisations, in Korum-
burra, Leongatha and regionally for
over 40 years.
A classically trained soprano singer,
her involvement with the Leongatha
Lyric Theatre is a stand out.
She was awarded Life Membership
in 1998, was president twice for a total
of five years and secretary for eight.
Her hands-on involvement for the
theatre group includes performing,
costume making, production manag-
er and directing.
Most importantly, Glenda has men-
tored young singers, not only in the
theatre group, but in schools and the
Her commitment to her commu-
nity extends to being a foundation
member of the South Gippsland Or-
chid Club, an active member of the
Karingal Ladies Service Club, choir
mistress for the Korumburra Uniting
Church, a standing member of the Ko-
rumburra Friends of the Library, Sec-
retary and committee member of the
Korumburra Golf Club, and a mem-
ber on Korumburra School Council
from 1972 – 1995.
Sandy Bucello, Foster
Sandy’s original career was teaching
children with special needs and this
was an early demonstration of her
care and commitment to the commu-
nity. Along with husband, Joe, Sandy
owned and operated the Foster Food-
works supermarket where she built a
specific training room for retail staff.
From this, Sandy developed an on-
line training package specifically for
staff in grocery operations, providing
invaluable development and personal
growth opportunities for local people.
Sandy became a member of the
Prom Country Aged Care Committee
before taking on the president’s role
to manage the $11 million, 60-bed fa-
She led the formation of a commu-
nity sub-committee that would go on
to raise $2 million towards the project.
Richard Powell, Meeniyan
Richard came to Meeniyan in 2000
and joined the Historical Society, the
local Progress Association and the
RSL sub-branch on his retirement
from the RAAF.
Richard used his vast technical
skills to digitally copy the Historical
Society’s large collection of photos
and storing them online.
Due to his interest in all things his-
torical, tourists to Meeniyan will soon
be able to identify historic sites and
buildings by signage using plaques fea-
turing Richard’s digital photography.
On joining the Progress Association,
Richard became involved with the in-
stallation of the audio system in the
Meeniyan Hall and as Treasurer devel-
oped an online hall booking system.
For the past 11 years he has been
the main technician and sound op-
erator for Progress Tavern and Jazz
nights, and various concerts.
Richard designed and installed
new directional lighting and trapeze
mounting for the Meeniyan Art and
Craft Exhibition, replacing 30 year
old festoon lights and produced a
number of PowerPoint presentations
showcasing such events.
Richard is a long serving member of
the Meeniyan RSL sub-branch where
he was secretary and the main organ-
iser of ANZAC Day memorials. He
continues to officiate at RSL funerals.
In 2007, he designed and installed
the Meeniyan website and has main-
tained it for the past eight years.
He also organised successful grant
submissions and engineered the ra-
dio installations for free WiFi in town,
and recently negotiated a 12 month
data sponsorship for users.
Gemma Martin, Meeniyan
Gemma (17), is a remarkable girl
who is determined to change the
world for the better.
Gemma took it upon herself to de-
vise, plan and promote a World’s
Greatest Shave event at the MDU
clubrooms in May 2015.
Then, at just 16 years of age, her
dedication to the cause is commend-
able and her perseverance in recruit-
ing participants, planning a success-
ful event and sacrificing her own hair
left everyone involved very impressed.
She raised over $6000 for the Leu-
An active member of the commu-
nity, Gemma assisted in coaching the
Under 11 netball team in 2015 and
the Under 13 netball team in 2014.
She has volunteered extensively with
MDU since 2013 in roles such as in the
club kitchen, waitressing and scoring.
Due to a chronic hip problem, Gem-
ma has been unable to play netball,
but her commitment to stay involved
in the game and the club has been a
She is a valuable role model for the
Academically, Gemma is an out-
standing student and also volunteers
at school wherever she is needed.
She has worked part time at Moos
in Meeniyan since January 2014 as a
waitress and kitchen-hand.
Lachlan O’Connor, Koonwarra
In his role as Coach for the Leon-
gatha Knights Senior Women’s team,
Lachlan (19), is building a club and
community culture that is critical for
small town sporting clubs.
