Awards honour dedication
FAY Sinclair has been announced as this year’s South Gippsland Citizen of the Year.
A large cheer erupted through Leongatha Memorial Hall as master of ceremonies Ned Dennis announced her name last Wednesday.
“I’m really honoured to be here. As the other volunteers would know, we don’t do this for the award at the end,” Mrs Sinclair said upon receiving the award.
“We do it for the love of the community. It’s for our future, the future of our children, and their children.”
The award has been some years in the making, given that Mrs Sinclair began volunteering for the Meeniyan Netball Club at just 14, and has since spent 30 years on the committee of the South Gippsland Netball Association, as well as coaching and umpiring.
Her nomination read with service to rival any working groups, given that Mrs Sinclair has given her time to the MDU Football Club, Young Farmers, the Victorian Cake Decorating Association, Cubs and Scouts.
For the past nine years she has also worked one day a week at the local kindergarten and at the end of each year teaches cake decorating to Grade 6 students on a voluntary basis.
“Fay is a skilled negotiator and communicator. She is a thoughtful, well prepared and concise public speaker whose down to earth attitude and good humour are legendary,” her nomination read.
“In addition to running a busy household, Fay milks up to 240 cows morning and night (usually alone) with husband Daryl and the boys doing the cleanup.”
The Meeniyan Progress Association was responsible for nominating South Gippsland’s Citizen of 2011, but their success did not stop there.
The association also nominated winners for South Gippsland’s Community Event of the Year, the Meeniyan Carnivale.
President of the Lyrebird Arts Council, John Fowler, said that a lot of hard work went into creating the event, but the group did have
“We’ve been putting in hard work for 11 years, but we do it because we love live music – it’s kind of selfish in a way,” Mr Fowler said.
“It was a joint effort with the Meeniyan Progress Association. There’s so much work that has to be done. It’s great to see that people enjoyed it.”
With only one nomination for the Young Citizen of the Year, it was obvious who was taking home the junior prize.
But Mr Dennis said that nothing would detract from Eliza Attenborough’s recognition.
Nominated by the Poowong Community Consultative Committee, Eliza is regarded as an intelligent and confident young woman with fantastic interpersonal skills and a strong work ethic.
“Her support of her clubs ranges from umpiring, coaching and fundraising to waitressing, bookwork and cleaning. She is willing to help wherever needed, and always with a great attitude,” her nomination read.
“Her grace and maturity make her a worthy ambassador of South Gippsland youth.”
Eliza was unavailable to collect her award on Wednesday night, so instead it was accepted by her parents Ted and Annie.
“We’re very proud of her achievements and we look forward to seeing her progress through her nursing and through life,” Mr Attenborough said.
Australia Day co-ordinator Jeannie Hicks unveiled the new honour board displaying this year’s winners at the end of the night.
“It is inspiring to learn of the contributions so many people in our community make,” she said.
“Most of the nominees are nonplussed about their activities, just shrugging it off as though everyone does it. And perhaps that’s the magic of South Gippsland, that so many do ‘do it’.
“I encourage everyone to make an effort this year to acknowledge ‘ordinary people doing extraordinary things’ through avenues such as the Australia Day Awards.”
Nominations for the three categories can be submitted throughout the year up until October 31, with forms available from council and on www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au.
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