Community Awards

Alpine Shire Australia Day Community Awards

The annual Alpine Shire Australia Day Community Awards celebrate the people who make our communities great - whether they’re selfless volunteers, young people doing incredible things or sporting clubs with an impressive history.

Individuals, organisations and community groups across the Alpine Shire are recognised each year for their contribution to the community.

These awards are an opportunity to celebrate not only our award recipients, but all of those who were nominated, and the many more who are the quiet achievers in our communities.

More than ever, the Alpine Shire Australia Day Community Awards are an opportunity for us to be grateful and to recognise those who go above and beyond every day to make our communities what they are.

Nominations for the awards open in October/November each year and close in December. Nomination forms and guidelines can be downloaded via this website, or find hardcopies in Council’s Customer Service Centres in Bright, Mount Beauty and Myrtleford.

2023 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the winners of the Alpine Shire Australia Day Community Awards 2023!

  • Local Achiever Kiewa Valley and Citizen of the Year | Meg Crebbin
  • Local Achiever Bright and district | John Atkins
  • Local Achiever Myrtleford and district | Gayle South
  • Local Young Achiever Kiewa Valley | Callum Bowring
  • Local Young Achiever Bright and district | Amaya Chula
  • Local Young Achiever Myrtleford and district | Alex Cameron
  • Community Organisation | Ovens Valley United Cricket Club
  • Lifetime Achievement Award | Bright Croquet Club

The Alpine Shire Australia Day events are proudly sponsored by Alpine Shire Council and National Australia Day Council.

Winner profiles:

2023 Local Achiever of the Year - Kiewa Valley and Citizen of the Year - Meg Crebbin

Meg is an inspirational leader in the Upper Kiewa Valley community. Since moving to the area in the mid-1970s with husband Jim, Meg has made a positive impact on the lives of many people in the local community. 

After retiring from teaching at the Mount Beauty Primary School, Meg returned as a volunteer to help students in grades prep, one and two with reading and writing skills. Her expertise and dedication has benefitted many students over the years and allowed them to reach their full potential. 

Meg is also keen musician and member of the percussion section in the Mount Beauty and District Community Band. Over her many years as a band member, Meg has taken on the responsibility of organising the five members of the percussion section and has performed various roles within the committee including treasurer and publicity. 

Meg has also shared her passion for music and the positive benefits it can bring with the residents at Kiewa Valley House. Through her volunteer role as an Alpine Independent Care Advocate, Meg has worked with Alpine Health to introduce the Hammond Care Music Engagement Program, coordinates regular performances by the at Kiewa Valley House by the Community Band and has established a singalong group that is beloved by both residents and staff. 

Each of these initiatives have had an immeasurable impact on the health and wellbeing of residents. Meg’s role in these and other contributions as an Advocate was recognised by her receipt of Alpine Health’s Bernece Delany Volunteer Award in 2021. 

Meg is also an active member of the Tawonga Red Cross branch and is held in high esteem and respect by all members of the branch. In her 9 years as a Red Cross volunteer Meg has participated in many projects – including the current breakfast program at the school – and is always available to bake for a fundraiser or community event. 

Her commitment to the Kiewa Valley community and willingness to give her time so freely for the benefit of others is truly inspiring and we are richer for having Meg in the Alpine Shire.

2023 Local Achiever of the Year - Bright and district - John Atkins

Every community needs someone with the ability to get things done, and for Harrietville this is John. After officially joining the small mountain village community in the late 1990s, John has certainly made a big impact. Leading multiple committees, project teams, working groups and community forums in the past 20 years, John has built strong relationships with Council and other government agencies to improve the amenity and lifestyle in Harrietville. 

John is the one of the founding members and long-time Chair of the Harrietville Community Forum, and Chair of the Harrietville Tronoh Dredgehole Reserve Committee of Management, both of which aim to ensure Harrietville continues to be a great place to live, work, play and visit. 