Lachlan is a polite, caring and hon-
est individual who always tries his
best and his enjoyment of the game
of soccer is contagious.
Several women who play in the
team have young children who are
often present at training or on game
Lachlan always has time for the
little ones – often stopping training
or his mid-player address to pick up
one of the children who tug for his
This made the mothers of these
children feel welcome and accepted
into the team.
This small act of acceptance and
kindness that Lachlan displays
sends a strong message to the com-
munity that the Leongatha Knights
Soccer Club is a place you would be
welcome no matter your age, circum-
stance or skill level.
In this sense, Lachlan is leading
the way in a manner well beyond his
The women’s team went on to win
the 2015 championship under Lach-
Lachlan is an active member of the
Ruby CFA as a senior firefighter.
As well as attending a number of
emergencies, Lachlan also helps out
at community events.
Samuel (16), is heavily involved in
the Mirboo North Junior Basketball
Association as player, coach and
He plays for the Under 17 boys’
team and as team coordinator,
shows outstanding leadership and
commitment to other members of
He is the first to volunteer to help
at club functions and is a valuable
mentor for younger players while
coaching the Under 12 boys’ team.
Earlier in 2015, he was awarded
the club’s Most Disciplined Award
for his work ethic and encourage-
ment to others.
His teachers at Mirboo North Sec-
ondary College speak of him highly.
He is currently studying Year 11
with the hopes of attending univer-
sity to study engineering.
At school, he is hardworking,
courteous and dedicated.
In 2013 Samuel received the Duke
of Edinburgh Award and nominated
himself in 2015 to attend National
Young Leaders Day.
Rebekah Vagg, Leongatha
Rebekah (23), has displayed a
unique commitment to her com-
munity in a variety of areas ranging
from sport to community wellbeing
and the arts.
During her time at school, Re -
bekah was School Captain, received
the Caltex All Rounder Award and
the Southern Gippsland Alliance
Community Leader Award.
At the age of 17, she was the lead-
er of a local youth group where she
mentored young girls.
In 2014, she performed in the
Lyric Theatre’s production of Blood
Her most recent outstanding con-
tribution to the community is her
commitment to netball.
She is a strong advocate for the
game in which she has played and
umpired for 13 years.
Her love and commitment for
community connectedness shone
through when she made the decision
to join the Mt Eccles A Grade team.
Mt Eccles did not have the player
numbers and were threatening to
She played with Mt Eccles while
playing with the Leongatha Parrots
and won Best and Fairest accolades
in that year for both clubs.
Rebekah has volunteered for State
School netball competition, travel-
ling to Melbourne on various occa-
sions over two years.
She is also a volunteer on the
Leongatha and District Netball As-
sociation (LDNA) Twilight Competi-
tion Committee where she is Umpire
Coordinator for the mid-week com-
petition – organising 22 umpires for
11 games of netball per week for 13
Paige Biggs, Korumburra
Paige (16), was introduced to
scouting by a family friend in 2014
because of her kind nature and love
for children and the outdoors.
She joined the 2nd Korumburra
Cub Scouts as a Youth Helper and
will be training to become a qualified
volunteer Cub Scout Leader.
She involves herself in activities
and has created a strong bond with
the cubs, aged 8 – 11 years.
The cubs find it easy to talk to her
and she is a trustworthy confidant
about issues that affect them either
in or outside of cubs.
During her short time in scouting,
Paige has been actively involved in
programming and has participated
in Group, District and State events,
including the Cuboree in 2014.
She assists with the planning and
preparation for day trips and camps,
including activity books for cubs to
complete as part of their badge work.
She takes the role of mentor very
seriously and Paige is well on her way
to becoming a great Cub leader.
And the nominees are ...
Mirboo North’s Maxine Kiel.
Foster’s Sandy Bucello.
Meeniyan’s Gemma Martin.
Koonwarra’s Lachlan O’Connor.
Korumburra’s Paige Biggs.
Leongatha’s Rebekah Vagg.
Mirboo North’s Samuel McCarthy.
Meeniyan’s Richard Powell
Korumburra’s Glenda Smith
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