EVERY year, the City of Ballarat Australia Day Awards are presented to the Ballarat Citizen of the Year, Ballarat Young Citizen of the Year and Community Activity of the Year, recognising their positive contribution to the local community. In 2016, 16 remarkable individuals and 4 great events have been nominated by community members. This year’s Ballarat Citizen of the Year is Annie Jean Smail. Annie is a very active resident and her many community roles include serving as the Director of the Ballarat Bridge Club. She is a Charter member of Zonta Club of Ballarat, a foundation member of Ballarat Epicurean Wine and Food Society, and an Interiors Committee member at Sovereign Hill.
Annie is also a member of the National Trust, Organs of the Goldfields (since 1994), Ballarat City Heritage Advisory Committee, Art Gallery of Ballarat, and Ballarat Arts Council. “I have enjoyed my time in Ballarat over 50 years and always looked to help people, my business helped people and I’m still trying to do that” Ms Smail said. Ballarat Young Citizen of the Year is Brayden Dorney.
Brayden is the director of the SJD Foundation, which owns the Delacombe community house, home to a local young mums program. Working closely with Child and Family Services (CAFS) Ballarat, he has helped ensure the foundation continues to give 100% of all funds raised back to community. “It’s been a big learning curve over the last couple of years since dad’s passing (Shane Dorney, foundation founder). Being the director of the foundation is not something I thought I would ever be,” Brayden said. “So far I’ve learnt how much the community needs help and that demand is growing each year.”
Ballarat Community Activity of the Year for 2016 is Ballarat International Foto Biennale. Run by a not-for-profit association run by volunteers, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale is a premier photography event. On exhibit at 7 major and 80 smaller venues, more than 60,000 people visited the event which was open for a month across Ballarat. Jeff Moorfoot , Creative Director, (Mr Moorfoot is stepping down from the role after 10 years) accepted the award on behalf of the association. “We are really proud of what we have achieved with the festival. It involves a huge number of people and brings economic benefit to Ballarat and more importantly raises the profile of Ballarat not only in Australia but increasingly around the world,” he said.