Murrindindi Shire Citizen of the Year Award Recipients
Published on 15 May 2023
Council received over 35 nominations for our annual Citizen of the Year Awards, recognising those across Murrindindi Shire, who inspire us and embody the spirit of volunteerism through their positive contributions to community.
The 2023 Awards provide us an opportunity to respect and share the stories, histories and contributions and recognise individuals and community groups for their contribution and commitment to making our Shire such a great place to live.
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Council hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner last Saturday at Marysville, where we rolled out the red carpet and treated Murrindindi Shire volunteers like rock stars and we’ll do so again this coming Sunday in Kinglake. At these celebrations, the Murrindindi Shire 2023 Citizen of the Year Awards recipients are announced and presented.
Young Citizen of the Year (joint award recipients)
Alastair Gerrey from Alexandra
Alistair is a uniquely ambitious volunteer who is inspiring and resilient in both his personal and professional life. He focusses his unwavering determination and admirably strong character helping at the Alexandra CFA and SES; the Truck and Rodeo Shows; with Embassy of Ideas; and the Alexandra Hub.
Kirk Mercuri from Kinglake.
Kirk is a highly creative, kind-hearted, and enthusiastic person who consistently goes out of his way to be helpful to others, resulting in an impressive volunteer experience list and popular community profile. The Kinglake area has benefited greatly from Kirk’s efforts for the Basketball Club, Football and Netball Club, Kinglake Library, BMX Bicycle Group, Op Shop and Neighbourhood House.
Citizen of the Year 2023
Sarah Southam from Alexandra.
Sarah is a remarkable individual celebrated as an optimistic, reliable and comforting voice both as a presenter and emergency broadcaster on UGFM covering the Shire. In addition, Sarah's commitment to helping others is demonstrated through her roles as a trainer and co-ordinator of presenters and a committee member at UGFM; a passionate Scouts leader and her involvement in the Murrindindi Beanie and Fibre Festival
Senior Citizen of the Year 2023
Bob Emblin from Buxton
Bob is a highly energetic and vibrant member of the Triangle community. At 88, Bob is continuing more than 20 years of actively helping the Marysville SES, Lions, RSL and Golf Club. The esteem in which he is held was demonstrated last Australia Day when the crowd stopped the SES truck that Bob was driving so, they could sing happy birthday to him.
Community Group of the Year 2023
The Alexandra Truck Show Committee
The Alexandra Truck Ute and Rod Show is regarded as the premier truck show in regional Australia and is recognised as one of the most successful and anticipated events in the Alexandra annual calendar. Culminating after months of tireless effort by the Committee, the Show provides a unique opportunity to showcase all our Shire has to offer, and encourages the community to come together as family, friends, and vehicle enthusiasts alike.
National Volunteer Week (15-21 May) is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the invaluable support provided by the hundreds of volunteers in our Shire, and to exemplify the benefits of becoming a volunteer. While volunteering is a selfless act in dedicating your time to supporting individuals, groups, and our local environment, it provides the opportunity to be an integral part of building a strong and inclusive community, meet a diverse range of like-minded people, and explore all our Shire has to offer.
Council has launched the Volunteer Hub, to encourage involvement and participation in the community, and to connect people with local community groups that are actively recruiting volunteers. For more information, and to discover what volunteering activities are currently open, click here.
Quotes attributable to Murrindindi Shire Council Mayor John Walsh.
“We are very proud of all our Award recipients and thank them as representatives of the wider community of volunteers. Personally, and on behalf of Council, I’d like to thank Sarah, Alastair, Kirk, Bob and The Alexandra Truck Ute and Rod Show for their dedication, time, and compassion in supporting our community. Murrindindi Shire is an extraordinary place to live because of you and your commitment.”
Pictured: Mayor John Walsh with Murrindindi Shire Citizen of the Year Award recipients, Sarah Southam, Alastair Gerrey, Bob Emblin and Ayden Embling (Alexandra Truck, Ute and Rod Show Committee).
Pictured: Cr Ilona Gerencser with Young Citizen of the Year Award recipient, Kirk Mercuri.