2019 Australia day awards recipients
Citizen of the Year - Pat Coffey OAM
Seymour’s Pat Coffey is a dedicated volunteer who was “raised as a volunteer” by her mother. She has been part of many different community groups in the region, she is currently active in Seymour We Want and Mitchell Shire Visitor Information Centre among many others and is very passionate about the future of the municipality.
Pat has a broad overall knowledge of the shire and loves to join discussion, in what has been described as a practical grassroots approach, to encourage others to generate change.
Her peers describe her as a dedicated worker who has helped shape conversations for decades. Mrs Coffey says she will continue to work for her community for as long as she can.
Pat is a dedicated volunteer who has been involved in many different groups and events. She has been recognised for her contributions in and around Seymour.
Young Citizen of the Year - Maxwell Hooper
Seymour College graduate and former school captain Maxwell Hooper is a dedicated musician who continues to achieve. Maxwell was asked to write a speech for Anzac Day 2018 but felt a song dedicated to the Anzacs was his way of bringing joy the crowds.
Since 2014, Maxwell has been part of the Mitchell Shire Concert Band playing saxophone but is also a talented musician who can play drums and guitar. He is the lead singer for Australian-indie band Madoja and was recently involved in Mitchell Shire’s pop-up recording studios.
Maxwell has written school spirit songs for his Seymour College, performed at Relay for Life and is dedicated to entertaining others with his skills.
Seymour’s Maxwell Hooper is a bright musician and former school captain at Seymour College. He has written music for both his school and ANZAC Day events.
Community Event of the Year - Wandong History Group, Walk Through the Wars
The Wandong History Group’s dedication to preserving the history of the region was on display when they hosted Walk Through the Wars at Wandong War Memorial. The exhibition displayed the stories and pictures of servicemen who served for their country, recounting their stories. Over the period of seven days from 25 April 2018, more than 500 people remembered each local solider and their commitment to their country.
Work on this project began 12 months before the exhibition was held and the group put in hundreds of hours to make sure the exhibition was historically accurate and informative at the same time.
People who attended the event described the exhibition as the “very essence of Anzac Day” and “an enormous amount of work which hits the heart strong”.
Community Group of the Year - Lions Club of Seymour Goulburn Inc
The Lions Club of Seymour Goulburn Inc volunteered more than 400 hours a month for their community last year, dedicating themselves to helping the elderly, those with disability, the youth of the region and various community groups. Whether it be a car show or an Australia Day celebration, the group can be seen helping set up, running the barbecue or working with event organisers. The club has been in operation since 1992 but their community-driven focus has not changed.
The club financially supported 11 groups last year, including the Seymour SES, and plenty of school students/groups.
The group is a worthy winner and will even help run the 2019 Australia Day celebrations in Seymour’s Kings Park on Saturday.
Every month, the Lions Club of Seymour Goulburn spend hundreds of hours volunteering for the community. The group is dedicated to helping others.
Access and Inclusion Champion Award – Mandy McCracken
Kilmore East’s Mandy McCracken is one of Mitchell Shire’s most inspirational people and is this year’s Access and Inclusion Champion. In August 2013, Mandy became seriously ill which resulted in the amputation of her four lower limbs. As a result, she has seized the opportunity to actively assist and engage with the local community through a range of initiatives.
Last year, Mandy helped form the My New Life Group, alongside Nexus Primary Health, which is aimed at providing residents living with physical disability in Mitchell Shire a social outlet, but also a chance to support each other and grow together. Despite her personal challenges, Mandy has been able to be a voice for those with disability and has represented their needs. She has been able to affect real change in the shire and continues to encourage all in the Mitchell Shire to work together.
Kilmore East’s Mandy McCracken has been hard at work to bring together those living with disability in Mitchell Shire, which includes the My New Life Group in conjunction with Nexus Primary Health.