University student Michael Killen has taken out the 2022 Moyne Young Citizen of the Year.
The award recognises is tireless work facilitating youth mental health programs in the region, as well as his efforts to bring young people to the table in decision-making about the direction the shire should take on key issues.
"I didn't even realise I was in the running," the 20-year-old said.
And while he was grateful to receive the gong, he said he wasn't going to rest on his laurels.
"I see the award as a sign that I'm on the right track. It's a step along the way."
Mr Killen has been a member of the Moyne Shire Youth Council since 2017 and was a member of the advisory group that helped set the goals within the shire's landmark 2040 Community Vision.
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He was also a member of the shire's Youth Parliament team, which developed plans on everything from road safety to sustainable agriculture and presenting the ideas to government ministers, parliamentary secretaries and local stakeholders.
"I love participating in the community and bringing young people to the forefront," he said.
The quality of local roads has been one issue that has driven him in particular.
"Young people are in a high risk group, so road quality and safety should be especially important to us."
But Mr Killen, who is studying clinical psychology, said his passion was youth mental health.
He has helped organise a casual counselling group called Kentucky Fried Counselling, where young people can chat over their problems in a natural, easy-going setting.
"I think it's really important to develop these services beyond just the school communities, because there are plenty of young people living outside that setting," he said.
Meanwhile, Port Fairy's Women on Farms Gathering was named Moyne Shire Community Event of the Year.
The theme for the Port Fairy gathering was Women For All Seasons - "as women's careers and lives in farming mirror the raw, ever-changing, often beautiful and always powerful elements of the seasons".
Over the three day weekend, speakers represented an interesting mix of industry and lifestyle interests, with over 120 women from across Victoria and interstate.
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