Senior of the Year Awards


City of Ballarat Senior of the Year nominations now open.


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 for the Awards close Friday 25 August, 2017.

The winners will be announced at a Town Hall reception on Wednesday 27 September, as the opening event of the 2017 Ballarat Seniors Festival.

2016 WinnersTop of document.

The City of Ballarat 2016 Senior of the Year Award-winners are:


Mayor’s Award for Ballarat Senior of the Year: Lidia Aiken

Lidia Aiken has a strong record of community service spanning decades including her work as an active committee member and events coordinator for U3A Ballarat and a valuable member of Rotary for more than 25 years. Her volunteer roles include organising meals for Blaze Aid and raising funds for tree replacements in local bushfire areas. In Buninyong, Lidia conducts sewing classes for young girls and was the driving force behind orchestrating the local One Million Stars to End Violence activity, organising Australian of the Year Rosie Batty to launch the project.


Ballarat Senior Healthy and Active Living Award: Steven Hardy

Steven Hardy had been teaching karate for 40 years, training many champions including his 15 years in Ballarat. He has made karate accessible for the disadvantaged, including giving free memberships to children in foster care and initiating free karate programs for the Ballarat & District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC) youth group. Steven has also been a Board Member of the Eastwood Leisure Complex for 10 years and has served as mentor and adviser to many of his students.


Ballarat Senior Promotion of Multiculturism Award: Sister Anne Forbes

As a teacher at Sacred Heart College, Sister Anne Forbes left a positive indelible mark on many of her students, with enormous empathy for the lonely, the marginalised and the disadvantaged. Anne has opened up her home and cared for refugees from East Timor attending Damascus College. She is a long term activist and her work with the people of Timor Leste is so inspiring that it has been regularly covered in the media, in turn positively influencing community attitudes to multiculturalism.


Ballarat Senior Achiever Awards


Ian Bradley

Ian Bradley has been an active volunteer mentor on the L2P Learner Driver Mentor program since 2014, delivering a total of 835 hours of voluntary support to 22 young disadvantaged learners. A well respected and influential local person, he is a valuable contributor to the L2P program both within the confines of his office (the car) and the general community.


Keith Findlow

Keith Findlow, a retired farmer, has been a Volunteer Driver for BDNH Group for the past 14 years, transporting podiatry clients to and from the clinic. He not only provides transport for our clients, he shares a friendly conversation with those that may not have a support network. Keith provides a personalised service to the clients, and ensures they feel comfortable and respected at all times.


Robert Hook

Robert has been a committed BDNH Group Committee of Management member since 2008. He is also a current committee member of the Committee for Ballarat, and was a Board of Management member and Honorary Treasurer at the Association for the Blind: Kelaston from 1973 to 2000. Robert spent 33 of his working years at the University of Ballarat and played a significant role in the development of the Ballarat Technology Park. Robert has been a life member of the Golden Point Cricket Club since the early 70s and is currently the Chairman of the Selection Committee.


Bennita Hough

Bennita Hough, a recently retired nurse with BDNH Group for 12 years, has made a huge difference in country Victoria, developing events and programs to bring rural people together and enabling communities to overcome issues such as social isolation, depression and domestic violence. Bennita has pioneered a senior debutante ball, bush dance, walking group, men’s kitchen, volunteer groups, community breakfasts, cooking classes, craft meetings, publication of a recipe book and even a men’s shed.


Dianne Jennings

Dianne Jennings is a very active member of the Miners Rest community involved in tree plantings and community BBQs, and volunteering at the local primary school. She is lauded as hard working, reliable, giving and selfless; an infectious local personality who makes a difference to the lives of many others.


Wayne Scanlon

Wayne Scanlon has been a volunteer mentor on the L2P Learner Driver Mentor program since 2012, supporting 16 young disadvantaged learners with a total of 525 hours of voluntary support, and sharing his knowledge and patience with all other program stakeholders. He volunteers with UnitingCare Ballarat and the SES, with a passion for assisting, helping, guiding, nurturing and just getting in and getting the job done.


2016 NomineesTop of document.

Nine remarkable individuals have been nominated by their fellow community members for the City of Ballarat Senior of the Year Awards:

  • Lidia Aitken
  • Ian Bradley
  • Keith Findlow
  • Sister Anne Forbes
  • Steven Hardy
  • Robert Hook
  • Bennita Hough
  • Dianne Jennings
  • Wayne Scanlon

Awards will be presented in the following categories: Mayor’s Award for Ballarat Senior of the Year, Senior Achiever Award, Promotion of Multiculturism Award, Healthy Active Living Award and Veteran Community Award.

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