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Volunteers named Wingecarribee Shire’s top citizens

27 January, 2017Posted in: Events
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Tireless Southern Highland volunteer Dr Allan Beavis (OAM) has been named Wingecarribee Shire’s 2017 Australia Day Citizen of the Year.

The former Headmaster and now Musical Director of St Jude’s Anglican Church and the Bowral Autumn Musical Festival is also a Board Member of the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra.

In 2013 Dr Beavis received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his services to music and education.

Dr Beavis cites the fostering of musical development in young people as a major passion.

Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Zoe Brain.

The 13 year old Oxley student was also nominated for her volunteerism and leadership qualities that belie her young age.

Zoe is perhaps best known as the creator and founder of ‘Gorilla Girlz’ which seeks to raise money for critically endangered gorillas.

The group has helped to promote the recycling of mobile phones and tablets and raise awareness of the need to reduce our demand on precious minerals found in the production of electronic devices.  These minerals are commonly found in the same habitat as that of native gorillas and continued mining is threatening their existence.

A 2016 segment featuring Zoe and the Gorilla Girlz on Behind the News was voted one of the top stories of the year for the ABC program.

Zoe has also been awarded with an AMP Tomorrow Makers Award and was nominated as an Australia Zoo Visionary Wildlife Warrior finalist.

Wingecarribee Shire Mayor, Councillor Ken Halstead congratulated both recipients saying they were shining examples of the Southern Highlands community spirit.

“We are very lucky to have such dedicated, hardworking and compassionate people in our Shire,” he said.  “There is no doubt our Shire is a better place as a result of their selfless contributions.”

“The Australia Day Awards provide an opportunity for Council to recognise those residents who continue to work for the betterment of the community,” the Mayor added.

“Choosing just two recipients from such a wonderful selection of nominees was a truly difficult task.”

Both recipients were presented with their awards during Wingecarribee Shire’s Australia Day celebrations at Berrima on Thursday 26 January.