Top citizens commemorated
SOUTH Gippsland’s outstanding volunteers and community groups were recognised for an outstanding year of achievement at the Australia Day Awards Ceremony at Leongatha’s Memorial Hall on Wednesday.
Mirboo North’s Maxine Kiel was honoured to receive Citizen of the Year, from South Gippsland Shire Council.
“Thank you to Bill and Judy Keech for having the confidence in me for this amazing honour,” Mrs Kiel said during her acceptance speech.
“There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer. The work of volunteers in the region is incredible and we absolutely love what we do.”
Mrs Kiel is the current president of Mirboo Country Development Incorporated and has volunteered with the group for more than 20 years. Her work has been integral in the development of the Mirboo North Market.
Mrs Kiel is part of the Arty Gras committee, responsible for organising the Mind, Body and Soul festival amongst other community events. She is also vice president of the Mirboo North RSL, and regularly contributes to projects and fundraising events for the service.
“I feel very honoured to have received this award. I was in very good company,” Mrs Kiel said.
Mayor Cr Bob Newton praised all nominees.
“The work done by our nominees is truly exceptional and they set a great example that all community members should be striving for,” he said.
Citizen of the Year was selected from a shortlist of four finalists across the shire who have dedicated time to community service and volunteering.
The committees responsible for organising Australia Day celebrations across South Gippsland were responsible for selecting the winner.
Korumburra’s Glenda Smith was nominated by Leongatha Lyric Theatre for her involvement in 10 local organisations, including the South Gippsland Orchid Club and Karingal Ladies Service Club.
Foster’s Sandy Bucello was nominated by Joan Liley for her work in community service over the years. Mrs Bucello is a member of the Prom Country Aged Care Committee, amongst other roles in the region.
Meeniyan Progress Association nominated Richard Powell for his tremendous contributions to the town. Mr Powell is responsible for creating and maintaining the Meeniyan website. He also organised the successful grant submission and engineered the radio installation of free wifi in Meeniyan.
Cr Newton unveiled the updated Citizen of the Year board, updated with Mrs Kiel’s name and the 19th Scout Corroboree for Event of the Year.
Mrs Kiel will go on to attend Australia Day events in South Gippsland.
“It has been a long time coming, I am very proud of her,” husband Colin Kiel said.
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