Community Achievement Awards for Victoria

It has been my honour to receive the Community Resilience Award for 2020, an unprecedented and challenging year for us all and a privilege to come along-side so many hard working and talented people.

It has been very rewarding to have played an active role in supporting the community in which I live. I look back on a number of particularly good outcomes in many of the projects in which I have participated over the years and try not to dwell on the ones that were unsuccessful. Happily, the majority have had good results.

The work in helping to recover from the initial impacts of the bushfire that severely damaged the town and district and then to play a role in establishing the Mallacoota and District Recovery Association, has been both a great challenge and very rewarding as Mallacoota and surrounds move forward in bushfire recovery. This Association is crucial to the wellbeing of the residents and for the carefully planned re-building of community infrastructure following the devastating bushfires.

The recognition of hard working members of regional communities gives nominees and the broader community encouragement in knowing that their efforts are recognised.

Leo op den Brouw
2020 DELWP Community Resilience Award Winner


I think the biggest thank you of all should be reserved for you. If it were not for your efforts in the organisation and hosting of this prestigious event our efforts would go by largely unnoticed. Your ability to get the level of sponsorship and coverage is massive. I feel that it is events such as this which make us able to hone our efforts and take time to focus on what it is we do and make sure that we keep doing it to the best of our ability. With the recognition and attention this award gives us, we are able to spread an unbiased message to the greater community on who we are and what we do. Thank you for supporting not just us but all the winners, finalists, and entrants. I hope you realise how appreciated it is :)

Alex Lemmon
2020 Ricoh Customer Service Award Winner


Firstly, we would like to say thank you for supporting this important event and providing people in regional Victoria with this amazing opportunity.

The credibility and exposure that the event provides is valuable across all categories and especially for those who are in the early stages of their endeavours.

At Free 3D Hands, we are proud to say that we will be putting the prize money towards keeping our part time assembly technician employed after she lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for maintenance of our 3D printers which have been heavily used this year making face shields and hands.

Thank you again for making this possible, and we recognise that such an event could not go ahead without your support.

Mat Bowtell
2020 Leadership & Innovation Award Winner & 2020 Regional Achiever of the Year


“Winning the 2019 Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award and the 2019 Victorian Regional Achiever Award recognised the Goulburn Murray Valley (GMV) Fruit Fly Project as a leader of Fruit Fly Area Wide Management (FFAWM).
The Governance Group, comprising representatives of the community, industry and government created a unified platform to launch multiple innovative strategies that systematically reduced the impact of Queensland Fruit Fly on horticulture in the GMV region.
Recognition of the project’s achievements not only galvanised our project stakeholders, but also served as a catalyst for other organisations to adopt the GMV project model as a FFAWM benchmark.
On behalf of the GMV Fruit Fly Governance Group I would like to thank you for hosting the outstanding 2019 Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards”.

Ross Abberfield, Regional Fruit Fly Coordinator
2019 Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award Winner


“Bank Of Melbourne are so excited about being involved, because we can support and be involved with such amazing people that genuinely help to change lives and foster vibrant communities. We love the fact we can be a part of this and have somewhat of a meaningful and positive impact to these astounding people. It’s our pleasure and thank you for letting us being a part of it.”

Brendan Grenfell, Regional Executive, Bank of Melbourne


"On behalf of our Committee of Management, members, staff and partners, I am writing to thank Awards Australia for sponsoring the Community Group of the Year Award at the 2018 Regional Achievement and Community Awards. We were honoured to be a finalist and elated to be selected as winner of the category. We have been overwhelmed by messages of congratulations from across our region and Victoria. Winning the Award provides wonderful recognition of our volunteer Committee of Management, our schools and partners who support our work, and our mentors and Reading Buddies who willingly volunteer their time to support disadvantaged kids to receive a good education. Many of these children and young people have had a difficult start to life and we firmly believe that education and community connection provides these kids with opportunities to achieve at school and succeed in life. Winning the award has provided our team and supporters with a real boost. The media exposure will also help us to promote our programs and recruit even more community members to support the education of vulnerable children across our region.

