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MEDIA RELEASE - Millard's 60 years of volunteerism recognised

26 January 2020

For the past 60 years Keith Millard has been quietly contributing to the local Merino-Digby community getting his hands dirty doing the big jobs during times of need or running a sausage sizzle with the Lions Club to help a community group.

His generous spirit was recognised today as he was named Glenelg Shire Council’s Citizen of the Year at shire-wide Australia Day celebrations in Portland, Heywood and Casterton.

Recognising Mr Millard’s achievements, Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the “respected leader” was the lifeblood of the local Merino-Digby community.

“Keith is a quiet achiever, described as humble with a generous spirit who has been volunteering in the community since the day he left school,” Cr Rank said.

“He is always there to lend a hand whether it be with a chainsaw, donating machinery, gravel, sand, top soil at not cost to clubs and churches, always without hesitation,” Cr Rank said.

“He is a life member of the Glenorchy CFA and has been three times captain over the past 50 years. This commitment extends to the Merino P and A Society where he volunteered for over 50 years, he was on the Anglican Church parish council for 40 years, and has been a Digby-Merino Lions Club member for 21 years, acting mostly as activity chairman and past chairman three times.

“Keith can also be seen maintaining the grounds of the Merino Cemetery where is trust chairman and been a member for 15 years.

“Collectively he has been working for his community for 146 years if you collate all of the years of services he has given to his town. It is people like Mr Millard who make Glenelg Shire such a wonderful place to live and we thank him for his tireless contribution.”

Mr Millard was joined in the award honours by fellow recipients:

• Senior Citizen of the Year – Cheryl Ford
• Young Citizen of the Year – Maycie-Lee Reeves
• Community Group of the Year – Mission to Seafarers (Flying Angel Portland).

Senior Citizen of the Year Cheryl Ford has been volunteering in the Portland community for more than six decades spreading her time over humanitarian and social efforts, plus church, sporting, and education pursuits.

She currently donates her time to Portland Netball Association as president and secretary, Portland U3A as treasurer, No Interest Loan Scheme committee member and interviewer, L2P driving mentor, PAC volunteer, in addition to Portland South School breakfast club and reading coordinator.

Young Citizen of the Year Maycie Lee Reeves, aged 19, is a passionate disability advocate and in 2016 successfully started a petition for an All Abilities and equal access playgroup for the Portland foreshore, which is due to open to the public next month after capturing almost 4000 signatures.

Maycee-Lee also successfully campaign for an access hoist at the Portland Swimming Pool in 2019 and participated in the opening of the wheelchair carousel at the Heywood playground with the Variety Club in 2017.

Her dedication to All Abilities Advocacy has assisted in providing more opportunities for people with disabilities and their families or carers to participate in activities and facilitate social inclusion of people with disabilities.

Community Group of the Year, the Mission to Seafarers, also known as Flying Angel Portland, has provided a service to seafarers visiting the Port of Portland for more than 50 years. These dedicated volunteers support up to 8000 seafarers who stop in Portland annually for up to one week.

This community group is open every day of the year and supports the welfare of seafarers under the Maritime Convention Bill of Rights. Doctors, medical, repatriation, wages and work-health. The organisation makes more than 5000 bus trips annually, run by 20 dedicated volunteers and a part time manager. They are a not for profit organisation & receive no government or other funding.

The group also supports three smaller seafarers centres including Hastings, Port Giles and Port Latta. They also make very generous donations to Portland Coast Guard, Funky Hearts, Portland Surf Lifesaving Club, Portland Citizens Brass Band, TS Henty Australian Navy Cadets, The Bert Tober Medical Trust, the Portland food share & the Up-Welling Festival (Blessing of the fleet).

Cr Rank said the contribution of each of the award recipients was impressive.

“We are proud to present these Awards, as they acknowledge individuals who are outstanding role models who have made a positive difference in our communities,” Cr Rank said

“These Australia Day Awards are unique in that it gives every person the opportunity to nominate a fellow citizen who has made an outstanding contribution to their community and I think we can all be proud of these outstanding individuals.

“I strongly encouraging people to consider making a nomination for the 2021 Australia Day Awards which open next week.”

To learn more about how to nominate visit Your Say Glenelg.

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