2022 Australia Day Awards winners

Published on 26 January 2022

Citizen Of The Year Susan Hobbs

Horsham Rural City Council has announced its Australia Day Award winners for 2022. 

Citizen of the Year - Susan Hobbs, Clear Lake

Citizen Of The Year Susan Hobbs

Susan has been conducting funerals for more than 30 years in her pastoral role with the Horsham Uniting Church and more recently Horsham and District Uniting Church.

Not all funerals are for regular churchgoers however, many are community folk and not all are from Horsham; many wider district families also call on Susan to help farewell their loved one. Susan meets with members of the family with much understanding and pastoral care, talks with them about the person who has passed away and prepares a service format that involves family members if they wish to do so, making each funeral personal and very special. Often, with these families an end of life visit by Susan would have occurred beforehand where a good relationship can develop with the family. The sheer number of funerals Susan conducts is testimony to her gifts in pastoral care. During COVID, the conducting of funerals in the usual way was particularly difficult, as the government regulations on numbers attending services made it even harder for families to cope with the overall grief. Susan prepared material for families or close friends who could not attend the funeral; material to hopefully assist in bringing some comfort for those family and friends.

Susan also conducts annual services of memorial in the nursing homes and the Blue Christmas service held at Horsham Uniting Church, as part of the ministerial team. Families are invited and candles are lit for loved ones who would be missed by family at Christmas time. It is a beautiful service and very much appreciated by many families, helping them to function through Christmas without their loved one. During COVID this service was live streamed and held over two nights to cater for the community. Susan has represented the Uniting Church in volunteering for Horsham Carols By Candlelight and by being the clergy representative at other Wimmera Carols events. Susan has also volunteered at the ecumenical 19:14 Family Fun Days and has filled the role of clergy person for the RSL at Anzac Day Services in smaller towns of the Wimmera. For many years Susan has assisted backstage for one of the Horsham dance schools concerts. Susan is also a member of the Clear Lake Cemetery Trust and, along with her family, is an active member of her local CFA brigade.


On the Horsham Christian Minister's Association Susan is the co-representative from the Horsham and District Uniting Church. Susan, along with other 'passion for youth' team members from Horsham and District Uniting Church, runs the Uniting Church in Australia Presbytery Youth Camp held in March each year and is a member of the Presbytery of Western Victoria.


Susan is married and lives and works on her family's farm 42 kms from Horsham, at Clear Lake. She is a wife, mother and business manager for the farm. Susan, who previously trained as a nurse, is supportive of her older family members as they continue their lives independently at home.

Young Citizen of the Year - Philadelphia Rowe, Quantong

Young Citizen Of The Year Delie Rowe

Philadelphia Rowe, known as Delie, was nominated for her community spirit and being a ready volunteer for several organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She has made the following contributions to the community.

  • Clean Up Australia
  • Australia Day flag raising
  • Anzac Day march
  • Baking food for Phoenix Animal Shelter fundraising
  • Australia Day Breakfast with Horsham Lions Club
  • Operation 19:14
  • Days for Girls – Rotary mentoring program for school students and younger Girl Guides
  • Assisting staff at St. Brigid's College
  • Assisting with media at her church
  • Volunteering at St Vincent de Paul


  • Queens Guide Award - Girl Guides Australia's Highest Award
  • Lions International Young Leaders in Service Award - 136.48 hours
  • Priceline Pharmacy - Character and Leadership Award
  • Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership Teamwork Award
  • Junior B-P Emblem Award, Girl Guides Australia
  • School Productions at primary and secondary level

Community Event of the Year - Commissioner's Dinner and Gala

Blue Ribbon Foundation Horsham Branch 

Community Event Of The Year Kelly Schilling

The event was held last April in the memory of the 170 Victorian police officers who have lost their lives while protecting their communities and as a tribute to the passing of Horsham's Leading Constable Heath Martin.

It raised $27,000 raised to purchase a neonatal resuscitation unit for Grampians Health. The unit arrived in August and has already saved lives.

The gala was held at Horsham Golf Club and attracted key note speaker Assistant Commissioner Cindy Millen and 45 community sponsors.
Despite the challenge of the pandemic, the event drew 180 community members together. The event required rescheduling and flexibility from all partnerships, supporters and its organising committee.
The Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation Horsham Branch was formed in 2007 and has raised more than $530,000 to date. Major achievements include the establishment of the Constable George Howell Resuscitator Room and associated equipment in the Horsham emergency department, and the donation of $100,000 for the Wimmera Cancer Centre treatment room which will be dedicated in March 2022 in memory of Constable Edward O’Neil.

The gala, or a form of it, has been running since inception of the branch and is a major event in the foundation's calendar.

Mayor Robyn Gulline presented the awards at the Sawyer Park Australia Day celebration on Wednesday.

“The awards recognise the exceptional contributions, hard work, and determination of individuals making a positive difference within our municipality,” Cr Gulline said.

“On behalf of Council, I wish to extend my congratulations to Susan Hobbs, Delie Rowe and the Horsham Branch of the Blue Ribbon Foundation for their selfless contributions to the community in a year of unmatched challenges.

“I would also like to congratulate all of the nominees for their contributions and thank them for their commitment and valued work in the community.

“HRCC is a proud community and this year’s award winners and nominees are very much at the heart of what makes our municipality a wonderful place,” Cr Gulline said.

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