We really enjoyed the Awards night and it was great to meet and hear about many of the wonderful individuals and organisations doing great things in rural and regional Victoria. The Awards night was well organised and promoted by Katrina Gallo and her team. Karl Lijnders did a great job as MC, the entertainment, food and venue were excellent.

We really appreciate the support of Awards Australia, as sponsor of our category, and the support of The Weekly Times, PRIME7 and the Bank of Melbourne. Congratulations to all involved in the organisation and delivery of this great event."

Wimmera Southern Mallee Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN)
2018 Awards Australia Community Group of the Year Award Winner


“I wanted to thank & congratulate Katrina, Geoff & all involved regarding the success of the Gala Awards Presentation Dinner. I genuinely felt the occasion was a warm and friendly evening enjoyed by all; the event also provided a terrific opportunity to meet other finalists and learn about their commitment to community.
Personally, I’ve found the award has potentially strengthened my political voice allowing me to have possibly greater impact with regards to multicultural inclusion and social cohesion strategies through football in regional Victoria.”

Tania Bardsley
2017 Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Diversity and Inclusion Award Winner


“To be nominated and fortunate enough to win the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Award in 2017 has been a highlight of my career in education. The role of teachers is a complex one, but student needs - both wellbeing and learning - are at the core of everything we do every day. While I have been acknowledged through an individual award, the success of the Nurturing Room program is due to the combined efforts of many staff who work closely to develop warm relationships with students and parents. The award is therefore a celebration for our whole school community.”

Robyn Ledin
2017 South West TAFE & Deakin University South West Regional Achiever Award


“Winning the 2018 Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards is something that is enormously important to the small community of Clunes. They are a great group of can-do people and as a representative of this community to be honoured in such a way, honours their work and effort. Fittingly the trophy sits in the Clunes Museum for all to enjoy.”

Dr Tess Brady
2017 Life Activities Clubs Victoria and Henry Carus & Associates Senior Achievement Award Winner


“As a family farm Glendemar would like to say thank you on being presented with the innovation award. In life there are times when you may question the direction you are taking with your business and family. To receive this award cements that what we believe in and are doing with our life is positive and rewarding. We would like to thank all the sponsors for making this event possible.”

2017 Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award Winner 


"Winning a Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Award has been a great way to meet other organisations and people working on community enhancement projects in South West Victoria. I was impressed by the innovations introduced by the other nominees and award winners. I enjoyed hearing about their work. It sparked a range of new ideas to try out. Winning the award has also given me an opportunity to talk about what my organisations have been doing. It has allowed unexpected discussions and uncovered potential new collaborative efforts. My colleagues, who rightly feel they have earned a part of the award, feel proud of their efforts and we have all been encouraged to work harder for the benefit of our community."

Tim Baker
2016 South West TAFE & Deakin University South West Regional Achiever Award


"I was thrilled to be the recipient of the MOA Benchmarking Regional Award for Community Service in Aged Care. I have many memories that I will cherish throughout my life working in aged care. It has been my honour to work for The Kilmore and District Hospital at Caladenia Nursing Home. I work with so many wonderful people and this award has highlighted what a great team we have here. On a personal level, I have a great passion for the elderly and it was a terrific boost to be recognised in this way. I feel that this award has helped people in our community see what wonderful things are happening in our own backyard. This type of recognition helps to break down the barrier that aged care is just a place to live out the final chapter of one’s life; instead encouraging elderly people to enjoy this most treasured time of life with the help of staff, family and community members. Making a difference every day can be a rewarding experience for everyone - residents, family members and volunteers alike. Time is so precious and we all can give it.

