Baw Baw Shire Volunteers receive Australia Day top honours

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Baw Baw Shire’s Young Citizen of the Year Samatha Taylor and Citizen of the Year Andrew Balfour Photo Credit: Baw Baw Shire Council

A volunteer who has worked passionately towards building and maintaining a dynamic community, was last night named Baw Baw Shire’s Citizen of the Year.

Andrew Balfour of Willow Grove received the top honour at the Shire’s Australia Day awards ceremony last night.

Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Samatha Taylor of Drouin who is known as a positive and energetic person and a leader within many local youth organisations.

During the procession, Mayor Joe Gauci thanked Mr Balfour and Ms Taylor for their contribution and their efforts to improve the community.

“Andrew Balfour has diligently served his local community for many years. His volunteering efforts with youth and community groups have gone a long way to empowering young people in his community, and to build and maintain a dynamic community that is welcoming and supportive of one another”, Joe Gauci said.

“Even with running an 800-head dairy farm and other business commitments, Andrew still makes time to participate in and support his community.”

“Samantha Taylor is a committed team player and a natural leader, which has been continually demonstrated throughout her schooling, sporting and volunteering endeavours.

“Completing Year 12, life for Sam has been busy but she managed to find time to support other young people in the community through her leadership roles and involvement with the Community Church Warragul, Chairo Christian School, West Gippsland Hockey Association, and Scouts Victoria including Cubs, Scouts and Venturers.”

Other awards presented on the night included the Community Contribution Environmental Achievement Award presented to Ursula Alquier, the Community Contribution Cultural Achievement Award presented to Growing Together Baw Baw, and the Community Event of the Year being awarded to the Warragul Free Fun Day hosted by Christians in Warragul.

Three Australia Day Medallions were also awarded to Kirsten Finger, Dr Bruce Barry, and Dorothy Mudie, for their important contributions to the community.

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