Australia Day awards

Published on 30 January 2019


A TECH savvy Radio 88 founder and a dedicated community volunteer have been named Pyrenees Shire’s Young Citizen of the Year and Citizen of the Year, while a church took out the Community Event of the Year and a local family was recognised with the Pyrenees Shire Leadership Award.

Rohan Gerrard was named Young Citizen of the Year for his work in helping to establish Beaufort Radio Station ‘Radio 88’ and his ongoing role as technical manager for this station. For the past two years Rohan has run his own graphic design and website business, developing and maintaining websites for many local businesses. He also created a walking app for the Beaufort Historical Society which highlights historic points of interest on an interactive map. Rohan was the 2017 school captain at Beaufort Secondary College and a four-year member of the Student Representative Council. He was also a young director on the Beaufort Community Bank Board, is a member of the Beaufort Fire Brigade and a regular volunteer at the Beaufort Catholic Church.

Moonambel farmer and dedicated volunteer, Keith Hunter, was named Citizen of the Year. Keith has contributed to his community and beyond for most of his life. He’s been a member of the Warrenmang Fire Brigade for 40 years, the Moonambel Mechanics Institute for more than 30 years, and is a volunteer for the Moonambel Cemetery Trust and Moonambel Events Inc. He’s a committee member for the Moonambel Recreation Reserve, and a long-time member of the Moonambel/Redbank Football Club and the Moonambel Uniting Church. Each Sunday he also chauffeurs two ladies from the Avoca Nursing Home so they can participate in services at the Avoca Uniting Church. When he’s not volunteering, Keith can be found running his farm with brother John, or playing lawn bowls at Landsborough.

The Avoca Uniting Church won the Community Event of the Year with its 150th anniversary celebrations in September 2018. This celebration brought the community of Avoca together with representatives of many of the early pioneering families present. When first established in 1868 the church was one of several denominations to look after more than 14,000 people on the Avoca goldfields, providing education, social and welfare needs, and its place in the development of the region is significant.

Ian and Julie Chandler and Angela and Tim Chandler of Cave Hill Creek received special recognition this year with the Pyrenees Shire Leadership Award, which was last awarded in 2016. As founders and owners of Cave Hill Creek, they were recognised for their hard work in building the business to what it is today and as a proven leader in providing camp programs for more than 100,000 children to build life skills, independence and resilience. The business celebrated its 30th anniversary last year and they won their third Victorian Tourism award, giving them hall of fame status.