THE Friends of St Brigid's have been awarded for their plan to develop the Crossley church hall into an Australian-Irish Cultural Heritage Centre.
The community group was awarded the 2012 Champions of the Bush Spirit of Entrepreneurship "Community Spirit Award" at the Brown Brothers Winery in Millawa.
The award acknowledges community spirit in regional Victoria, this year focusing on the cultural tourism potential of the first Australian-Irish centre.
Friends of St Brigid's secretary Teresa O'Brien said their work reflected the rural community spirit and an entrepreneurial vision which translated to engaging and developing the region.
"Our vision is also in keeping with the tourism theme at this year's awards, as the community have now developed an important tourism product for the south-west," she said.
"We thank the Champions of the Bush group for their acknowledgment of our hard work and our future vision for the precinct and the whole region.
"It's a great feeling to be able place this award in our community hall and share it with all the people who have worked so hard over the last six years."
The church's redevelopment masterplan was unveiled in April to praise from the community, after using a $30,000 state government grant to engage consultants and prepare a business plan, concept design and feasibility study for the cultural centre.
The seed of the cultural centre was sown back in 2001 as a group of elders in the Australian-Irish community requested the development of a keeping place to tell the story of the Irish in south-west Victoria.
Champions of the Bush is a group of businesses and organisations, formed in 2002, operating in regional Australia.
The organisation aims to bring together individuals and businesses equally passionate in their commitment to rural and regional areas.