Local Legends Recipients 2021

Greg Walsh

Greg Walsh.JPG


Physiotherapist Greg Walsh calls his exercise classes for over 50s his gift of love for the Surf Coast Shire community.

He doesn’t run them to make money. He runs them as a community health project, making a difference using his skill set.

Across 26 years participants in Lorne, Aireys Inlet and Anglesea have rewarded his good faith with remarkable gains in strength, mobility, wellbeing and social connection.

“I didn’t have too many goals other than trying to address what I saw were problems of ageing, and how I could help sustain a plateau of wellness rather than just an all-downhill journey from the time you reach a certain age,” Greg says.

“But we’ve had so many people who actually can’t believe how their life has changed as a result of being fitter and more energetic.

“I get letters from surgeons saying what are you doing with these people, they’re the best prepared for their ongoing surgery of any group that we see.”

Greg takes time out from his physiotherapy practice to run his classes at public venues, which have been running at a loss for much of the pandemic.

Grateful participants have queued up to chorus support for his naming as Surf Coast Shire’s latest Local Legend, recognising his positive impact in helping people to thrive.

They described him as inspiring, dedicated, exceptional and a great entertainer and encourager.

They also noted his ‘ridiculously cheap’ charges, and commitment to maintaining classes despite the many challenges of COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.

Greg lives in Aireys Inlet and runs Surfcoast Physiotherapy from Aireys Inlet Medical Centre. His wife Margaret Duncan also contributes to community health running tai chi classes in Aireys and Lorne.

Greg started his classes in Lorne in 1995 after a physio resigned at the community hospital and administrators wanted someone to run fitness classes for older people.

He resolved to target a few key areas – improving participants’ balance, core strength, physical endurance and flexibility, and knew that opening doors to social connection would be a critical component.

“Social isolation and loneliness are a reality for many who have retired to the coast and are physically separated from close family, or who have lost life partners,” he says.

“A common task such as an exercise class opens many doors of social communication, so a post-class coffee remains a very important part of the total package.”

Classes combine resistance work with rubber bands, bodyweight exercises, and strength and co-ordination work with balls and Pilates rings.

Results measured during the first five years of his program proved emphatic.

Participants reported falls during day-to-day activities dropping from 3.5 a year to less than one, walking test results showed many improvements of more than 100% in general fitness, participants on average lost more than 15 centimetres in hip and waist measurements, and seated reach tests marked improvements of more than 25 per cent.

Participants also reported feeling happier, more connected, more energetic and active and having better quality sleep.

And so the results have multiplied across decades.

Greg started running classes in Aireys Inlet in about 2000 and Anglesea in 2010 and demand has been strong in both towns.

Pre-pandemic he had a mailing list of about 150 participants and regularly more than 100 attending classes each week. Despite pandemic restrictions he has still filled about 60 places each week.

Greg says he really didn’t really want any acknowledgement as a Surf Coast Shire Local Legend.

“I’m happy for it to be an anonymous little contribution,” he says.

But with retirement now on his radar he hopes the recognition might inspire more participants, and perhaps coaches interested in following the same preventive training model.

“It is unique, and the outcomes have been incredibly surprising,” he says.


Angelo Krizmanic

Angelo 4 (002).jpg


Angelo Krizmanic wants people young and older to identify with the exhilaration he feels when he’s out mountain biking on Surf Coast trails.

“It feels like you’ve got the freedom to go anywhere you want, as long as you stay on the trails,” he says.

“I feel very blessed that I’ve got this landscape to ride in.

“When you hit some of these hills, and you’re on top of the hill and look across at the ocean, and to the other side you see the mountains or hills, you’re like this is a very special place.”

Angelo shares his passion as a foundation member of Surf Coast Mountain Bike Club and his devotion to growth of the sport for young people, women and men has qualified him as Surf Coast Shire’s latest Local Legend.

His nomination hailed his dedication to improving trails and safety for riders aged from early years to seniors, and to encouraging all to explore the beautiful trails and sights the region has to offer.

Surf Coast Mountain Bike Club was formed late in 2018 and now has more than 250 members and almost 5000 social media followers.

Angelo, 49, grew up in Richmond but now lives in Torquay.

With a background in road and mountain biking and triathlons, he put his hand up at the outset to join the club committee.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to get involved in the community in a way that I enjoy, and that I can see other people enjoy as well,” he says.

As a key member of the club’s grants sub-committee he has been pivotal in successful applications for grants totalling about $20,000 from funding bodies including Sport and Recreation Victoria, Surf Coast Shire Council and Torquay Community Enterprise Group.

