Each year as part of our Australia Day celebrations, Dorset Council recognises the achievements of community members by presenting Dorset Australia Day Awards.
2023 Dorset Australia Day Awards
On Wednesday, 25 January 2023, Council held their annual awards reception to celebrate those within our community who have made a significant contribution to Dorset at the Scottsdale Recreation Ground.
A 400+ strong crowd attended the Australia Day Free Family Fun afternoon, followed by the Dorset Awards Ceremony and listened to why Dorset is great - our fantastic community members and volunteers. Australia Day Ambassador Erica Gibson inspired the crowd with her passionate support of community programs that help combat family violence, then assisted Mayor Howard 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!
The event was made possible with financial assistance by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council.
2023 Citizens of the Year | Peter and Phyllis McLennan
Peter and Phyllis are valued members of the Dorset Community and have been for many years. They have made an outstanding contribution to the Dorset Community over the years through the Lions Club, Scottsdale Choir, Day Care Centre and many more.
A couple of years ago Peter and Phyllis decided they would like to identify the unmarked graves, particularly, in the Ellesmere Cemetery at Scottsdale. The husband and wife duo soon got to work to put the wheels in motion and by spending countless hours collecting data and working closely with the Dorset Council and the Dorset Tasmania History Society it wasn't long and they were putting their plans in to place and had identified and placed plaques on 200 unmarked graves. In addition to this, with the required permissions, they also identify headstones which may be damaged or faded and maintain the details of the deceased so that the headstone details are still legible. They also frequent other cemeteries in Dorset to maintain headstones as well.
They are a husband and wife team who are very passionate about the cemetery maintenance they do and together they spend many hours of their own time week in and week out to get this project completed.
As mentioned by the nominee "....both Peter and Phyllis have always contributed in a major way to the community".
2023 Young Citizen of the Year | Zali Brown
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.
Zali is a very caring 14 year old who is always looking out for others and assisting by giving up her time to help her community in any way she can. Zali is a well-respected student at school, a great team player in the North East Hockey and has a very positive "can-do" attitude to life. Zali was nominated for this award due to her position on the Legerwood Catering Group and the time and effort she commits to the group to assist in any way she can helping with fund raisers, at their functions or private catering for the group. For a 14 year old to give up as many hours of her time as she does is a credit to her and shows the caring helpful nature that Zali has and she is very deserving of this award.
2023 Volunteer of the Year | Matthew Cassidy
Matthew, for the past 5 years has been supporting the Scottsdale High School Cattle Handlers program and as a volunteer he contributes countless hours behind the scenes on the School farm ensuring the welfare of the cattle and mentoring the cattle handlers to learn, grow in their chosen hobby and have fun.
Matthew is there assisting all year round and from start to finish with the preparation and showing of the school cattle and is a mentor to the young cattle handlers helping them learn the ropes of cattle handling. His assistance is not just limited to the Scottsdale School Farm, he drives the truck to get the cattle to and from the shows, often taking them to the shows the night prior and attending the shows to give his help and guidance to the handlers. This year they went as far as Hobart and Circular Head to attend shows to which neither are just 5 minutes down the road. And if he isn't behind the wheel of the truck with the cattle, he is carting the trailer with all of the cattle handling equipment and fodder.
As mentioned by the nominee "Matt has the students and catties safety at heart, he loves to help when needed and is a true example of a volunteer".
2023 Dorset Sports Award | Ava Blundstone
Ava is a very active 13 year old lady who participates in a range of sports from netball to fun runs and triathlons. Then there is swimming, and that is the reason for Ava being nominated for this award.
Ava is a very committed swimmer who has worked hard to achieve great outcomes in 2022 by representing her clubs and teams with great results.
Ava is a member of the South Esk Swimming Club and is involved with Scottsdale Swim Club and can often be found mentoring and assisting with coaching of the junior members of the Scottsdale Swim Club. Ava is well respected and looked up to by her peers and can often be found at the Scottsdale Aquatic Centre training with the Scottsdale Swim Club or during early morning lap swimming time. This is in addition to Ava making the trek from Bridport to Launceston a few times a week for training all year round with her family and that shows the dedication Ava has to her chosen sport.
