Senior of the Year Awards


Every year, the City of Ballarat’s Senior of the Year awards recognise local residents 55 years and older who have made a significant contribution to the Ballarat community.

The City of Ballarat invites all residents to join us in honouring local people and make a nomination for the 2017 Senior of the Year Awards.

The 2017 Senior of the Year Award categories are:

  • Mayor’s Award for Ballarat Senior of the Year
  • Senior Achiever Award
  • Promotion of Multiculturism Award
  • Healthy Active Living Award
  • Veteran Community Award


Nominations will be open 2018.

2017 WinnersTop of document.

Mayor’s Award for Ballarat Senior of the Year – Anne Tudor

Anne’s outstanding work to create a dementia-friendly Ballarat has made a significant contribution to the Ballarat community. Anne’s partner lives with younger onset dementia and the two contribute to national and international awareness-raising about dementia. Anne has developed the concept of Bigger Hearts – a project designed to build a dementia-friendly Ballarat. As part of the project, Anne has undertaken a needs analysis asking Ballarat residents to identify strategies for a more dementia-friendly Ballarat, canvassed local businesses and services to support her initiative, and produced a film that showcases Ballarat residents having conversations with people living with dementia. A passionate advocate, Anne has educated local health and human services about the experiences of people living with dementia as well as their carers, and established a Ballarat Local Dementia Alliance. Anne has also played a pivotal role in the Letters of Love and Dementia Campaign, which aimed to raise awareness of the experience of living with dementia, while her work was pivotal in attracting Small Acts of Love – a national symposium on dementia and love to Ballarat in early 2017.


Ballarat Senior Achiever Award – Dr Tony Cole

For more than 30 years, Tony has made a positive difference to the cultural landscape of Ballarat. Tony’s dedication to the promotion of dance in Ballarat includes designing and building a range of infrastructure for the productions showcased through the Royal South Street Eisteddfod. An inspiration to all who know him, Tony’s generosity extends to the donation of around 50 custom-made trophies each year, which are crafted at the Sovereign Hill foundry and are unique memoirs for recipients.


Ballarat Senior Achiever Award – Heather McCallum 

A retired hairdresser, Heather has dedicated more than 40 years of her life in the pursuit of other people’s happiness and wellbeing. Heather has been a volunteer for the City of Ballarat’s Meals on Wheels program for 40 years, a volunteer with Vision Australia for 25 years, for which she received a Life Governor’s Award, and Heather is also a visitor and volunteer driver at Wendouree’s Kelaston Nursing Home. Alongside her volunteering, Heather also visits older, frail people in the community to cut and style their hair, contributing in a small yet incredibly meaningful way to the Ballarat community.


Ballarat Senior Achiever Award – Werner Oellering

Werner has made a major contribution to Miners Rest, developing the Committee for Miners Rest, which has focused on local community issues ranging from the saleyards relocation to town planning, flooding, school traffic and roads. From the establishment of this committee, Werner has encouraged and facilitated open and honest communication from the community. While Werner stepped down as president of the committee this year, he still holds an executive role, and is also involved in several other sub-committees and numerous community groups in Miners Rest. Each year, Werner demonstrates his passion for his community in Miners Rest, persevering through the good times and bad, ensuring he enjoys the journey and learning from experience.

Healthy Active Living Award – Kathleen Hobson

A member of the Friends of Ballarat Botanic Gardens Committee for 20 years, Kathleen’s dedication to history and research has spurred her to increase her computer skills – she has digitised more than 1,000 hand-transcribed records. A key instigator of the development and publication of the pictorial history An Eden of Loveliness: The Ballarat Botanical Gardens, Kathleen was instrumental in the introduction of the BotaniKids program in 2007, which now introduces thousands of young people to the Gardens and to gardening. Kathleen has been involved in community service groups in Ballarat for more than 50 years – she has worked with the Children’s Play Group, the St Peter’s Anglican Church Op Shop and Floral Festival, which raises funds to assist homeless and refugees in Ballarat.