January 31st, 2024Council awards for citizens and events
Creswick’s Neville Cartledge OAM and Pat Tacey have shared the top honour and jointly been named Hepburn Shire Citizen of the Year.
Alice Newitt was named Young Person of the Year, with a special commendation to the youth band, Elysium, while ChillOut Festival took out Event of the Year.
Mr Cartledge has long been a contributor to the Creswick community. He began raising funds for the Creswick Hospital in 1953, and joined the Creswick Hospital Board in 1970. In 1983 he became a foundation board member of the John Curtin Memorial Hostel Committee.
He has made an enormous contribution to scouting in the district over his 70 years of service, during which time he trained 33 Queen Scouts, an extraordinary number from one scout group, and is also a Scout Life Member for Victoria.
He has also been a member of the CFA since he was 17, last year marking 68 years of service.
Mr Tacey has also made an incredible contribution to the Creswick community. His experience as an educator and leader has come to the fore in his work leading community resilience and disaster recovery efforts in Creswick, as well as fundraising for Creswick residents in need, distributing essential resources and supporting mental health programs in Hepburn Shire.
Mr Tacey works collaboratively with groups and organisations and is described as always having the community at heart.
Ms Newitt is an active volunteer with the Clunes Football Netball Club, Clunes Booktown Festival, Hepburn Shire Youth Forum and as a dance leader for young people through Clunes Neighbourhood House.
ChillOut Festival took out the Event of the Year award, an event that brought more than 30,000 people to the shire last year. ChillOut is an incredibly successful, fun and colourful event which has grown to become Australia’s largest queer country pride festival since its inception in 1997.
Others nominated for Citizen of the Year were Michelle Clifford, Wendy McKillop, Trish McMahon, Jenni Sewell and Margaret Orr.
Other Event of the Year nominees were Calembeen Parkrun Launch, CresFest 2023, Spud Hut Tours during Spudfest and Creswick NAIDOC Week Celebrations.
The council will create a new category for the 2025 awards. This will be the Hepburn Together Award, which will recognise and celebrate the contribution of community groups and organisations. Nominations for the 2025 Community Awards will open later this year.
Words & image: Contributed