2014 Australia Day Award winners
Yarra's Australia Day awards were presented at Council's annual Australia Day citizenship ceremony held on 26 January 2013.
The awards recognise individuals and groups who have made an outstanding contribution to the Yarra community.
Here is some more information about Council's 2014 Australia Day award winners:
Citizen of the Year – David Heard
David Heard has dedicated a lifetime to bringing rock, folk, country and roots music to our airwaves. Somewhat of a local live music legend, David can be spotted most nights at local venues supporting Yarra’s vibrant live music scene, yet he may be better recognised by his voice, having broadcast on PBS FM for the last 35 years.
David was involved with PBS FM when it first started in the late 1970s. In fact, he began volunteering for the station before it existed, recording performances outside the One C One club in Princes Hill, which would later become early content for the new station.
Live performances have since become a hallmark of David’s radio programs, which feature live sets and interviews from about 100 musicians each year.
David has made a significant contribution to supporting Yarra’s live music scene and sharing his love of live music with a wider audience
Young Citizen of the Year – Ror Akot
Yarra Youth Ambassador and Fitzroy resident Ror Akot plays a vital role in bringing music, film and theatre to the Yarra community.
Through his involvement in Yarra Youth Services’ Rising High Music Program, Ror has performed at a number of community events and been a mentor to aspiring urban musicians. Ror also appeared in a lead role in Zombies, a theatre/dance production that explored issues for young people living in and around public housing estates, as well as an anti-racism film that screened during Refugee Week. His involvement in the film led him to host a workshop at his school in partnership with ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation).
Ror’s ability to represent the interests of Yarra’s young people was one of the driving forces behind the development of Yarra’s Youth Policy and Action Plan 2013-16. His leadership role at Fitzroy Learning Network’s Computer Clubhouse, saw him travel all the way to Boston USA to represent the Fitzroy branch at the Computer Clubhouse teen summit.
Community Event of the Year – Ride2Work at the Abbotsford Convent
A social media-driven competition encouraging people to share a photo of their bike was one of the unique aspects of Abbotsford Convent’s Ride2Work Day breakfast - Yarra’s Community Event of the Year.
Ride2Work Day is a national celebration of cycling culture. In 2013, the Abbotsford Convent hosted a local event (one of the biggest in Yarra) for about 300 cyclists who stopped by on their way to work to be treated to a healthy breakfast from the convent’s famous eateries.
Yarra Council provided a grant to support the event, which was a great success in encouraging local cyclists to experience the health and environmental benefits of cycling.
Community Service of the Year – Abbotsford Convent Tour Guides
The history of the Abbotsford Convent lives on with the help of a team of dedicated volunteers who run both paid and free tours around the iconic building and its grounds.
Paid tours are offered every Sunday afternoon and provide extra income for the convent’s restoration fund. The volunteers, many of whom were involved in the convent’s past, provide their personal insights on the tour as well as a wealth of information about the convent’s fascinating story as the former home of the order of Good Shepherd sisters.
The Abbotsford Convent tours have been operating for eight years and are delivered entirely by volunteers.
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Community & Civic Events Officer