Never one to miss an opportunity, John is a pro-active in seeking support for any initiative that may help Harrietville. John has been integral in guiding the community through several projects and resilience programs following natural disasters, creating funding opportunities and securing support from government agencies to help build the community’s strength and cohesion and ensure they have the resources to bounce back after challenging times. 

John’s contribution to Harrietville as a volunteer is immeasurable and his obvious commitment to the village is well demonstrated through his actions. John has proven himself to be a driving force for the good of the community. Harrietville may be a small village, but with people like John at the helm it will continue to thrive. 

2023 Local Achiever of the Year - Myrtleford and district - Gayle South

Gayle has a passion for the great outdoors and a commitment to ensuring it is cared for and preserved for future generations. As a volunteer member of the Myrtleford & District Landcare and Sustainability Group, Gayle achieves results that enhance and protect our native biodiversity through dedicated commitment, strong leadership and hard work. 

Gayle is considered the backbone of the Myrtleford & District Landcare and Sustainability Group, with a wealth of knowledge about the environment and strong leadership skills that are used to create and coordinate innovative projects, as well as guide and help other members to achieve project goals. Gayle has tirelessly led and worked with the group to accomplish many extensive biodiversity projects in and around Myrtleford over the years. 

Some notable projects led by Gayle recently include “Reform Hill: Piecing Together Our Threatened Species” and a survey of Grey Headed Flying Fox numbers. The Reform Hill project was a major undertaking that focused on enhancing community awareness of threatened flora and fauna in our local area through various activities. 

The Mosaic Trail was extended along the Reform Hill walking track with eleven mosaic pieces commissioned depicting native flora and fauna, and workshops were held to encourage locals to create their own mosaic depictions to display on letterboxes. 

Gayle also coordinated VCAL students from Myrtleford to plant 200 native tube stock plants on Reform Hill, and organised an opening event for the new threatened species mosaic trail which was attended by around 100 people. Gayle also developed a booklet and postcard to advance threatened species awareness even further. 

The second project saw Gayle engaging younger members of the community to take on the task of counting bats as part of a national survey to gather data on another threatened species in our area, the Grey Headed Flying Fox. Gayle also led these junior bat spotters in educational awareness activities to further their knowledge of bats and the part they play in our eco system. 

Both projects - and many others coordinated by Gayle - managed to reach out to the wider community, enabling a more appreciative understanding of the need for enhancing and restoring our natural environment and in turn, hopefully helping the survival of endangered flora and fauna.  

2023 Local Young Achiever of the Year - Kiewa Valley - Callum Bowring

Callum is an outstanding member of the Mount Beauty community. 

His leadership skills, personal attributes and contributions to his school and several sporting clubs are felt and recognised throughout the community. 

Callum has achieved excellence in the area of sport, performing arts and community service within the school and the wider community.

Callum is involved in many aspects of school life and is highly respected by his peers and teachers. As a Year 11 Vice-Captain and school council student representative and the winner of the Performing Arts Award in both 2020 and 2021, Callum is a natural leader.

Callum actively participates in the sporting life of the town. He is an active member of the local tennis and swimming clubs, as well as Team Mount Beauty, as an avid mountain bike rider. His exceptional leadership skills shine through in all of his contributions to each club. 

He recently volunteered to assist in running a family day at the tennis club that attracted 80 people. 

Callum is a great asset to the swimming club. He assists with the younger swimmers during their coaching sessions and helps them get to their events at swim carnivals. 

Callum regularly participates in working bees for Team Mount Beauty; helping to prepare and maintain the trails that our communities love to ride, and assisting junior riders. 

2023 Local Young Achiever of the Year - Bright and district - Amaya Chula

Amaya is an incredible young role model who continually works to better her commitment to the community of Bright and surrounds through her personal connection to Country.

Amaya is a First Nations person from the Wadeye community in the Northern Territory, and has lived in Bright for the past three years, where she attended Bright P-12 College.

