High achieving Aussies awarded
SIX youngsters from across South Gippsland were nominated for the Youth Community Contribution award at South Gippsland Shire Council’s Australia Day Awards Ceremony at Leongatha Memorial Hall on Wednesday.
Gemma Martin of Meeniyan was nominated by Meeniyan Dumbalk United Netball Club for her outstanding community service efforts and her fundraising for the Leukaemia Foundation.
Leongatha’s Lachlan O’Connor was nominated by Mimmie Ng for his role in coaching the Leongatha Knights Senior Women’s team while building a strong community within the sports club.
Mirboo North’s Samuel McCarthy was nominated by Jaci Hicken for his tremendous contributions to the Mirboo North Junior Basketball Association as a team coordinator and a leader within the association.
Rebekah Vagg of Leongatha was recognised for her commitment to local netball, playing and volunteering for the Leongatha and District Netball Association while playing for Leongatha Parrots and the Mount Eccles A Grade team.
Korumburra’s Paige Biggs was nominated by Shirley Reeves for her efforts and contributions to the Second Korumburra Cub Scouts, having involved herself in leadership activities and roles over the past year.
Ms Reeves also nominated Korumburra’s Matt Perks who has been a youth helper with the Second Korumburra Scout group for the past two years.
All youth nominees were recognised for their efforts in the uncompetitive category and were given a plaque to commemorate their achievements.
Leongatha’s Steven Canning was recognised for his achievements in the community when he received the 2016 Achievement Award for a person with a disability.
Mr Canning has been living independently for eight years and working hard for a local supermarket for 13 years. Mr Canning is also a successful artist and passionate musician, playing drums and guitar at Uniting Church Hall, Leongatha. He was nominated by Trease Street Residents of Leongatha.
“Thank you for nominating me. I am so proud. Thank you to all of my friends and family for being here,” Mr Canning said in his acceptance speech.
Mr Canning’s father John Canning said the award was recognition of his son’s outstanding work ethic and warmth.
“He does us proud every day,” he said.
The award for Event of the Year was highly contended with 10 events nominated for their success over the past 12 months.
The 19th Gippsland Scouts Corroboree won the coveted award, with Sue Kemp accepting the plaque on behalf of the South Gippsland District Scout Association.
“Thank you to all leaders across the district who gave up hours of time to create an event for the youth in our community,” Ms Kemp said in her acceptance speech.
“Thank you also to the Corroboree council who have up many evenings to organise the event.”
The triennial event, held in Nyora last year, saw 350 Scouts from across Gippsland come together for a four day camp to build independence and teamwork.
Participants aged 11 to 14 partook in a range of activities including canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing and mountain biking.
“So much goes into the organising of these events and it is so rewarding to be recognised for our volunteers’ efforts,” Ms Kemp said.
Also in the running was the Leongatha Community Pre School Easter Fair, the Leongatha Fun Run, Loch Village Food and Wine Festival, South Gippsland at War 1914-1918 Exhibition at Foster Museum, Gippsland Hills CWA Exhibition, Leongatha Lyric Theatre 50th Anniversary, Leongatha District Netball Association 50th Year Celebrations, South Gippsland Relay for Life and Mirboo North Idol.
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