Their efforts have always been appreciated - now it has become official.
TED LOVETT: Champion for equality
by Melanie Whelan
Gunditjmara senior elder Ted Lovett says his work across all sections of the community has always been to unify everybody.
He is recognised with an Order of Australia Medal for his extensive service to the Indigenous community of south-west Victoria.
But for Uncle Ted, the focus has always been on equality for all from a place of unity, education and awareness.
“I hate racism of any races. I believe we're all one blood...I take people as I meet them. I get to know them,” Mr Lovett said. “I was up at Marian College in Ararat to talk reconciliation the other day and it was about how we come together as one. Don’t look down on a friend because of where they’ve come from.”
Mr Lovett predominantly does a lot of cultural work now, visiting schools like Buninyong primary where he takes pupils on little tours to tell stories about places such as Mount Buninyong and Lal Lal Falls.
Well-known for football, Mr Lovett played for Fitzroy in the Victorian Football League before returning to North Ballarat where twice captured Ballarat Football League’s highest honour, the Henderson Medal.
Always outspoken about stamping out racism on and off the field, Mr Lovett has also championed for better healthcare for Aboriginal people.
It was while working for the Department of Human Services in the 1970s that Mr Lovett played a key role in setting up the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative, which specialises in Aboriginal health, welfare and community development.
“The need was definitely there,” Mr Lovett said. “I used to work with the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service and I would take doctors about the region because of the racism in our hospitals and Aboriginal people not getting looked after.”
Mr Lovett had a chance to work closely with renowned eye doctor Fred Hollows. This experienced helped him realise potential for Aboriginal liaisons in health services to promote both cultural awareness in organisations. In turn, programs also promote and a sense of safety to empower Aboriginal people in their health care.
Mr Lovett was humbled and surprised for the Queen’s Birthday honour, though has never sought reward for his efforts – he was just being true to himself.
“I’ve met a lot of people on my way but I treat them all the same,” Mr Lovett said. “I just enjoy life and enjoy people.”
MORGAN MURPHY: Strong focus on potential in all fields
by Melanie Whelan
There have been many times when Morgan Murphy has been waiting in another airport lounge, or on another flight, when he has been ready to retire from elite sports.
Then he arrives at a venue and the atmosphere about athletes, what they are working to achieve, pulls him back in, utterly inspired. Mr Murphy says he is no where near ready to give up classifying paralympic swimmers yet.
The long-time Ballarat sports identity and Rotary member has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his service to sport, particularly in swimming.
A key part of this has been as a Paralympic technical and medical classifier the past 25 years and as an international classifier since 2009.
Mr Murphy is always blown away by athletes.
“There was one girls who’d broken a world record but it didn’t stand…once she’d been classified the coach was ready to take her to the world champs to see if she could get that world record again,” Mr Murphy said. “Things like that make it really worthwhile, apart from seeing how determined they are.”
A physiotherapist by trade, Mr Murphy started coaching in Melbourne and just kept going when he arrived in Ballarat.
“You can develop champions and there’s reward in that but the rewards I get every day is seeing young people do something healthy,” Mr Murphy said. “And the courtesies of young children...when we finish a session, they will walk past me on the pool deck and say thank you – every session.”
A father of six, it was when he had four children competing at national level that Mr Murphy helped establish Ballarat Sports Foundation. He was realising the costs on families but wanted a way to help all children reach their sporting potential.
Mr Murphy was also inaugural president of Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club, after the two clubs merged in the mid-1970s. Bad knees kept him out of football, so cycling the beautiful Ballarat hills became his passion.
Also a long-time Rotarian, Mr Murphy said growing up in the war era every had been community conscious, it was just what you did, nevery seeking kickbacks.
Mr Murphy said an OAM was an honour and would mean a lot for his family, which would have more to celebrate on Monday when gathering for his birthday.
FRANK CLARK: A voice for Ballarat
by Jeremy Venosta
One of Ballarat's most respected voices has been recognised in Monday's Queen's Birthday Honours for his tireless work to improve the lives of the city's deaf residents.
Frank Clark has given 45 years to teaching at the Ewing House School for Deaf Children.
As part of that job he has taken on countless advocacy roles for his students.
Mr Clark is a radio Ballarat 3BA presenter and host the city's Carols by Candlelight.
He said being deaf was like going to a movie in another language with three-inch speakers.
"It is very difficult to imagine not just what it is like to not hear, but to have never heard before," he said.
"Community groups can make sure deaf people are involved by taking the time to make sure they know what's going on.
Mr Clark was also involved with a project to add captions to films at Ballarat video stores in the 90s
At the time captioning did not come as an option, but he led an effort that saw 350 movies - from children's films to dramas and comedies - captioned and avaialble to borrow from stores.
It started with a small grant from the Ballarat East Rotary Club but quickly expanded to give deaf children access to the same films as their peers.
The Ewing House was presented with a Supertext Captioning Award in 2001 for 10 years of support to the program.
Since those days the situation has changed dramatically for children who are deaf, including those born without hearing.
The cochlear implant means many have full communication abilities by their mid-teen years, while deaf schools have slowly disappeared as a result.
Ewing House has also been closed, but teaching for deaf children was moved to Forest Street Primary School.
Mr Clark still spends his time at 3BA, where he hosts shows on Saturday morning and Sunday evening.
He first started with the station in 1968 as a special presenter and also created the Christian Good News radio spot.
Mr Clark was also a Sunday School teacher and York Street Church of Christ manager and band conductor.
JANET TORNEY: A pioneer for drug education
by Jeremy Venosta
A lifetime of dedication to the Ballarat community will be remembered through the people who made it all possible for one Ballarat woman.
Janet Torney has been recognised for her years of community engagement with an Order of Australia Medal on the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
It is an award that was made possible by the wonderful people of Ballarat – a city she said was the best place to work and live.
Mrs Torney spent her working life at law firm BJT Legal, a family business where she worked with her brother Murray and her husband.
It was her brother who suggested she become involved with a school program to address drug use in the 60s.
She said it was a pioneering program that was one of the first to try understand why people used drugs.
"We were treading new ground – it is still a very strong program and the schools were marvellous," Mrs Torney said.
"There was an inability for all of us to understand what has now become a commonplace part of life.
"When we started off there was blame associated with drugs, now we try to understand."
Beyond the drug program Mrs Torney has also been a regular fixture of the Ballarat arts and music scene.
A keen cellist and Ballarat Symphony Orchestra member since 1985, she has raised money for Her Majesty's Theatre, been a trustee for the Victorian Arts Centre Trust and a member of the St Patrick's Cathedral restoration appeal committee.
Mrs Torney said balancing these roles with other pursuits had been an important part of her life.
"For me playing the cello was just for fun – and if you get that fun along the way – that encourages your lifestyle," she said.
"For many years I played the cello in the orchestra pit during productions.
"It is wonderful for me because it is very different to other things I do."
The community members and friends she has met over the years form the key part of what she will remember for her many different pursuits.
Mrs Torney said Ballarat was different to other cities.
"I have had a lifetime of living in Ballarat - I put it down to the fact that Ballarat is a special place," she said.
"You get to meet people you would never meet in bigger places, who are thrilled to be in Ballarat.”
LES HOTCHIN: Lifelong paramedic
by Jess Black
Les Hotchin was never perturbed by anything that confronted him.
The lifelong paramedic and former regional superintendent of the Western Region received an Order of Australia on Monday.
Mr Hotchin was also the national secretary of the paramedics peak body, Paramedics Australiasia, for 14 years.
Former president Mick Davis said Mr Hotchin had “dealt with everything a paramedic is confronted with” in his 36-year career which began at Ballan Ambulance in 1963.
“You see all facets of life (as a paramedic). The rich, the poor, the nice people and the absolute mongrels,” Mr Davis said.
“Les was never perturbed by anything that he was confronted with, he was able to think his way through it and no fuss about him.
“The thing that stands out for me as Les is what a good father he is and what a good paramedic he was.”
Ambulance Victoria chief executive officer Tony Walker said Mr Hotchin “played a critical role” in the development of ambulance services in the state.
“Les’ legacy lives on to this day and I and all of his colleagues at Ambulance Victoria are thrilled that his service to the community and paramedic profession has been recognised with an OAM,” he said.
Australian Catholic University executive dean of health sciences Professor Michelle Campbell said Mr Hotchin was a mentor who “tirelessly contributed to the development of the profession”. The university’s Ballarat campus has named an award in his honour.
Mr Hotchin has also served in roles with the Ballarat Basketball Association since 1978 and Ballarat Miners Basketball.
GRAEME KENT: Live transformed
by Jess Black
Graeme Kent has seen a thousand lives transformed.
The Order of Australia recipient headed the Duke of Edinburgh Awards for 16 years and in 2011 founded Aussie Action Abroad.
As Duke of Edinburgh Awards chief executive officer Mr Kent has accompanied over 1000 people to Nepal. A single mother and drug addict returned from a trip to Nepal “transformed” and now heads up health education for women’s health in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, he said.
“I was inspired by the people of Nepal who were happy to share their nothingness and that was the thing that blew me away, they would bring down an apron full of oranges, happy to share that because that was all they had to share,” Mr Kent said.
“Out of that has grown some incredible relationships, some incredible changes of lives where young people have gone and come back inspired or transformed.
“One is the contribution we make to the lives of people in Nepal, but I’ve had the opportunity of working with over 1000 people to take to Nepal, most of whom have come back changed people.”
JOHN RICHARDS: Champion of innovation
by Derrick Krusche
Ballarat-based agricultural manufacturer John Richards has been made a Member of the Order of Australia.
Mr Richards was raised in the Wimmera town of St Arnaud where he founded Goldacres, which builds agricultural spray equipment.
The business now has a factory in Ballarat, where Mr Richards relocated several years ago.
Mr Richards said he was thrilled with the award, painting an optimistic future for the manufacturing industry in Victoria.
“I think the key is innovation and persistence,” he said.
“We compete very much with overseas products, and one of the things we’ve done is show it is possible a manufacturing community can compete at a global level.”
HEATHER McCALLUM: Selfless volunteer
Long-serving volunteer Heather McCallum was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her outstanding service across Ballarat, including more than 40 years with Meals on Wheels.
She has also worked at Wendouree’s Vision Australia branch for 25 years.
Ms McCallum said she felt humbled by the award and admitted she was a little embarrassed.
The Wendouree resident also volunteers at Ballarat Central Uniting Church and the Kelaston Nursing Home.
JEFF MOORFOOT: Accidental snapper
by Brendan Wrigley
By his own admission, renowned Lyonville photographer Jeff Moorfoot stumbled into his profession.
It was not until he was in his 30s that Mr Moorfoot first fell in love with the-then analogue art of photography, transfixed by the magical role of the dark room.
In the more than 30 years since first picking up a camera, the 70-year-old has become one of the most influential creatives in regional Victoria.
He was the driving force behind the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, which started its life as the Daylesford Foto Biennale in 2005.
On Monday, Mr Moorfoot’s service to the visual arts and photography will be recognised when he is awarded an Order of Australia medal.
Mr Moorfoot said during his tenure the primary focus of the Biennale was exposing the works of Australian photographers to new fans.
“As a festival director I’ve always been interested in bringing photography to a new audience, bringing international photography to Australia but also through that process introducing Australian photographers to the rest of the world.”
While no longer involved with the Biennale, Mr Moorfoot’s next mission is putting together an Australian exhibition for the upcoming China Pingyao International Photography Festival.
Despite spending significant time as a commercial photographer and teacher on top of his various roles organising events, Mr Moorfoot said his true passion remained capturing still life.
“While I’m not really interested in the equipment, I’ve always loved accomplished, technical photography,” Mr Moorfoot said.
“I’m interested in pictures which are about something, not of something, especially with the advent of technology because anybody can take a good photograph.”