Amaya is extremely passionate, and cares deeply for the Country on which we all reside and our community.

Her time and commitment to sharing and speaking about her connections to Country have been felt and heard far and wide. Amaya has attended a variety of school and community events including Sustainable Upper Ovens' Community Carbon Action Plan Field Day and Bright Autumn Festival Gala Day Parade to spread her knowledge and experiences.

Her efforts and dedication have been formally recognised as the recent recipient of the Alpine Shire Youth Award (17 - 21 Years).

Amaya has been an integral voice in the development of Alpine Shire Council’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan, meeting with representatives to discuss what Council can do to strengthen their relationships with First Nations peoples and contribute to making the Alpine Shire a culturally safer place. 

2023 Local Young Achiever of the Year - Myrtleford and district - Alex Cameron

Alex has been a part of his local Scouts since the age of 5. 

His dedication to the Scouts runs true, always striving to achieve the peak award in each section of his scouting; Joeys, Cubs and now Scouts.

As an active member, he is always looking to help out younger Scouts members along their journey. 

Most recently, Alex completed his first aid certificate, received the AJ Findlay Memorial Bursary and has been selected to represent Australia in Switzerland this year, as part of the Australian Scouting contingent.

Alex is very passionate about his work within the wider local community. He regularly assists with the Good Friday Appeal as part of the CFA, Landcare projects within the Myrtleford region and the Rotary Club Australia Day breakfast.

2023 Community Organisation of the Year - Ovens Valley United Cricket Club

Sporting clubs are an integral part of any healthy community. The Ovens Valley United Cricket Club is made up of passionate players that come from all corners of the Alpine Shire, from Harrietville all the way through to Myrtleford.

Despite the compounding challenges the 2019/2020 bushfires and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic presented, the Club has shown resilience, and has come out the other side with a thriving cricketing community, that now includes four teams.

Travelling far and wide, from Mansfield to Yarrawonga, Ovens Valley United go up against a variety of clubs from larger towns. 

The Club has had a number of highlights throughout the season, thanks to the commitment and hard work of all involved. In January 2021, Ovens Valley United won the Wangaratta and District Cricket Associations T20 Grand Final. 

The Club has also had great success in the 2021/2022 season with their A Grade 1st on the ladder, A Reserve 2nd on the ladder, C Grade 1st on the ladder and their Under 12 black and Under 12 orange - 1st and 2nd on the ladder.

Ovens Valley United are also proud to be a part of the Master Blaster Woolworths program for children aged 5 - 10 years, which has grown to include 45 players. This program locally, sees children and their parents join a cricketing community that is safe and inclusive for those of all abilities. 

Thanks to Ovens Valley United, cricket will return to Harrietville for the first time in a long time! 

Lifetime Achievement Award - Bright Croquet Club

With a strong 118-year history, this year’s recipient has impacted the lives of many generations – and hopefully many more to come! 

Founded in 1904, the Bright Croquet Club is the second oldest croquet club in Victoria. Established by gold miner’s wives after they were banned from playing lawn bowls, the club now proudly offers membership to all. 

Boasting an excellent grass court in a prime location in the centre of Bright, the croquet club has a membership of 32 and hosts regular open and come-and-try days with the aim to introduce the sport to a new generation and hopefully attract new members. 

Proving that croquet is a game of the mind as much as the mallet, the club members thoroughly enjoy hosting students from Bright P12 to share the challenge of a sport that is described as a cross between golf, snooker and chess and seeing the reactions as the kids realise it’s not a simple as it looks! 

The Bright Croquet Club maintains an active presence in the local community and regularly participates in the Bright Autumn Festival Gala Day Parade, Victorian Seniors Festival and Bright Spring Festival. 

The committee take on any and all tasks at the club including maintaining the court and office duties on top of coordinating weekly competitions. Everyone in the club welcomes locals and visitors alike to have a go, and pride themselves on being a friendly club who will always lend a hand to beginners.