The allocations have helped the club provide clinics for kids, coaching workshops for women, first aid courses and more.

“We’re always out there shouting and shaking the can,” Angelo says.

The club has no formal headquarters but a spiritual base at the head of the Eumeralla track network near Anglesea.

In unrestricted times members gather monthly for working bees on maintaining the trails.

“We try to get people out and do working bees to keep the trails useable,” Angelo says.

“If they get overgrown there’s greater risk of injuries and people coming off but if we maintain the trails it is a lot safer, and for walkers and runners as well.”

COVID-19 restrictions have heavily impacted club events, shutting down the working bees, skill clinics and social rides.

Travel radius restrictions have meant many riders haven’t been able to get to the trails for their exercise, but members did capitalise on a window of opportunity between lockdowns to stage their first major event early in August – the Shifty Fifty.

“Our capacity was capped at 300 due to COVID-19 but it was a great day with a very well-run program, so we’re looking forward to doing it again next year,” Angelo says.

He looks forward to continuing to contribute as his beloved club gets back on track post-restrictions.

Angelo says recognition as a Surf Coast Shire Local Legend came as a shock.

“I was very surprised, because the reality is that there are 10 or so other people on that committee who do as much work and are as interested in developing the club,” he says.

“So it’s not me alone, it’s so many other people helping out doing things and making it a fun club to be part of.”


Wendy Greaves

Wendy Greaves 4.jpg

Wendy Greaves says every little success story provides motivation in her work at the heart of Winchelsea community.

And during more than nine years as manager of Winchelsea Community House she has witnessed her share.

 “I’ve worked as a corporate and worked in smaller business and things but community work is one of the hardest roles, and it can also be one of the most rewarding,” Wendy says.

“It’s about seeing the good out of the hard work you put in, making a difference in people’s lives, seeing things come to fruition, running successful classes, running safe child care, helping people with little things they can’t navigate their way through.

“I guess I’m all about community and all about helping people. I get a lot of personal reward by being able to help people in our community.”

Working through the complexities and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified Wendy’s people-first focus and managerial skill, and the community she loves has recognised her devotion by successfully nominating her as a Surf Coast Shire Local Legend.

She oversees seven part-time staff, as well as casuals, volunteers and programs ranging from child care to tai chi, toy library to craft groups.

“During nine years as manager we have seen a lot of change and helped an enormous amount of people through different things in their lives,” Wendy says.

“From being part of our classes to children in our child care, and obviously more recently helping people through all sorts of issues to do with the pandemic.

“I couldn’t even quantify how much COVID-19 has escalated our work and still to this day there are things we are trying to navigate, with the latest one the mandate on vaccinations for authorised workers.

“As neighbourhood houses we are an authorised organisation and have authorised workers.

“If I had known what these two years were going to end up being like, as we all would say, I probably would have thought no I can’t do that. But you do, you struggle on and try to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The community house has closed down and opened up with every lockdown and reprieve.

“But child care has run right through. We decided if there was nothing else we did, that running our child care and running it safely was probably the best thing we could do for the families in our community.

“And we’ve done that, we’ve ticked every box there – touch wood.”

Wendy works part-time but admits the reality is a bit more like full-time, and in the midst of pandemic challenges she underwent hip replacement surgery.

“It wasn’t the best part of my year but it’s good now,” she says.

“I was off for six weeks, but I will admit I was working from home for some of that.”

Wendy, mother of two daughters, lives in Highton.

Surf Coast Environmental Action Team

Local Legends Conor Alannah Ella WEB

Passion, concern and action for the environment is the driving force for a small group of teenagers behind the Surf Coast Environmental Action Team.

Formed two years ago by a determined trio of Anglesea 12-year-olds – Ella Heppeler and siblings Alannah and Conor Fitzgerald – SCEAT is focussed on raising environmental awareness and organising local actions that support the cause.

From participating in the School Strike For Climate and the Fight For The Bight protests, to running Cleaner Coast clean-ups, successfully staging fund-raising to buy and plant indigenous species along the Surf Coast, and creating a website to promote a range of specific campaigns targeted at reducing, recycling and reusing waste materials, their dynamic and youthful enthusiasm to encourage others is paying off, with their group growing.

A proud parent of one of their newer members described their Local Legends nomination as “amazing,” but we think that word better describes the work they do.

Visit the Surf Coast Environmental Action Team website to find out about future actions.

Keshava Jenkins


Living and promoting harmony with nature, sustainability and peace of mind has been the focus of Keshava Jenkin’s adult life.

