At a ceremony at the Daylesford Town Hall on Australia Day eve, the Mayor, Cr Lesley Hewitt, inducted three new Australian citizens. She also announced three Australia Day Awards to recognise outstanding contributions to our community.

Event of the Year Award

The Shire Event of the Year award was presented to the Daylesford and District Horticultural Society for their on-line webinar series. Prior to COVID, the Society held monthly meetings with invited speakers but during the 2020 restrictions, the Society transitioned to on-line webinars. Whereas the church hall where they held their face-to-face meetings could only accommodate about 30 people, they attracted anywhere from 40 to 85 members and guests to their webinars.

The webinars involved a steep learning curve for the committee to host the webinars and for participants many of whom are older and less familiar with the on-line meeting environment.

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 Society and to its capacity to grow and evolve.

Young Citizen of the Year Award

The young citizen of the year award was presented to Matilda Hill.

From an early age Ms Hill has been volunteering for various community groups in Clunes including the Agriculture Show, the  RSL, Booktown events, Pink Ribbon Day and the Clunes FNC. In 2010, she initiated and led a cake baking effort to support those impacted by the floods in Clunes, paying special attention to volunteers and the elderly.

She is a gifted athlete and has represented her schools in State Level cross country, athletics, swimming and Clunes Football, Netball Club at inter league. At the FNC, she coaches netball for the under 13 team.

In 2019, Ms Hill volunteered her time to assist with Team Management for the Australian Pearls Global Game, a basketball competition for a team of intellectually disabled players.

Ms Hill was recognised for her selfless involvement in the community, an attribute that may have been inspired by her Great Grandfather, Syd Duncan, who was awarded Citizen of the Year in 1996.

Citizen of the Year

The Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Creswick resident, Philip Greenbank.

Mr Greenbank 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.

He is an active member of the Creswick – Smeaton RSL. He is the Memorials and Memorabilia Officer, Historian and Keeper of the Crosses. He has recruited funding to restore honour Boards including the large Marble Honour Board in the Creswick Town Hall.

Over the past 5 years, in association with the Creswick & District Historical Society (CDHS), he has been compiling 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.

For the past 19 years Mr Greenbank has worked as a School Councillor and is currently the Creswick North Primary School Council President.

He has been a member of the Australasian Guild of Town Criers for 6 years and President for past 3 years. He was appointed the Official Hepburn Shire Town Crier in 2015.

Mr Greenbank was recognised for his long-standing dedication to various community groups. He is dedicated to community members both past and present and is a model citizen of our Shire.


On behalf of the community, we congratulate the award winners for their deserved recognition and we welcome our new Australian citizens.