Community Awards

Hands holding seeds community work

Every year, Council acknowledges and celebrates wonderful and inspiring members of our community.  

The awards provide the opportunity for Council and the community to recognise and celebrate inspirational people who make ongoing contributions to the shire. 

For any questions, call (03) 5422 0333 or email

2024 Citizen of the Year

Awarded to an individual of any age who has made a significant contribution to their community in the past calendar year or has demonstrated community service over some time.

Winner: Tony Davis

Tony’s journey with Little Athletics began with Oakleigh Athletics Club in the 1960s, where he helped to establish the Oakleigh Little Athletics Centre. Tony then went on to run the Long Jump program at the first Little Athletics State Championships.

In 1970, Tony was sent to Kyneton by the Education Department, where he helped form the Kyneton Little Athletics. He has been a volunteer every Saturday morning ever since, racking up an amazing 52 years of volunteer service.

Over the years, Tony has held a number of roles at the club including secretary, starter and line marker, and has represented Kyneton at regional and state conferences.

Tony was made a life member of Kyneton & District Little Athletics Centre in 2007 and his wife Margaret, and their three children and grandchildren are proud of his volunteer role in Kyneton Little Athletics and his contributions to the Kyneton community.

2024 Connecting Communities Award

Awarded to an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to community life either through physical connections such as trails, paths, open spaces or infrastructure that enables the community to connect and participate, or social connections that ensure people have access to services and which create a sense of community and belonging.

Winner: Riddells Creek 72 Hour Emergency Team

The Riddells Creek 72 Hour Emergency Team was established in 2023, as part of the Resilient Riddell project and What Riddell Wants community initiative led by Riddells Creek Neighbourhood House, and comprises of fifteen local community leaders.

The team has worked closely with Council and other emergency agencies to understand how emergency management works and to research assets and vulnerabilities impacting on the town's resilience to disaster. Through working collaboratively with local businesses and organisations, the group have developed strategies that address the gaps in the first 72 hours after an emergency where the community could be without support from external agencies for up to 72 hours.

Strategies include identifying and setting up community convergence spaces, looking after vulnerable people in the community, and working closely with key agencies such as the local CFA to bolster residents understanding of bushfire risk.

The group recently coordinated the purchase and installation of an automated external defibrillator (AED) for public access at the Neighbourhood House after an audit showed that none were readily accessible by the public 24 hours a day. The AED was kindly donated by the Gisborne and District Community Bank.

2024 Healthy People, Healthy Environment

Awarded to an individual or group who has made a significant contribution in the areas of promoting healthy lifestyles for all ages and abilities, such as supporting mental health, recreation, community safety or arts and culture. It also includes protection of the natural environment such as biodiversity, climate change and waste reduction.

Winner: Woodend Landcare

Woodend Landcare Inc and its predecessor ‘Friends of Five Mile Creek’ have been active in the community for nearly 30 years, holding regular working bees and planting days along the creek.

The group also works in other areas around Woodend including Slatey Creek Reserve and various railway reserves, and with Council, North Central Catchment Management Authority and local community groups and schools.

Woodend Landcare aims to restore areas that have been degraded by introduced weeds and to preserve and enhance areas of indigenous vegetation. A key focus has also been on ensuring the survival of Woodend’s unique local tree, the Black Gum (Eucalyptus aggregata).

To date, volunteers of the group have planted over 30,000 native trees, shrubs and ground covers to enhance Woodend’s environs and improve diversity.

Landcare also supports a shire-wide Indian Myna trapping project and performs ‘Waterwatch’ to monitor water quality in Five Mile Creek. In 2023, the group oversaw the construction of a new pedestrian bridge over the creek, thanks to a bequest from ex-President, Jo Clancy.

2024 Business and Tourism Award

Awarded to a group or individual  who has demonstrated a significant achievement or ongoing community contribution to the economic vitality of the shire, including tourism, agribusiness, small business and local employment.

Winner: Interval Art

Interval Art engages individuals, groups and the community in inclusive art-based activities that bring joy, hope and excitement while creating connections and opportunities for wellbeing and growth.

Nicholle Gallus started Interval Art as a home-based business in 2018. Her natural skills and talents in art and 25-plus years of experience in social services are now being expressed in the form of a range of art-based programs being delivered through her local small business.

Interval Art has run group projects in primary and secondary schools, and in collaboration with Bounce Back Project Ready, in secondary schools including Kyneton High School, to support disengaged students.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Interval Art was adapted and run as an online art program for well-being for a local secondary school.

Following these lockdowns, Interval Art has continued to expand its services, moving into a portable building in New Gisborne, with relocation to a larger premises in the area planned for 2024 to allow for further growth.

Nominations for 2025 will open later this year.