Past Winners

Past Alpine Shire Australia Day Community Award recipients:

Community Award Winners 2020-2022
Category 2022 2021 2020
Alpine Shire Citizen of the Year Richard Puttyfoot Barbara Talbot Nicholas Brown
Local Achiever of the Year Kiewa Valley Richard Puttyfoot Barbara Talbot Nicholas Brown
Local Young Achiever of the Year Kiewa Valley Noah Tanzen Mitchell Cooke Alex Mero
Local Achiever of the Year Bright and District Rosie Spicer John Bakkum & Nola West Graham Gales
Local Young Achiever of the Year Bright and District N/A Jackson Griffith Matilda Manning
Local Achiever of the Year Myrtleford and District Lis Meehan N/A Gail Cresswell-Dawson
Local Young Achiever of the Year Myrtleford and District Hannah Leverton Rachel Flack Liam MacGowan
Community Event of the Year Wandiligong Nut Festival Gather Festival 1st Bright Cub Scouts: Project Platypus
Community Organisation of the Year Myrtleford and District U3A Mount Beauty Scouts Riding Develops Ability Myrtleford
Lifetime Achievement Award Robyn Downey / Mary Pike Mount Beauty Car Club Hazel Riordan
Lifetime Achivement Award - Event N/A N/A Myrtleford & District Agricultural and Pastoral Annual Show


Community Award Winners 2017-2019

Category 2019 2018 2017*
Alpine Shire Citizen of the Year Loretta Carroll Marnie Broz Patrizia Simone
Local Achiever of the Year Kiewa Valley Rollo Kiek Margaret Brereton Bill & Yvonne Sutton
Local Young Achiever of the Year Kiewa Valley Tarita Hutton Tyra Hunt Ebony Tanzen
Local Achiever of the Year Bright and District Allan Poyner Catherine Tucker Patrizia Simone
Local Young Achiever of the Year Bright and District Teagan Atherstone Dylan Sgambelloni Tasman Cocks-Wheaton
Local Achiever of the Year Myrtleford and District Loretta Carroll Marnie Broz Bernadette Hays
Local Young Achiever of the Year Myrtleford and District Erin Bourke Louise Saric Maddison Evans
Community Event of the Year Mount Beauty United Cricket Club's New Years Eve event Upper Kiewa Valley Lions Club Bogong Conquestathon Kangaroo Hoppet International Cross-Country Ski event
Community Organisation of the Year Alpine Radio Alpine Cycling Club Alpine U3A - Kiewa Valley
Lifetime Achievement Award Joseph Romeo N/A Lory Torriero & Ron Fensham
Lifetime Achivement Award - Event N/A N/A N/A

*An additional category was included in 2017: Local Achiever of the Year Harrietville - Leah Williams

Community Award Winners 2014-2016
Category 2016 2015 2014
Alpine Shire Citizen of the Year N/A Barbara Pyle Kevin Pitts
Local Achiever of the Year Kiewa Valley Keith Pike Barbara Pyle Paul van der Ploeg
Local Young Achiever of the Year Kiewa Valley Kenton Ford Sam Northey Cooper Cappellari
Local Achiever of the Year Bright and District N/A Ron Cherry Gary Weston
Local Young Achiever of the Year Bright and District N/A N/A Isabella Bartlett
Local Achiever of the Year Myrtleford and District Tiffany Iaria Elisha Hazeldine Kevin Pitts
Local Young Achiever of the Year Myrtleford and District N/A Breanna Johnson Peanut Schaefer
Community Event of the Year Dederang Picnic Races Mount Beauty Half Marathon Alpine Shire Relay for Life
Community Organisation of the Year Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club Search and Rescue Group Alpine Shire L2P Program Tawonga Red Cross
Lifetime Achievement Award Dederang Picnic Races Stuart Hargreaves Bill Sutton, Paul & Helen L'Huillier

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