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Australia Day Awards - winners and nominees

This page lists current and past Australia Day Award winners, as well as award category nominees for the current year.  

Watch the Cardinia Shire 2022 Australia Day Award event

Awards are presented in the following categories:

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Senior Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Community Event of the Year

The awards recognise those who have shown a willingness to lend a helping hand, concern for the environment or participated in sport, arts or cultural endeavours.

They share the aspirations of all Australians in respect of tolerance, democracy, equity and equality of opportunity.

Citizen of the Year joint winners: Philip Anning and Carol Thompson  

Philip Anning

Philip is a strong advocate for the advancement of community sport and junior sport development. As president of the Pakenham Cricket Club, he ensures the club fosters an inclusive competition to enable families to participate and to create a positive environment. He has tirelessly fundraised for the McGrath Foundation, with the club’s annual Pink Ladies Day luncheon raising more than $30,000 for the charity. Philip is a strong supporter of local businesses and encourages others to do the same. Philip is described as an icon in Pakenham with friends far and wide who deserves to be recognised for the inspiring man he is.

Carol Thompson

Carol has a long history of volunteering and has dedicated many hours to the Cockatoo RSL. She joined the committee as secretary and treasurer in 2015 and has also been bar and events manager. Carol has worked tirelessly with committee members to increase patronage and turnover. In addition to running the traditional Anzac Day and Remembrance Day events, Carol has been instrumental in establishing regular social events at the RSL, including the annual free Christmas day lunch, pool and Uno competitions, trivia nights, karaoke and live music. Due to her ongoing dedication and contributions, Carol was nominated RSL President of the Year. Since she and her family moved to Cockatoo in 1998, Carol has also been involved in Cockatoo Community Creche and Cockatoo Country Market and has supported young people in need.

Senior Citizen of the Year: Ian Wake 

Ian, an active Rotarian for 50 years, has held a range of club leadership positions and is the first to lend a helping hand for their community projects, barbecues and working bees. Ian has been involved in the development of Rotary Park, where he has initiated planting of native trees and shrubs and been involved in projects such as the construction of shelters, seating, the toilet block and other amenities. He has run ‘old time’ community dances since 2007, raising more than $150,000 for Rotary Club of Pakenham projects. Ian has chartered 2 Interact and 2 Rotaract clubs and has also been involved in the Beaconsfield Scout Group and Church of Christ Berwick.

Young Citizen of the Year: Arshu Maskey 

Arshu is committed to making a difference in people’s lives. During secondary school she was elected Community Service Representative leader for 2 consecutive years, organising blood donation drives, raising funds and facilitating a coin race to bring the community together. Arshu hosted a Multicultural International Mother’s Language Day event and, as a member of the Casey Cardinia Rotaract Club, she raised funds for bushfire relief efforts and supported a fundraising barbecue to raise money for the club. Arshu received a Community at Heart Community Gem 2020 recognition letter from a local MP as someone who had shown their true ‘community colours’ by supporting her family and neighbours during the pandemic. At university Arshu is mentoring students as a part of a Woman in Technology program. She has received a Monash PG Industry Experience Expo award for creating IT for social good during the pandemic. Arshu continues to make a difference by helping, inspiring and empowering others.

Community Event of the Year: Cockatoo Country Market 

The Cockatoo Country Market adapted to virtual markets during COVID-19 lockdowns but organisers were excited to host the March 2021 Twilight Market in person. It was the most successful yet, with more than 2,500 attendees across the event. The market provides a low cost and low risk platform for micro, home-based and artisan traders, with free advertising and profile building for stallholders. The market also provides opportunities for local community groups to fundraise and attract new volunteers and participants for their programs. A community barbecue is provided for community groups each month, adding to the fundraising and networking opportunities. Now in its seventh year, the market contributes to the ongoing support and development of community organisations via its community grants program, which has awarded more than $22,000 to local groups for a variety of projects.

  • Phil Anning 
  • Binita Maskey 
  • Rachelle Mechielsen 
  • Shoheli Sunjida 
  • Carol Thompson 
  • Elise Turnedge 
  • Magda Lane 
  • Geoffrey Pepperell 
  • Jenny Reynolds 
  • Graeme and Ann Taylor 
  • Ian Wake 
  • Jacynta Howden 
  • Arshu Maskey 
  • Selby McDonald 
  • Annabelle Morton 
  • Charlotte O-Sullivan 
  • Beaconsfield Australia Day Family Dive-in Movie Night 
  • Cockatoo Country Market 
  • Eid Bazar in Cardinia  
  • Eid Prayer in Cardinia Shire 
  • Vaccination pop-up clinic 

2021 Citizen of the Year – Chris Rogers 

Chris has been a volunteer with the Pakenham SES unit for 36 years, in that time going above and beyond to attend emergencies locally, in other parts of Victoria and interstate, and giving up his Sunday mornings to train fellow volunteers in road rescue. Since records started being kept in mid-2009, Chris has attended almost 1,100 requests for assistance, including 487 road rescue calls, undertaken repairs to more than 150 residents’ houses during storms, cleared more than 300 trees from roads, assisted police at more than 30 crime scenes and attended 6 plane crashes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chris has continued responding to calls and finding ways to train volunteers in road rescue. He also participates in road rescue forums, ensuring the most-up-to date rescue techniques are used for the Cardinia Shire area. 

