Australia Day 2022

Celebrating the achievements of our award recipients

Laura Richardson

Meander Valley Citizen of the Year

Laura Richardson

Laura Richardson began her volunteering in the Meander Valley community at a very early age. She used to help her late mother Heather with the morning teas at the Chudleigh Show. That started her involvement with the community that has lasted all her life.

Laura's family legacy and love for the Chudleigh Show have continued throughout her life – she was a committee member for many years. She has recently re-joined the Committee taking over as President.

She joined the Western Tiers Rural Youth organisation as a teenager. She progressed through the Rural Youth ranks and was elected State President in 2003, serving two terms. Laura was awarded the runner-Up in the 2005 Rural Women's Award and undertook study in the United Kingdom, and has been awarded a Service Award by the organisation.

Laura joined the Board of Meander Valley Financial Services, the partner of Bendigo Bank in the Community Bank – Deloraine & Districts in 2005.

Laura remains a Director of Meander Valley Services and has served as the Company Secretary and recently stood down after four years in the Chair.

Laura loves sport in all its forms. She has played over 400 games with the Deloraine Amateur Basketball Association, coached many junior teams and has been a key organiser of the Master's Basketball teams that have seen teams travel to Masters Games around the country.
She was a Committee member for eleven years, served as Secretary and then as Treasurer for the majority of this time and was awarded Life Membership in 2016.

In 2006, along with Taneil Bloomfield, she formed the Deloraine Devils Netball Club, initially with one senior women's team. Laura was the foundation President stepping down in 2012 with the Club having grown to three senior teams and the start of a junior program.

Laura has been part of many Committees, including the future Farmers Network, Meander Valley Economic Renewal Action Group, a volunteer trip to Fiji with the Rotary Club of Deloraine to build housing, and the Berne family fundraiser.

She has also assists with the Deloraine Football Club, Chudleigh Memorial Hall and many others to source grant funding to progress projects.

Laura is held in high esteem in the community, and she is always obliging and willing to assist.

Luke Cole

Meander Valley Young Citizen of the Year

Luke Cole

Young Citizen of the Year for 2022 is Luke Cole.

Luke is a valued member of the Westbury Preservation Association, formally known as Pearn's Steam World and a volunteer at Deloraine House.

He has been volunteering at WPA for over five years, coming to their complex in Westbury with a formal support person at 19 years of age.

Despite having the challenge of living with a disability, Luke has continued to pursue his interest in restoring key pieces of the Associations collection and became a member of the WPA Executive Management Committee in August of 2021.

Luke commenced his role at Deloraine House in March 2018 as a participant in the Epic Assist program. He has volunteered in the Community Garden, eventually building his skills to now doing the lawn mowing.

Luke arrives religiously every Wednesday, and heaven forbid if anyone else wants to cut his grass! Luke has become a very valuable member of the team at Deloraine Housing and attends team meetings, strategy workshops, and events and contributes in every way he can.

Renee Walker

Meander Valley Sports Award

Rene Walker

The recipient of the Meander Valley Sports Award for 2022 is Renee Walker.

Renee grew up amongst the sporting spirit and community of the Deloraine Football Club along with her family and has shown dedication to its future volunteering as the Junior Development Officer and coaching two of the junior girl's teams. Renee has been instrumental in providing equal opportunity for girls to play football and encourages inclusiveness and development.

Chudleigh Hall Committee

Meander Valley Community Event of the Year

Chudleigh Australia Day Community Breakfast

Chudleigh's Australia Day Community Breakfast is the recipient of the 2022 Community Event of the Year.

Run entirely by volunteers of the Chudleigh Hall Committee and other members of the Chudleigh community; this event has been running since 2012.

The Breakfast is a wonderful community event and caters for everyone's palate.

Hot food, drinks and even good old-fashioned lamingtons and cream horns are available.

The Breakfast is held in the Hall and outdoors in the beautifully kept Chudleigh community garden.

In the years prior to COVID-19, the Breakfast catered for around 400 people. It was scaled back in 2021 to cater for 250 people and unfortunately cancelled in 2022 due to COVID-19.

The Breakfast has become an important event, bringing the community together and people back to Chudleigh.


Council also celebrates recipients of Volunteer Awards, recognising seventeen Meander Valley residents for 1,000 and 3,000 volunteer hours and for exceptional volunteering efforts.


Meander Valley Council Volunteer Award Recipients 2022
Exceptional Voluntary Service
Lynette Gleeson
Kelvin Haberle
Elenah Olah
3,000 Hours of Voluntary Service

Leanne Atkins

Phillip Bryan

Carmen Cresswell
Debbie Eastley
Lindy Eastley
Charlie Fowler
Fiona Gleeson
David Heathcote
Ruth How
Dianne Huett
Lyn Wadley
1,000 Hours Voluntary Service
Pat Armstrong
Jenny Lloyd
Maxine Robins