I would encourage anyone who knows of a person who stands out in your organisation, please nominate them for the Regional Awards. There are many categories and the benefits are far reaching to include not only the recipient of the nomination, but all the people involved with your organisation. It will also help to publicise the nominee and your organisation throughout your community and will highlight the wonderful work that you do."

Tracey Hooke
2016 MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award Winner


"I was so excited to win the Federation Training Gippsland Regional Achiever's Award. It means a lot to have been recognised for my achievements in the past year. There is so many people achieving great things in Gippsland - these awards are a great way of recognising their talent!"

Aislin Jones
2016 Federation Training Gippsland Regional Achiever Award Winner


"Winning the Regional Development Victoria Leadership & Innovation Award was important for me and for Koroit and District Primary School, not because we wanted acknowledgement for our work, but because we believe that it was important and valuable work to do regardless. The acknowledgement is appreciated, but this recognition has motivated other schools to consider becoming involved in the program. The Beyond the Bell Initiative in the Moyne area, can use this recognition to attract further funding and to promote the program. If this results in more parents having increased confidence in playing and learning with their young children so that they are resilient, healthy, confident young people with developing skills in all domains, then we are doubly rewarded."

Michelle Bickley- Miller, Principal, Koroit and District Primary School
2016 Regional Development Victoria Leadership & Innovation Award Winner


“Winning the Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award has been fantastic for Shepparton Villages. Not only was it humbling to be recognised for Employer Excellence but the boost it gave to our employees, our residents and community was phenomenal. We were on a high for weeks! The award brought together all aspects of our organisations – employees from all divisions were proud to be working at Shepparton Villages and proud that our organisation had been recognised on the state stage. Our Board and management team were thrilled for everyone who works so hard each and every day at Shepparton Villages – it reinforced that we do what we say, and that we do it at a consistently high standard. From a business and marketing perspective, this award was gold! Our community celebrated with us – our social media channels were full of congratulations messages, our local media featured us, our politicians spruiked our win and our community partners were re-assured that together, we are making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable, the elderly. Oh – and ever since, we’ve all walked just that little bit taller!”

Jo Breen, Shepparton Villages
2016 Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award Winner


“We have been thrilled to win the Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award for 2016. The PETstock journey started 14 years ago in Ballarat and we are very proud to still call this wonderful Regional centre home to our Head Office team. We have worked hard to make PETstock into a successful International pet specialty retailer and we love the fact all of our early growth came from Regional Victorian centres where we developed (and still have today) strong community links. The awards process has been really satisfying as a chance to review our business and we loved the opportunity to mingle with some of Regional Victoria’s best businesses and motivated individuals. I would highly encourage other businesses to consider nominating themselves for the 2017 awards.”

Dion Collard, General Manager - Marketing, PETstock
2016 Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award Winner


"I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all concerned with the entire Presentation on Friday of the Awards my guests were suitable impressed .

The night went beautifully so well organised the venue, food, entertainment and the prompt attention shown by all waiters & waitresses to us was no doubt perfect.

I have grown as an individual due to this whole encounter even though I didn’t take home the big one the whole experience was amazing & I consider myself a winner for having the opportunity to share this night with all other nominees."

Pauline Walters
2016 MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award Finalist


“Since winning the 2015 Victorian regional awards I have continued to strive and achieve my goals. This award not only meant a lot to me but a lot to my family and friends. They have all been through my struggles and my successes and I can't thank them enough. I'm proud to say I'm from regional Victoria and I think the awards sponsored by The Weekly Times and Prime 7 have honestly given so many achievers hope and pride in themselves and has given me something extra to be proud of. I guess at the end of the day the award means a great deal to the community, as it's great to see not only myself but all those other members of the community be awarded for their hard work, and I'm honoured to be able to represent my home town. Good luck to all the other nominated achievers and all the best to the winners of the 2016 Victorian regional achievers and community awards.”

