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Council hosts a citizenship ceremony and civic event on Australia Day eve.

We would like to congratulate our Australia Day Award recipients for 2021:

Community Event of the Year – Daylesford and District Horticultural Society Webinar Series

  • Prior to COVID the Horticulture Society would hold regular face to face monthly talks for members to attend. During lockdown interactions transitioned to online, including Zoom, Facebook, email and eventually their first webinar was held in July 2020. Despite the technical learning curve, speakers adjusted well to delivering talks from their own homes to a large virtual audience.
  • The webinar series proved to be popular with attendance rates ranging from 40 to 85 people which was much higher than their face to face events. The webinars involved social elements such as raffles donated by local businesses, plant of the month, guest speakers and a platform to share information with likeminded people.
  • Speakers would receive a voucher from a local business as a token of appreciation and this gesture then adds to the local economy.
  • The webinars attracted participation from non-members and from participants outside the Shire such as Ballarat, Melbourne, Geelong and as far as Adelaide and overseas.
  • Most members are over the age of 50, reflecting the ageing demographic of the Shire and this initiative allowed them to remain connected with their networks in the safety of their homes.
  • The Daylesford and District Horticultural Society had its first public meeting in 1863 and is the oldest continuing Horticulture Society in Victoria. The group’s ability to adapt under the circumstances is a testament to the resilience of the group and its capacity to grow and evolve.

Young Citizen of the Year – Matilda Hill

  • From an early age Matilda has been assisting family members at the Clunes Agriculture Show and currently works as a Junior Steward in the Arts and Cut Flowers section.
  • Matilda volunteers at the Clunes RSL. She has an active presence on both Anzac and Remembrance Day events and has previously been a guest speaker sharing stories of her Great Grandfather and the impacts of war on community and family. Matilda can be found on serving afternoon tea to help raise funds on Booktown weekends.
  • Matilda’s generosity extends to her involvement in the Pink Ribbon Day, Mother’s Day Classic event where she would raise awareness and funds amongst the local community.
  • In 2010, Matilda initiated and led a cake baking effort to support those impacted by the floods in Clunes, paying special attention to volunteers and the elderly.
  • In 2018 Matilda’s Grandfather was sadly diagnosed with and succumbed to Motor Neuron Disease. Matilda plays a big role in fundraising events such as “Big Freeze at the Clunes FNC”.
  • Matilda is an exceptional young athlete and has represented Clunes Primary School and Ballarat High School in State Level cross country, athletics, swimming and Clunes Football, Netball Club at inter league.
  • Matilda is well respected as both a netball player and coach of the under 13’s which involves many hours of training and mentoring young locals.
  • In 2019, Matilda volunteered her time to assist with Team Management for the Australian Pearls Global Game, a basketball competition for a team of intellectually disabled players.
  • It’s evident that Matilda is a selfless individual and is following in the footsteps of her Great Grandfather – Syd Duncan who was awarded Citizen of the Year in 1996.


Citizen of the Year – Philip Greenbank

  • Phil is an active member of the Creswick – Smeaton RSL; he accepted the role as Keeper of the Field of Crosses in 2012 and established the Memorial Gardens of the same name in 2015.
  • Phil was successful in obtaining grants for 4 honour board restorations – the biggest being the large Marble Honour Board in the Creswick Town Hall that now looks rejuvenated and cared for.
  • As the Memorials and Memorabilia Officer and Historian, Phil is responsible for locating and listing all memorials in the district onto the RSL Website and where required, their restoration and history.
  • Phil has been a CFA volunteer for almost 30 years and has been running Junior Fire Brigades and Fire Safe Kids programs and is well known as “Fireman Phil”. The Junior Volunteer program was an initiative of Phil’s 17 years ago.
  • For the past 19 years Phil has worked as a School Councillor and is currently the Creswick North Primary School Council President.
  • Phil has been a member of the Australasian Guild of Town Criers for 6 years and current President for past 3 years. He was appointed the Official Hepburn Shire Town Crier in 2015.
  • Phil displays a great diversity of interests and has been recognised for his long-standing dedication to various community groups.
  • Over the past 5 years, in association with the Creswick & District Historical Society (CDHS), as Project Co-Ordinator, he has been compiling the written records of the 980 men and women who were born in the Borough and Shire of Creswick and enlisted in the First World War. The book titled ”Reflections – Creswick and the Great War” is due to be launched this year.
  • Phil models a high degree of social connection, dedication to community members both past and present and is a valued member of our Shire.