In the words of his sister-in-law Jacqui: “Keshava has always dedicated his life to helping others. He lives and breathes a healthy lifestyle, with the utmost respect for human life, animal life and the plant kingdom. He works hard in creating community involvement in different ways and I would love to see him honoured for all the wonderful things he does.”

For the past 13 years, Keshava has lived in the Hare Krishna Valley at Bambra, where he manages a small team running an organic farm and market garden, a natural dairy and a “spiritual sanctuary” that includes operating retreats for people interested in learning about vegetarian cooking, yoga, eco living and the ancient Vedic teachings from India.

Also responsible for organising Torquay’s Festival Of Colours in February this year, Keshava said being nominated as a Local Legend is a “pleasant surprise”.

Keith Grossman


Described by his daughter Tamara as “inspirational”, 82-year-old Keith Grossman says with a laugh that he is “only semi-retired”, staying active by hobby farming dairy cattle and sheep, and helping “anybody who asks” with advice on a daily basis.

A fourth generation Shire resident, this father of six and grandfather of 15 has deep roots on the Surf Coast dating back to the 1860s when his great grandfather first settled in Bellbrae. Keith said his lifetime of involvement in the community across a range of areas is founded on the pleasure of creating friendships.

Seeing a need to enhance the local environment in the 1980s, he and a mate founded a local chapter of Landcare, planting “a few thousand trees” since then. From the mid-1990s Keith served a decade as a Surf Coast Shire Councillor and was Mayor in 2004/2005.

He has also been honoured with life memberships of the Torquay Football Club and Bellarine Football League, and remains an active committee member of the Torquay Cricket Club, alongside membership of the Bellbrae Cemetery Trust and the Torquay Historical Society.

Murray Heard

Local Legends Murray Heard

Seeing Murray Heard among a dozen men of varying ages casually walking, talking and laughing together on Fisherman’s Beach early on a sunny Saturday morning is a credit to the friendly 54-year-old Torquay resident.

The group has gathered for the local weekly version of The Man Walk; a simple idea of bringing men together to “walk, talk and support” that Murray and another member initiated about a year ago after attending one in Geelong.

Murray’s wife Nicol nominated him as a Local Legend, saying “he’s helping the men have a healthy place where they can connect and feel comfortable to discuss what is going on in their lives, a place for them to feel like they are not alone when they experience issues in life.”

Murray, who loves a chat, puts it a little differently. “I’ll talk to anyone”, he said with a laugh, adding: “it’s a good chance to meet new people, listen, share stories and talk about anything.”

To find out more or join, check https://themanwalk.com.au/torquay/

John McDonald

Local Legends John McDonald

For a man who says he retired 20 years ago, 82-year-old John McDonald is a great example of the benefits a retiree can bring to a community.

In the words of friend Amanda Hough, who nominated John as a Local Legend: “He’s a humorous, grumpy, modest, wise and active person who despite advancing years and illnesses is actively involved in and supports in real effort and time, many services and events. He always says yes to anybody who asks for help.”

A former surveyor who worked across Victoria in the water industry, John also has an MBA, was deputy chairman of Barwon Water and has been a member of Rotary for 35 years. His “retirement CV” since moving to Torquay 20 years ago includes:

  • membership of the RSL Anzac Day Co-ordination team;

  • initiating the local University Of The Third Age and continuing to serve on its board;

  • working on Torquay Rotary Club events like the Motor Show and serving on the Book Fair Committee;

  • involvement in local men’s Card and Friendship Groups;

  • supporting Torquay Food Aid;

  • chairing the Torquay Lions Village;

  • supporting multiple local small businesses with financial and business advice.

When told that part of his recognition as a Local Legend included a $40 voucher to spend at a local business, John said with a laugh: “I’ll do anything for forty bucks.”

Paul Sgouromallis

Paul Sgouromallis  

With his workplace perched overlooking Torquay’s surf beach, Paul Sgouromallis has a priceless view that is a much appreciated pleasure, a constant taunt and brings with it a sense of responsibility, all at once.

The proprietor/barista at the Third Wave Kiosk is a life-long surfer, which accounts for the pleasure and the teasing magnetism of watching the waves in between serving up coffees and snacks seven days a week.

Surfing’s unwritten rule of keeping an eye on fellow wave-riders and ocean users underlies the sense of responsibility and is behind his nomination as a Surf Coast Local Legend by Torquay Surf Club member Peter Quinlan.

Over the five years Paul has run the Third Wave he’s lost count of the number of people he has either directly rescued himself or raised the alarm about with lifesavers. But as the self-described “untrained” lifeguard said: “You can’t un-see somebody in trouble.”