2021 Senior Citizen of the Year – Stan Hamilton 

Stan, along with his late wife Beryl, have always contributed to the local community. Stan has been a volunteer with Upper Beaconsfield CFA for 60 years and was recently recognised for his years of service. He has been a volunteer and contributor to the Yakkerboo Festival since its inception, donating the use of his vehicles and participating in the street parade. Stan has also been an exhibitor and volunteer with the Pakenham and Berwick shows, a community bus driver, and has undertaken fundraising for the Windermere Foundation. Stan did his first ‘hay run’ for drought relief in 2005, taking surplus feed from his farm to Murchison, and has continued to donate and deliver hay to farmers ever since. Stan and Beryl received a Pride of Australia award in 2005. 

2021 Young Citizen of the Year – Michael William Pearce 

Michael is a final year undergraduate majoring in physics at the University of Melbourne (UoM). Following his undergraduate degree, Michael would like to pursue a Masters of Science. Michael has contributed significantly to the broader community through his volunteer work, driven primarily by his passion for physics and the outdoors. In particular, Michael is conscious about ensuring that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is accessible for all Victorians. Through his work with the Melbourne Space Program, Michael is contributing to the development of student-led programs in the state, paving the way for more young Victorians to develop and contribute to exciting and pioneering projects. Other volunteer roles included presenting science shows and workshops to secondary schools in metropolitan and regional Victoria, helping to coordinate the Victorian Young Physicists’ Tournament, as well as coordinating between different committees to deliver events. Michael has volunteered across a wide range of organisations, including as a Scout leader, VicPhysics Teacher’s Network, Australian Institute of Physics, UoM Physics Students’ Society, Melbourne Space Program and Science Delivery UoM. 

2021 Community Event of the Year – Kids Fun Run With Thomas 

The Kids Fun Run with Thomas is the signature fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Emerald and District, raising more than $671,250 for children’s causes since 2002. The fun run consists of 6 runs on the day; children aged 3–8 years run against Thomas the Tank Engine for the first 5 runs and children aged 9–12 years run against Puffing Billy for the sixth run. In keeping with the fun run’s theme of ‘kids helping kids’, all money raised has been donated to organisations that support children in the local area. The event has grown to be a family fun day, involving local community groups and featuring activities such as rides on Thomas the Tank Engine, a community market, live music performances and entertainment. The event is supported by local businesses and community groups. More than 460 children and their families participated in the 2019 event, with more than 100 volunteers working to make the day a success. 

2020 Citizen of the Year - Luke Williams

Luke has played a pivotal role in ensuring that Cardinia Shire’s most vulnerable residents have somewhere to turn in hard times. Luke is the lead Pastor for Follow Church and, for more than four years, has driven The Bless Collective initiative based in Bourke Park, Pakenham. The Bless Collective is a community-driven partnership between Follow Baptist Church, Orange Sky Laundry and Clean as Casper that offers food, laundry and shower services from the park every Tuesday and Thursday night to vulnerable members of the community. At least 60 people present for assistance each night.

Luke also leads a breakfast club, mentoring program and chaplaincy at Officer Secondary College, is involved with local Christmas events, a music playgroup, local marriage course and has led his team to help with community hampers for Christmas.

2020 Senior Citizen of the Year - Rob Porter

Rob has been involved in volunteer activities in the local community for many years. As the Chair of the Officer Recreation Reserve for more than 40 years, Rob has tirelessly carried out extensive volunteer maintenance works at the grounds. He has also been a long-term President of the Officer and District Community Association, with achievements under his presidency including the relocation of the Officer Memorial Gates, the annual Anzac Day dawn service and Remembrance Day service.

Rob also played a key role in retaining the Officer Union Church in community hands, and is a trustee and committee member. He is the past chairman of the Officer Primary School Council and has also been a volunteer coach for Officer junior football teams. Rob was the inaugural winner of the Stan Henwood Award for his volunteer work.

2020 Young Citizen of the Year - Jayden Kruzicevic-King

Jayden is a youth helper at the 1st Cockatoo Scout Group and assists program leaders with the Joeys program.  He also collects plastic bottle tops for not-for-profit organisation Envision Hands that creates prosthetics from recycled material. At the Cockatoo Market, Jayden helps set up the Scouts stall, and also offers assistance to other stall holders. He has participated in working bees at the Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre and helps with garden maintenance at the Cockatoo Scout Hall.

Jayden plays cricket for Monbulk Cricket Club, were he also assists with training for the younger teams. He helps with the Grade 3/4 bike education program at Cockatoo Primary School and assists with garden maintenance for people in the community who need his help.

2020 Event of the Year - Cardinia Australia Day Event 2019

The Lakeside Residents Group organised the Australia Day event and activities at the Cardinia Cultural Centre for 2019. The event attracted about 3,000 people from across the shire and coincided with official Australia Day activities, giving many new Australia citizens and their families the opportunity to stay on to enjoy an afternoon of Australian culture.

The event featured a range of free activities including face painting, henna art, animal petting farm, reptiles, jumping castles and other attractions, and food. Community groups and local businesses supported the event, which enabled community members to come together to enjoy an inclusive and fun event.

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