Stratford free-range egg farmer Steve Pendrick was today announced Wellington Shire Council’s Citizen of the Year for 2018.
Awarded during a luncheon in Sale, Mr Pendrick was shocked at the honour, telling those gathered that he had no idea he had been nominated.
“I almost didn’t come to the luncheon today because I had work to do,” Mr Pendrick said.
“I didn’t know I’d been nominated for the award and then to win it, well it was definitely a surprise!”
Mr Pendrick was recognised for his extensive community work, including volunteering with Stratford State Emergency Service for 42 years, 33 of which was spent as the Unit Controller.
Mr Pendrick has also been a member of the Stratford Fire Brigade for 35 years and has been an instrumental member of the Stratford community during times of hardship.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Carolyn Crossley said the councillors examined the nominations carefully and took their job choosing the recipients very seriously.
“It can be a tough job sometimes, choosing a winner of the Citizen of the Year award from such a stellar line-up of people in our shire who work so hard for their communities,” Cr Crossley said.
“On this occasion Councillors were unanimous in their selection of Mr Pendrick for this award.
“His tireless devotion to the Stratford community really is something to be acknowledged and celebrated.”
Heyfield man Thomas Crosbie was named Wellington’s Young Citizen of the Year.
Mr Crosbie has carved an Information Technology career for himself in Heyfield after missing out on an opportunity in Melbourne.
Melbourne’s loss was definitely Heyfield’s gain, with Mr Crosbie proving an instrumental part of the Heyfield community working with the elderly and disadvantaged with their IT problems and refurbishing unwanted computers and laptops and re-purposing them.
Mr Crosbie works regularly with the Heyfield Community Resource Centre and his general “can-do” attitude is respected throughout the community.
He is also the youngest director of the Board of the Heyfield Community Bank and has recently been accepted into next year’s Gippsland Community Leadership Program with Alumni Youth Scholarship.
Continuing the achievements of Heyfield, the winner of this year’s Community Event of the Year was the Heyfield Food and Wine Festival.
Organised by the Heyfield Traders and Tourism Association, this year’s event attracted more than 2000 visitors to the town and showcased the region’s local businesses and attractions with a family friendly atmosphere.
Sale to Sea Inc was named the Group of the Year.
Its committee is made up of both disabled and non-disabled volunteers from different backgrounds who are passionate about promoting positive lifestyles.
The group works to provide equipment and aides including mobility scooters, mobile hoists, wheelchair ramps and customised lift chairs for people who need them in order to undertake a number of activities in our community.
“Congratulations to all the nominees for the awards and of course the award winners,” Cr Crossley said.
“Wellington certainly has a plethora of amazing volunteers who will stop at nothing to ensure our communities thrive and are inclusive of all.
“I like to think that the nominees for these awards and the winners are the cream on the top.”