Australia Day: Shire of Yarra Ranges


I rise to congratulate a number of Yarra Ranges Shire Council Australia Day award winners.

The Environmental Achiever of the Year award was awarded to Macclesfield resident Irene Pearey. Her passionate commitment to the environment was rightly applauded. Her work with the Macclesfield Landcare Group and the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater community nursery, to name just a couple of groups, shows that Irene is a worthy recipient.


The Ken McIntosh Memorial Award for Young Environmental Achiever of the Year went to Jordan Crook for his work promoting environmental education for students and for his social justice advocacy.

The Ian De La Rue Community Lifetime Achievement Award went to Margaret Brooks for her volunteer work with Girl Guides Victoria, Oxfam and her local church, and for her  great advocacy work for people with disabilities.

A certificate of recognition was awarded to Alice Keogh for her work with Girl Guides Australia and for her community work in Mount Evelyn.

The Citizen of the Year award went to Upwey resident Andrew Fullagar, whose tireless efforts — particularly with the Friends of Glenfern Valley Bushlands and the Upwey Township Group — were recognised with the Yarra Ranges’ premier community award. Andrew is quoted in the Ranges Trader Mail of 31 January as follows:

‘Receiving this award is undoubtedly a highlight of my life’, he said.

Mr Fullagar said he was privileged and honoured to accept the award ‘on behalf of all the volunteers in Yarra Ranges and the community of Upwey’.

‘There are thousands of volunteers throughout the shire, working hard in so
many areas, many unnoticed’, he said.
‘To those I say, –Please keep going — your contribution does make a
difference to the character and strength of the community–‘.

I could not have said it better.

These community awards were reflected in local municipalities across the state. They provide a great opportunity to applaud and thank individuals who are quietly doing extraordinary work. They do it not because they seek recognition but because they love their communities and find personal happiness in their work.