Each year as part of our Australia Day celebrations, Dorset Council recognises the achievements of community members by presenting Dorset Australia Day Awards.
2024 Dorset Australia Day Awards
On Thursday, 25 January 2024, Council held their annual awards reception to celebrate those within our community who have made a significant contribution to Dorset at the Ringarooma Memorial Hall.
A 80+ strong crowd attended the Dorset Awards Ceremony and listened to why Dorset is great - our fantastic community members and volunteers. Australia Day Ambassador Professor Peter Dargaville captivated the crowd with an overview of his medical career caring for premature babies at the Royal Hobart Hospital, then assisted Commissioner Wardlaw present the following awards.
Congratulations to all award recipients and thank you for your contribution to Dorset - hearing everyone’s achievements from their nominations at the Ceremony cemented why Dorset is so great - all of you!
2024 Citizen of the Year | Cathy Willis
Cathy has been a resident of Dorset for the last 4 years and for the past 2 ½ years has been running the Gladstone Hotel with her husband Bob. Since taking the reins of the hotel, Cathy has been a big advocate for promoting tourism in Gladstone and attracting locals and visitors to the once quiet town by organising numerous events and fundraisers. Cathy is inspirational when it comes to event planning and the number of successful events held over that period is testament to that.
Once Cathy gets an idea in her head, there is no stopping her. Cathy’s most recent idea - which came to fruition - was the Gladstone Hotel Rodeo held in November 2023, which was a wonderful event for visitors and the community of Gladstone. Cathy worked tirelessly to ensure this event got off the ground. It certainly wasn’t easy for her at times while trying to juggle the day to day running of the hotel, but with the support of her Rodeo Committee they got to work and made sure this event was the success that it was.
There is barely a month go by where Cathy isn’t organising an event for Gladstone. Be it the popular annual “Gladstone Ride” which sees around 200 motorbike riders take to the tracks around Gladstone while raising much needed funds for charity, a chopping carnival or a motorbike stunt show. Cathy is always wondering what she is going to do next for the community that she is so dedicated to and where her selflessness has enriched the lives of many people around her.
As mentioned by the nominee “Cathy has given our town a sense of belonging and put pride back into our footsteps. I cannot give any more deserving praise for this lady to be given this award, as people just sing her praises and love her character while putting Gladstone back on the map for the far North East of Dorset”
2024 Young Citizen of the Year | Amity Krushka
The selection criteria for the Dorset Young Citizen of the Year include having positive and inspiring personal attributes showing qualities such as versatility, flexibility and perseverance in service to the community, and for personal effort and initiative to have made a significant difference to the quality of life of the community.
Amity is a well-mannered and polite young lady who is committed and determined to try new things. Through her involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh award, Amity has completed an astonishing amount of volunteer service through Clean-up Australia Day, school mentoring, Athletics Tasmania camp mentor and elderly community service.
Amity took on the role of coaching the North Launceston Under 14 Girls Football team in 2023 and her commitment, dedication and passion to help these girls was one that had the entire team looking up to her.
In 2023, Amity became the first student from Scottsdale High School to receive a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. Amity completed her bronze and silver levels through Scottsdale High School, and then completed her gold while attending Launceston College in 2023. This award challenges young people to develop skills and tools to improve themselves and their communities by encouraging them to go beyond their comfort zone and this is something that Amity grasped well. Completing the Duke of Edinburgh Gold level is not an easy feat and one that is very deserving of not only an award presentation at Tasmania’s Government House but also this Dorset Young Citizen of the Year Award.
As mentioned by a referee “One of Amity’s most commendable qualities is her willingness to help others and give back to her community”.
2024 Volunteer of the Year | Darlene Bennett
Darlene has been a resident of Dorset since 2007 when she first moved to Bridport. In 2021, Darlene and her family moved to Legerwood which was the start of her association with the Legerwood Catering Group as a volunteer and the reason behind her receiving this award.
Darlene joined the Legerwood Catering Group not long after her move to Legerwood and makes it known that the feeling of giving to others is very fulfilling and that she will continue to volunteer her time to not only the Legerwood Catering Group but other community members for as long as she can because everyone matters.
As mentioned by the nominee “A great helper on our Legerwood Catering Group. She is not afraid to do any jobs we ask her to do also she is a wonderful cook.”
2024 Dorset Sports Award | Ethan Petterwood
Ethan was born and bred in Dorset and has been having a kick of the footy since the day he was old enough to hold a football in his hand. Representing Tasmania at junior level and playing representative football as an adult have been just a couple of his football highlights.
What brings Ethan to being nominated and the recipient of this award tonight stems from his role as playing coach of the Scottsdale Football Club for the last 4 years, 2020 to 2023. After losing a lot of players at the start of the 2023 season, Ethan worked tirelessly to ensure he was able to field a team week in and week out. Ethan consistently went above what was required of him as senior coach, often mentoring club volunteers along with serving as a positive role model for the players.
In addition to football, in Ethan’s role as a Scottsdale High School teacher he has spent a lot of his own personal time ensuring students make the most of every sporting opportunity they have. He has assisted the local squash club with junior recruitment by incorporating squash in to school classes, driven busloads of kids to Devonport to participate in the annual all schools triathlon and many more out of school activities.
As mentioned by the nominee “A true leader. He goes the extra mile for his club” and a referee said “his dedication, leadership, and genuine passion for sports make him a great candidate who has left an indelible mark on the Scottsdale Football Club, Scottsdale High School, and the broader community”.
**Ethan was unable to attend the ceremony, with his award accepted on his behalf.
2024 Community Event of the Year | Gladstone Hotel Rodeo 2023
(award accepted by Bob and Cathy Willis and the Rodeo Organising Committee)
The inaugural Gladstone Hotel Rodeo was the first of its kind in the local Gladstone area. Patrons and competitors travelled from across Tasmania and interstate to attend this successful event which saw well over 5,000 people through the gate to enjoy a day and night of rodeo fun. Local vans provided food and drinks, and at the conclusion of the rodeo the band provided entertainment well in to the evening and a great day and night was enjoyed by all.
The event was nearly 12 months in the planning but once the nearby venue at Boobyalla Park had been secured in May 2023, it was full steam ahead for local Gladstone Hotel publicans Bob and Cathy Willis and their team of wonderful hardworking helpers and there wasn’t anything going to stop them from making sure this event was the great success that it was.
As stated by a supporter of the rodeo “The event was a great success and had a positive impact on the community and greater Dorset area”
2024 Certificate of Appreciation
All nominees for Australia Day Awards are considered for a Certificate of Appreciation. Certificates of Appreciation celebrate the rich diversity of our vibrant community. They are awarded to recognise individuals and groups who continuously strive to make our community a better place for those who live, work and visit our special part of the world.
In 2024, an Australia Day Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Tori Hall (pictured with Australia Day Ambassador Peter Dargaville).
The Australia Day Ambassador Program is an initiative that sees high achieving and proud Australians attend local Australia Day celebrations in towns and cities across the nation. Australia Day Ambassadors volunteer their time and energy to inspire pride and celebration in hundreds of local communities.