Jessi McEwan
Greater City of Geelong
2015 Federation Training Gippsland Regional Achiever Award Winner

“Winning the Parks Victoria Environmental Sustainability Award at the Regional Achievement & Community Awards has helped to validate the hard work that not only our team but so many of the Geelong community have put it in along the Greenway. The award has recognised the worth of the project and that the Greenway is indeed an important and valuable project for the future of Geelong. It provided a nice little boost to the team’s spirits, encouraging us all to keep working hard to achieve our goals for the Greenway. We also had a thoroughly enjoyable night out at the awards.”

Alan Dawson, Maintenance Officer, Tree Management Unit
2015 Parks Victoria Environmental Sustainability Award Winner

“AME Systems was extremely honoured to be selected from a strong field of finalists to be the winner of the prestigious 2015 Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award, announced last October. AME Systems is a proud Australian company, privately owned and regionally based which has survived the test of time. The Award is testament to our longevity in the manufacturing industry over a long period and has taken pride of place within the business.
The Awards are extremely important to regional Victoria and it is vital that companies, like ourselves, who are now globally focussed participate in such events which allows us the opportunity to showcase our business, people, products, services and diversity in an increasing competitive environment. Our Board, Management and 250+ Staff are very proud to have won the Award and have embraced it with gusto to promote excellence in our business to our current and new customers that pleasingly are increasing across the electrical harness making spectrum. We have very much enjoyed the journey of putting forward our submission which has helped us understand better what we have done well as a business, within the community, and what we need to do into the future to be sustainable.”

Nick Carthew
Managing Director
2015 Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award Winner

“As winners of the Community Group of the Year in the Victorian Regional Achievement Awards we were thrilled and honoured to even be nominated let alone take out the award. Since winning the award I have been fortunate enough to visit all the schools involved in our One and All Inclusion Project to share the pride our entire community feels for supporting ‘inclusion’ for all. The prize money we were lucky enough to win through the award will help to expand One & All and continue to offer community inclusion events to our wider community into the future. Achieving this award is a credit to all who have been involved with One & All through our seven-year journey. Thank you to the award sponsors for supporting such a fabulous community-minded initiative.”

Sharnee McCoy
One & All Project
2015 Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award Winner

“Health is complex and at Ballarat Community Health we seek to provide relevant and timely services to the community to enhance their health and wellbeing. Working with a range of age groups we seek to deliver innovative treatment options and vital services to improve the physical and mental health of our clients. It is really pleasing to be recognised for the work we are doing in the aged care sector through the Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award. The award reinforces our passion for aged care and our commitment to provide services that are specifically developed to meet the needs and interests of the elderly. We aspire to address some of the reasons why some people who are elderly aren’t able to get active or maintain good health, such as time, cost and inflexible opportunities for physical activity.”

Robyn Reeves
CEO, Ballarat Community Health
2015 Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award Winner

“I was initially surprised to be informed that I had made it as a finalist in the Regional Achievement and Community Awards so you can imagine my delight to travel to Melbourne and be announced as the winner in the category of Community Service in Aged Care. At the time I did not realise the publicity that I personally and my organisation would receive, the awards night celebrations were followed by many weeks of exposure in the local press and a quite intensive TV and Radio promotion of my win over many subsequent weeks. Money is not everything in our world but it has to be said that the $2,000 prize money came in very handy and was put to great use in the purchase of an i-Mac Computer for the exclusive use of the Residents in our Home, I give great emphasis in my Role in Aged Care in helping to connect or reconnect Elders living in Residence back to the community of which they belong, this award has helped raise my profile in my community which in turn has bought about some excellent new connections which will be of great benefit to those that we care for here at Lyndoch Living. It also has to be said that the Awards Night Ceremony in its self was so well organised and catered for every element of it was of a high quality, and a fantastic opportunity to see and meet so many wonderful people, who themselves through living in remote rural communities do not often get the kind of recognition that these awards offer.”

Stephen Grigson
Lyndoch Living
2015 MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award Winner