Having gone to the extent of buying his own rescue paddleboard to make his efforts a little easier, Paul also said modestly: “It’s a bit humbling being nominated, I just do what I do because that’s me - if I can help, I’ll do it.”

Tony Whelan

Tony Whelan

Tony Whelan’s presence around the Anglesea tennis courts is so frequent it has some asking if he is sleeping in the clubhouse.

An active player since he was “knee high to a grasshopper”, it is Tony’s constant efforts and “fantastic job enabling people to continue playing tennis” over the past nine months behind his nomination as a Local Legend by club member John Ackland.

As John described: “Tony has attended the club on a daily basis, except on wet days, to ensure all regulations are adhered to. Keeping records, taking bookings, monitoring numbers present, advising on pandemic rules, maintaining the courts and overseeing use of the ball machine are just some of the tasks he has been doing.”

Currently president and secretary of the club, Tony has been involved with the club since 1973 and does it all mainly for the “great social atmosphere” of bringing together fellow lovers of the game.

On his new Local Legend status, Tony was typically modest: “It’s a bit exciting and very nice.”

Lois Gill, John Forbes and Graeme Daws

LocalLegend_Lois Gill.jpg  LocalLegend_John Forbes.jpg LocalLegend_GraemeDaws.JPG 

Lois Gill, John Forbes and Graeme Daws embody the priceless contributions that active retirees can bring to communities.

This trio of senior Torquay residents have worked together for two decades collectively volunteering thousands of hours in service of those less fortunate when they could have simply been enjoying their own personal pleasures after long life times of work and raising families.

All three chose to retire on the Surf Coast around 20 years ago from different parts of the state and within two years of their arrivals found themselves together helping to run the then-newly established Torquay Food Aid.

Nominated as Local Legends by new Torquay Food Aid chairman Michael Buckley, 74-year-old Lois, 81-year-old John and 80-year-old Graeme have all recently stepped down from their central roles as TFA secretary, treasurer and chairman respectively – positions each had held for more than 15 years.

Michael Buckley said: “Each of them will be greatly missed from their committee positions and contributions. Torquay Food Aid would not be around if they hadn’t taken on their positions when they did. They enthusiastically ensured any person or family, regardless of their situation, didn't ever go without food. They gained support from local businesses and organisations when times were tough. Many people have gone on and off the committee over the years, but they have been the stalwarts of the work we do.”

The trio’s efforts with TFA are not their only selfless community involvements.

Lois, who laughingly described herself as “a compulsive volunteer”, has also had a more than 20-year connection with Red Cross in a variety of roles; Graeme was a volunteer driver for Barwon Health for 18 years; and John has “done just about everything from chairman down to coaching” at Torquay Bowls Club over two decades of membership there.

When it comes to being recognised as Local Legends, the trio all expressed thanks with some embarrassment for the acknowledgement – Lois saying it was “rather amazing”, Graeme calling it “flattering” and the joker coming out in John, when he said with a laugh: “It’s an honour… that just makes you feel old.”

Joshua McDonald


Like many Surf Coast residents, Joshua McDonald is a passionate nature lover with a healthy concern for the environment.

When the 9-year-old’s Winchelsea Primary School Grade 3 class watched a documentary last year about marine pollution and conservation, Joshua first learned about floating garbage patches in the Pacific Ocean.

To the youngster’s great credit, he decided he could reduce damage to the environment and keep his community cleaner.

“I had to do something. I thought that if I could keep our nature reserve, neighbourhood streets and along our river clear of rubbish then just maybe I’d be stopping rubbish from flowing out to the ocean,” Joshua said.

At least twice a week, Josh heads out with his neighbour and after-school carer Carol, along with a trolley and garbage bags collecting rubbish wherever they find it. He’s been doing the clean-up for the past five months and is committed to continuing it.

“After filling up our rubbish bags we bring them home and sort everything for recycling. It feels great to know the rubbish we’ve collected won’t be going into our rivers and oceans,” Joshua said.

Nominated as a Local Legend by his proud mum Rhonda, Joshua was humble when told he’s being recognised by Surf Coast Shire Council.

“Thank you for choosing me as a Surf Coast Local Legend. I never thought I would be rewarded for trying to keep our neighbourhood and Nature Reserve clean,” he said.

Paddy Laxon

Local Legends Paddy Loxon

Narrowly surviving a serious health scare three years ago and being told he could not return to his job as a diesel mechanic because of the danger of his ongoing condition, Paddy Laxon was at a loose end until his wife Tricia came up with a suggestion.

