Whitehorse City Council

Australia Day Civic Awards


The annual Whitehorse Australia Day Civic Awards and the Sport and Recreation Australia Day Trophy are designed to recognise, acknowledge and promote the efforts of people and community clubs or groups who either live, work, study or participate in the Whitehorse community.

Nominations for the 2017 Australia Day Awards are open; nominations will NOW close at 5pm on Friday 11 November 2016.

pdf icon  Australia Day Awards 2016 Nomination Form Closing Date Extension (1.48MB)

Successful nominees will be invited via a letter in December 2016 to attend the awards ceremony to be held at the Whitehorse Civic Centre on Australia Day, Thursday 26 January 2017.

australia Day Civic Awards poster thumbnail
Three categories are available for nomination:

  • The Citizen of the Year Award recognises and acknowledges outstanding contributions from persons who have made a noteworthy contribution during the current year and/or given outstanding service to the local community over a number of years and is 27 years of age or older on 26 January of the awards year.
  • The Young Citizen of the Year Award recognises and acknowledges outstanding contributions made by a young person who must be younger than 27 years of age of the awards year. 
  • The Community Achievement Award recognises and acknowledges contributions that provide opportunities for participation and benefit the wider community. Nominees may be an individual, over 18 years of age, or an entire community group/organisation from within the City of Whitehorse. 

The Whitehorse Sport and Recreation Australia Day Trophy recognises sporting, recreation and community clubs and groups that have created opportunities for participation to benefit the broader Whitehorse community.

Past recipients of the awards reside, study, work or participate in the Whitehorse community, dedicating their lives to volunteering, fundraising or advocating for the community, and community groups or clubs that have provided outstanding community events or activities.

For more information on Australia Day Awards, call 9262 6333 and ask to speak to Rosemary Sheehan.

For more information on Australia Day Sport and Recreation Trophy, call 9262 6106 and ask to speak to the Parks Planning and Recreation Project Officer.

2016 Whitehorse Australia Day Civic Award recipients:

Council has acknowledged the work of some of Whitehorse’s most exceptional community members with its 2016 Whitehorse Australia Day Awards.

Citizen of the Year – Anne Payne

Blackburn’s Anne Payne is a dedicated and active member of the Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Advisory Committee including volunteering as a Visitor Centre Coordinator. She has volunteered at the Red Cross Blackburn Branch for 40 years, currently as Vice President, and helps at Bungalook Indigenous Plant Nursery, Whitehorse Historical Society and Blackburn Village Residents’ Group.


Young Citizen of the Year – Thanushi Peiris

Thanushi Peiris participates in numerous committees at her school to shine a light on sustainability, human rights issues and anti-bullying. She is an active Girl Guide, a Blackburn Lake Sanctuary volunteer and was part of a campaign to advocate for gender equality. Thanushi has organised a food drive, sanitary kits for girls in developing countries, a factsheet and many other initiatives.


Outstanding Community Leadership Award – Dr Hugh Wirth AM

Dr Hugh Wirth AM is an outstanding advocate for animal welfare who joined the RSPCA in the 1940s as a junior member and is its longest-serving volunteer. As president he established the animal welfare centre in Burwood and RSPCA Australia. He advocated and assisted in the development of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986. Dr Wirth was President of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, as well as a practising vet for almost 50 years.


Community Achievement Awards recipients:


Dilnaz Billimoria

Dilnaz Billimoria has volunteered for various groups worldwide for more than 30 years. She volunteers with the Whitehorse Interfaith Network where she promotes peace, collaboration and trust across many faiths, cultural groups and community networks. Dilnaz has also been part of international women's day events, the human book program, migrant groups, reconciliation groups and many other community activities.


Graeme Elder

Graeme Elder generously gives his time to numerous causes. For many years, he was an active member of Elgar Contact (a residents’ association), where he prepared fliers, organised speakers for meetings, acted as secretary and helped residents with issues. Graeme is also one of the longest-serving Neighbourhood Watch Whitehorse executive members and delivers Meals on Wheels.


Patricia Fincham

Patricia Fincham was a member of the Anglican “Mother’s Union” for 20 years, helping to set up a crèche for children of prisoners at Deer Park. Patricia has volunteered with numerous groups including the Salvation Army, Eastern Emergency Network, Vermont Elderly People’s Homes, Mitcham Uniting Church, Red Cross Blackburn and the Heatherdale Community Action Group.


Anne Makhijani

Anne Makhijani is involved in many community projects and advisory committees. Anne supports causes including Get Up and the Whitehorse Community Indigenous Plant Project. She has petitioned against the Nadrasca farm becoming housing and worked to save the Healesville Freeway Reserve land for open space. She also volunteers with Bellbird Dell, Bungalook Nursery and the Whitehorse Reconciliation Advisory Committee


Neville Moulden

Neville Moulden has volunteered at the UnitingCare East Burwood Centre for more than 35 years, serving as a board member and president. Neville is one of the longest-serving members of Neighbourhood Watch Whitehorse, producing newsletters and acting as area manager. He has also volunteered with Apex Australia, a citizens’ advice bureau, Whitehorse Community Chest and Burwood Heights Uniting Church.


The Whitehorse Sport and Recreation Australia Day Trophy recipients:

Victorian Obedience Dog Club Inc.

The Victorian Obedience Dog Club Inc. has done a great deal to promote responsible dog ownership in the community.  Comprised of experienced trainers who are all volunteers, the club holds dog classes, family fun days, demonstrations and fundraising events for animal charities. The club also hosts lectures, promotes the understanding of local laws and holds sessions for school-aged children.