Victorian Regional Achievement & Community Awards

2016 Winners of the Regional Achievement and Community Awards


Regional Development Victoria Business Achievement Award

PETstock of Wendouree, is a 100% Australian owned company, with 125 stores across Australia and New Zealand. Originally purchased as Ballarat Produce and Merchandise, the family owned business franchised in 2002. 2015 revenue exceeded $250 million and expectations are $500 million by late 2018. PETstock’s charity foundation, PETstock Assist, in partnership with PetRescue, supports almost 1,000 Australian animal rescue groups. PETstock staff regularly donate to the foundation. PETstock coordinated a $1 million dog and cat food donation, distributing 58 tonnes to 240 animal rescue groups.


Regional Development Victoria Leadership & Innovation Award

Koroit & District Primary School, developed a six week parent program to build parent understanding and confidence in the social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of pre-schoolers. Led by teacher, Michelle, the program included story-telling, healthy snacks and the sharing of success stories from parents. Teachers have noticed improved learning and an increased rate of literacy since commencement of the program. The Beyond the Bell, Moyne Action Group program is now involved, and has been extended across the Moyne area.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Shepparton Retirement Villages Inc, founded in 1968, is community owned and cares for more than 600 residents in three locations. Expanding into Home Care and Community Support, they are in the final stages of design for a new 120 bed, $34million state of the art aged care facility with a specialised dementia wing. The 420 staff are offered training programs, staff flexibility and opportunities for advancement. The Villages have great community involvement with 190 volunteers delivering activities and services to residents.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

Avoca Hotel, is a three time recipient of the Golden Plate Award for Best Regional Hotel Dining, and two time winner of their State Award for Best Hotel. Located in the Pyrenees wine region, owners, Ian and Alison are passionate about sourcing local ingredients and supporting locals with employment and training. Avoca Hotel received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for the past four years, and has consistently rated as their Number 1 restaurant in the region. The Avoca is also a major sponsor of local sporting clubs.


South West TAFE & Deakin University South West Regional Achiever Award

Tim Baker of Warrnambool, is a specialist emergency medicine doctor at Warrnambool and Portland Hospitals, and lecturer at Deakin University. Recognising the need to improve emergency medical care in the South West, Tim initiated the Centre for Rural Emergency Medicine. He has successfully built a regional emergency workforce of doctors, medical students and smaller emergency care facilities to the state-wide emergency care system. Tim’s has been invited by State and National Government committees to be the advocate for the emergency medical needs of rural communities.


Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award

Heyfield & District Historical Society, was founded in 2002, and the “Save our Post Office – Make it our New Museum” project was launched in January this year. The museum will showcase the diverse history of the Heyfield District. Since beginning the project, committee members have volunteered more than 655 hours of work, and have raised $145,000 enabling them to purchase the museum. The Museum will strengthen pride within the town and its heritage, and allow for community involvement on many levels.


 MOA Benchmarking Community Service in Aged Care Award

Tracey Hooke of Kilmore, is the Lifestyle Coordinator at Caladenia Nursing Home. She is passionate about her role, often working beyond her rostered hours, volunteering in the evenings and on weekends. As part of the wellbeing and lifestyle program Tracey developed the “Sensory Me” program, recognising and responding to special memories of the residents. “Tracey’s Social Dining In” allows residents to socialise with friends and enjoy a special meal together. Other popular initiatives are Wedding Days, an Ice Creamery store and a sensory garden.


Parks Victoria Environmental Sustainability Award

Winters Flat Primary School of Castlemaine, have harnessed the power of student voice, community and environmental respect to drive their ‘Students Leading Change’ WFPS Sustainability Program. The school has dramatically reduced its carbon footprint and embedded sustainable practices throughout the curriculum. Initiatives include working with local elders on the creation of the Bush Tucker Garden and the Nude Food Policy encouraging families to buy fresh food. The school has gained 5-star accreditation through reducing waste, energy and water consumption and increased biodiversity.


Federation Training Gippsland Regional Achiever Award

Aislin Jones of Lakes Entrance, commenced shooting clay targets when she was 12. She was the youngest Australian to shoot a perfect round of 100/100 in domestic skeet and at 15, won the Open Women's National Championship. Aislin speaks at Schools and Rotary Groups motivating her audiences about success, work ethic and achieving goals. She trains more than 8 hours and travels 10 hours each week. She was named the youngest ever member of the Australian Olympic Shooting Team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.


Life Activities Clubs Victoria and Henry Carus & Associates Senior Achievement Award

Love to Sew Ladies of Shepparton, was established 15 years ago and consists of a group of volunteers who share a love of sewing, knitting and craft. Most members live in the Independent Living Units, and they meet regularly offering a welcoming environment and ongoing friendships. The ladies have donated clothing to orphans in Romania and assist Shepparton Villages with their fundraising activities. They make exquisite hand knitted woollen socks and have hand sewn 120 bed quilts to raise funds for their new facility.