Pyrenees 2024 Citizen of the Year announced

Published on 26 January 2024


Beaufort’s George Kirsanovs has been recognized for his commitment to his community by being named the 2024 Pyrenees Citizen of the Year.

Pyrenees Shire Council Mayor Cr Robert Vance announced the award at the Australia Day event at the Avoca Recreation Reserve.

Cr Vance acknowledged Mr Kirsanovs’ generosity of spirit and his dedication in volunteering many hours of his time for the community.

“George was the principal of Beaufort Secondary College from 1984 to 2004 and he shaped many young minds during his time there,” Cr Vance said.

“He is also a very respected member of Beaufort Rotary, and is the main organizer and coordinator setting up the ‘Driver Reviver’ program for travellers on our roads during busy holiday periods.”

Cr Vance also recognised Mr Kirsanovs’ contribution to the community beyond education and Rotary, especially through volunteering and involvement in many other organisations over the years.

“George has been a committee member of Beaufort Walkfest, B4B, Save the Beaufort Old Primary School Committee, and Beaufort Agricultural Show Committee. He is truly dedicated to bringing the best out of our Shire,” Cr Vance said.

The Pyrenees Young Citizen of the Year, Community Event of the Year, and Leadership Award were also presented.


Young Citizen of the Year

Beaufort’s Harrison Grant and Naomi Gerrard shared the Young Citizen of the Year title, with both young people showing outstanding leadership qualities.

“Harrison has spent many hours volunteering with many of Beaufort Apex Club's community service activities such as Apex Global International Tree Planting Day, cutting firewood for vulnerable persons in the community, Beaufort Apex Home Help program and working in the Apex kitchen at the Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally,” Cr Vance said.

Cr Vance noted that Mr Grant had been involved in the 2023 Western Bulldogs Leadership project and showed great promise as a young leader.

“Last year Harrison completed the Western Bulldogs Leadership Project and his project was one of two chosen by WorkSafe to be further developed. His foresight for community need is a wonderful asset for our community,” Cr Vance said.

Ms Gerrard has grown up in Beaufort, spending her time volunteering for the community.

“Naomi has shown a dedication and commitment to her community, excelling in leadership. She has received significant awards such as the Carl Gustus Citizenship award twice, the Long Tan Leadership Award, and the Queens Guide Award,” Cr Vance said.

“It’s wonderful to see our young people stepping up and volunteering for our community, making it a better place for everyone to live in,” Cr Vance said.

Community Event of the Year

The Community Event of the Year was awarded to the Beaufort Agricultural Society’s 19th annual Beaufort Show held in November 2023.

“Given what we’ve been through over the last few years, our community really values the chance to catch up with friends and neighbours whom they may not have seen in a while and have a chat. Having social connection with people is important and the Show is a great event for the community to come together each year,” Cr Vance said.

Pyrenees Leadership Award

The Pyrenees Leadership Award acknowledges a lifelong or extra special commitment that invigorates the community and inspires others along the way.

This year’s recipient was the Beaufort Service Group, which was recognised for helping many organisations in Beaufort and surrounds to continue their work in the community.

The awards were presented by Australia Day Award Ambassador Professor Paul Komesaroff AM.


Three new Australian citizens were also welcomed at the event during a ceremony overseen by Cr Vance.

Following official proceedings, attendees were entertained by local band The Chovies and Avoca Primary School Students, while children enjoyed a mobile zoo, airbrush tattooing, and Walk the Walls Parkour.


Tagged as: