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Latrobe City Council announces Australia Day winners

Australia day winners!

By Portal Admin - 3rd February 2018 - Back to News

Les Hunt, a volunteer radio presenter on Gippsland FM, has been recognised for his service to the community as Latrobe City Council’s Citizen of the Year. Joshua Szabo, a former Lavalla Catholic College student who spearheaded an environmental campaign to prevent waste dumping, was awarded Young Citizen of the Year.

At the Australia Day Awards Ceremony at Kernot Hall, Latrobe City Council’s mayor, Councillor Darrell White, said the nominees and winners personified the spirit of community, of selflessness and of Latrobe City itself.

"Through his work at Gippsland FM Les highlights the very best in the Latrobe Valley. As a panel member on the current affairs program, Our World This Week, he informs the community about events and issues, seeks out and interviews guests who can answer the local questions, is respectful, informative, passionate about and proud of everything and everyone in the Valley. Les is humble and connected and strives towards the betterment of our community through knowledge and communication.

"Joshua Szabo, whilst a VCAL student at Lavalla Catholic Secondary College approached Council concerned at the increasing amounts of litter he was seeing at local fishing spots and camping reserves. The result was the creation of a litter prevention project: ‘Enjoy it. Don’t destroy it!’ The project was nominated for the 2017 Victorian VCAL ‘Community Link’ Award and Josh was the winner of the Young Achievers section of the 2017 Sustainable Cities Awards.

"The Community Event of the Year was the 50th Traralgon Marathon that saw 700 runners competing. The Community Service of the Year award was awarded jointly to Ben Bailey, an inspiring athletics coach in Moe who is dedicated to improving the skills of our local young athletes; and to Julie Anne Basset who has spent 25 years serving the community through her fundraising efforts with the Morwell RSL Women’s Auxiliary," Cr White said.

Cr White added that the quality of nominations was, once again, high.

"Congratulations to the winners and to the nominees for each category. Knowing there are so many selfless individuals and groups in our midst, giving of themselves in ways that benefit our community, is testament to the wellspring of volunteerism and service in Latrobe City.

"Acknowledging just a few of our unsung heroes through these awards is extremely satisfying," Cr White concluded.

Award winners and nominees:

Citizen of the Year
Winner: Les Hunt
Nominees: Joel and Sue Chapman, Adam Rogers, Joel Dinsdale

Young Citizen of the Year
Winner: Joshua Szabo
Nominees: Alana Gibson-Williamson

Event of the Year
Winner: 50th Traralgon Marathon
Nominees: Gippsland Sculpture Prize, Youth National Archery Championships

Community Service of the Year
Winner: Ben Bailey and Julie Anne Bassett
Nominees: Safer Communities Group Neighbourhood Watch Latrobe City/Morwell


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