Community Achievement Awards for Regional Victoria
Awards Australia Community Group Award
BlazeAid of Kilmore East values the strength of community. BlazeAid was established in 2009 when founders Kevin and Rhonda Butler requested assistance from the community after the Black Saturday bushfires ravaged three kilometres of fencing. With 25 volunteers coming to help, what would have taken months to repair took only a week. Paying the favour forward, BlazeAid has since responded to natural disasters ever since. During the 2019/2020 mega fires, BlazeAid set up 45 camps around the country to help rebuild. Over the last twelve months, they successfully trialled a project where they taught and supplied farmers with native trees and grasses to regenerate their lands.
Awards Australia Community Group Award - BlazeAid
Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
Bunyip Hotel Cavendish is a small country pub that has physically existed for 200 years. They have changed the look and feel of the pub to attract people from all over Victoria and Australia to enjoy the restaurant and explore the region. They take great pride in serving the five local men who have been drinking Friday beers for 50 years. They require no drink on arrival and provide complimentary snacks weekly. They hire local kids for the kitchen, use local ingredients and support local businesses. Owners pass on their knowledge of customer service through hands-on training of bar managers and small group sessions.
Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award - Bunyip Hotel Cavendisl
Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award
Daylesford Cider Company is committed to innovation. Daylesford Cider is a small-scale cider producer owned by Jon and Clare Mackie who purchased the business in 2015. Jon is self-taught and has refined their cider styles whilst also developing new innovative styles to distinguish their brand. Clare runs the on-site cellar door, aiming to establish the business within the local and regional tourism. They also hold events and live music, functions and weddings, and offer Cider Makers Tours during the summer. They employ 12 staff from the local area.
Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award - Daylesford Cider Company
Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
Sale Gardens Care Community works hard to improve the wellbeing of their team. Sale Gardens Care Community is a residential facility offering aged care, allied health, permanent, respite, dementia and palliative care. They have 95 team members who enjoy a flexible working environment. They encourage training and development and offer scholarships to develop professionally. Some of their team members have participated in the Opal HealthCare Emerging Leaders Program. They give opportunities to work in Care Communities around Australia. They have recently partnered with a local disability support provider and have employed a team member with a disability. They have a solid work health safety record.
Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award - Sale Gardens Care Community
Southside Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Community Hero Award
Saskia Adams of Gladysdale is passionate about animal welfare. Saskia founded Forever Friends Animal Rescue (FFAR) in 2011. She left her job as Senior Editor at Penguin Books after realising that the number of homeless animals in need far exceeded her expectations. With the help of over 1,000 volunteers, FFAR has rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed approximately 10,000 animals on death row. Saskia previously worked for Friends of the Earth and Victorian Dog Rescue. She co-founded Companion Animal Reform Australia and was a founding member of Oscar’s Law and Pound Reform Alliance Australia. In 2019, Saskia was nominated for a Pride of Australia medal.
Southside Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Community Hero Award - Saskia Adams
Regional Development Victoria Leadership and Innovation Award
Strathbogie Local of Euroa is innovative and inspired. Strathbogie Local is a volunteer start-up created to support local food producers and consumers in response to Farmers’ Market closure throughout Covid lockdowns. Utilising the Open Food Network online platform, they offer a ‘click and collect’ food hub that allows the customers to collect their weekly orders without leaving their vehicle. Strathbogie Local has taken on the marketing, purchasing, sorting and distribution, allowing local growers to focus on producing fresh quality products. They have given local growers and producers security while introducing a wealth of choice to the community and generating new enthusiasm for healthy living.
Regional Development Victoria Leadership and Innovation Award - Strathbogie Local
GOTAFE Community Education Award
Zoe Support Australia of Mildura advocates for the education and employment of young mothers. Zoe Support Australia is a not-for-profit, community-based organisation founded with a goal of re-engaging young mothers aged 13 to 25 in education and employment through intensive case management, removing barriers to education like transport and childcare, providing study hubs, and offering a number of pre-accredited educational and social programs. In 2019, they began the ‘Contemporary Cakes and Small Business’ weekly pre-accredited Learn Local course, designed to develop basic baking skills and improve employment outcomes. Zoe Support mothers are largely disadvantaged and vulnerable, all facing the daily stigma of being a teen mother.
GOTAFE Community Education Award - Zoe Support Australia