There is so much that Ava has achieved in 2022 with her swimming and amongst those are: selection in the Tasmanian Development Squad, breaking a grade 7 girls 50m butterfly record that had stood for 11 years at the inter high school swimming carnival in Launceston and swimming at the National All Schools Swimming Championship in Brisbane where she achieved 3 personal bests and came 11th overall in the grade 7, 100m freestyle which was an amazing effort.
As mentioned by the nominee "Ava is a young lady that works hard to achieve her goals, is very driven and determined whilst being very humble about her own achievements".
2023 Community Event of the Year | Scottsdale Rotary Tasmanian Tractor Show and Shine 2022
(award accepted by Keran Thompson on behalf of Scottsdale Rotary and the Organising Committee)
The inaugural Scottsdale Rotary Tasmania Tractor Show and Shine was one of the first major events in Dorset post COVID lockdowns and it really brought the community together. It was an event that they wanted to make affordable and accessible for all and they certainly did that.
Local food vans provided food and drinks, there were giveaways and prizes and a great day was enjoyed by all.
Keran came up with the idea and Scottsdale Rotary soon jumped on board to support this successful event. It exceeded all expectations attracting enthusiasts from all around Tasmania as the Scottsdale Recreation Ground came alive with more than 2000 people enjoying the 80 strong exhibition of tractors on display.
As stated by one of the judges on the day "It is a great show for the whole community both local and from the far reaches of Tasmania".
2023 Certificates 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 2023, the Australia Day Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to the following recipients (pictured with Australia Day Ambassador Erica Gibson).
Mary Brown joined the Legerwood Catering Group in 2020. Since joining the group she has been a great help with her cooking and work when the Group holds any functions. Mary is also a member of the Branxholm Flower Show Committee for the past two years. Mary works hard for her community, assisting with raffles for local community members that may need assistance.
Jenny Whenn has been a stalwart of Bridport Innovations since 2009, contributing hugely to the advancement of Bridport in her volunteer roles of secretary from 2010-2018 and coordinator of the Bridport Information Pavilion from 2015 to present.
Coordinating and maintaining the Innovations website and Facebook page and postings is another role Jenny has taken on; she always has a finger on the pulse of local activities and for opportunities for Bridport Innovations to be involved in. Jenny also coordinates the production of the popular monthly news-sheet, the BridReport, including organising proof reading, seeking advertising sponsors and the distribution of the final product.
Jenny knows the value in networking with other local volunteer groups, including the Scottsdale Visitors' Centre, and willingly offers assistance and support when needed. Determined that visitors have the best possible experience, Jenny has made sure she has broad knowledge of what not just Bridport, but the whole Dorset area has to offer. She is welcoming, enthusiastic and an excellent ambassador for the region as well as being completely selfless with the time she dedicates to her roles.
The Scottsdale High School Centenary (award accepted by Committee member Karen Rainbow) event celebrated the wonderful education the School has provided for the community over the past 100 years. The event provided the opportunity to reminisce on activities and experiences for so many past staff and students who were able to attend.
The event was professionally presented and ran seamlessly despite the inclement weather. The organising Committee took upon feedback from interested community members and navigated COVID-19 regulations to put on an amazing event that was enjoyed by all who attended.
Kylie Rattray-Cassidy has made an outstanding contribution to the Scottsdale High School Farm and the Cattle Handling Program and although she is a teacher, she also puts in a lot of time and effort with the Cattle Handling Program that sometimes goes unnoticed.
Kylie has had the reins and been leading the School Farm Cattle Handling program for around 14 years. The Show season can at times be very hectic and Kylie is always willing to travel the miles to take her team of cattle and students along and is always encouraging and welcoming of others to join the team.
This year there were 3 Scottsdale High School Students that made the State final of cattle handling at the Circular Head Show which is a reflection of the effort and commitment that Kylie puts in to these handlers and their animals.
As mentioned by the nominee "Miss Rattray is a true inspiration to many students and parents, giving her time, knowledge and sharing her passion with students giving them the opportunity of a lifetime".
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.