As a lab technician at Surf Coast Secondary College, Tricia spoke to the principal knowing the school could use a handy man like Paddy in a volunteer capacity and that would relieve the stress of worrying about his health while she was at work.

So for the past three years now 61-year-old Paddy has done all manner of jobs for the school and clearly endeared himself to the staff and students.

Nominated as a Local Legend by College staff member Andrea Loving, she said of him: “Paddy is able to do just about anything and gives us a hand with everything, always with a smile on his face. From building fish tanks for our Coastal Environmental Centre, helping classes with dissections, building visual display boards and picking up rubbish in the yard while chatting away with students, Paddy's contribution to SCSC strengthens our school community. He leads by example and is a wonderful role model for our students.”

Paddy was stunned to hear he’d even been nominated, let alone recognised by Surf Coast Shire Council. “It makes me very proud and I’m grateful to the school for how they helped me. I love to be around other people and I never want to waste a minute, so doing things for them was great. The staff are fantastic and the kids always showed me great respect.”

Sadly due to some ill health his wife recently suffered, Paddy and Tricia have both had to leave the school, returning to their home state of Western Australia to be closer to family.

Rebecca Hosking


Helping a stranger chase and catch a runaway chicken at the Geelong Show is just the start of the unique story behind Fairhaven resident Rebecca Hosking’s Local Legend nomination.

Rebecca’s odd chance encounter with Geelong horticulturist Brendan Bolton in 2018 proved to be the start of a friendship that led to the mid-2020 publication of an educational children’s book called The Great Chicken Escape, mirroring the idea the meeting “was meant to be”.

Having been “roped into” looking after the farm animal pavilion at the Geelong Show by a family friend, Brendan Bolton was on duty when an errant chicken bolted out of the building and Rebecca stepped in to helped him recapture the bird.

With the chook in hand and laughing at the circumstances, Brendan said: “You won’t believe this, but I’ve written a book about this exact situation!”

To which Rebecca replied: “I’ve formatted a few books.”

GreatChickenEscape_book cover.jpeg

The answer was Twilight Zone music to Brendan’s ears. He’d already written The Great Chicken Escape story and worked with an illustrator to bring his words to life. But completely unfamiliar with the publishing world, he’d struggled to find somebody to help him edit, format and publish the book.

Getting Rebecca’s phone number and making contact a few days later, the pair discovered they shared a strong passion for environmental education of children and in early June last year the book was released, realising a long-held ambition for Brendan.

Brendan’s Local Legend nomination of her gratefully says: “Rebecca does a great many things for the Surf Coast community in the arts and environment but I will mention only this one. She went not just the extra mile, she picked up the whole project and carried it through to finality. The book touches on a number of topics that includes healthy eating, animal care, food gardening and chooks. Rebecca formatted and set up the book and put her creative flair into the project. Without her it just would not have happened.”

With an Arts degree followed by a varied career in public relations and marketing mainly in Melbourne, Rebecca made a sea, tree and life-changing move to Fairhaven 16 years ago determined to make a difference in her new home area.

Jumping into a variety of volunteer roles with local arts and environment community groups while building her own multi-faceted business focussed in the same areas through photography, video production and project management, the cheerful lover of the ocean and forests was modest about the Local Legend nomination.

“I love participating in community, creating opportunities for others, adding to the value of a place and celebrating the unique elements of it. There are a lot of really good people on the Surf Coast who are like-minded. It’s nice to be recognised, as much as it is a little uncomfortable, and it says more about Brendan,” she said.

Jim Tutt


“Active community member” simply doesn’t go close to doing justice to Jim Tutt, given the extraordinary extent of his long-term involvement and contribution to the Surf Coast.

However, his recognition as this month’s Local Legend is more than fitting.

A permanent Surf Coast resident for around 15 years, Jim’s most notable attributes are love of and concern for the natural environment alongside a strong commitment to working constantly on improving the community in significant ways.

With an extensive career background in civil engineering, local government, training and development, now 77-year-old Jim’s connection to Anglesea stretches back to 1975 when he and his wife Helen first started spending their holidays and many weekends in the town.

On retiring from fulltime work for Vic Roads in 2004, the couple moved permanently from Melbourne to Anglesea and quickly began building their participation in a multitude of community groups, with Jim also getting himself elected to Surf Coast Shire Council.

Having earlier served 16 years as a Kew Councillor, including two years as Mayor, and with a life-long mission of “planning for and providing communities with things that improve their life” along with a passion for improving waste management, Jim campaigned to help guide Surf Coast Shire to improve that increasingly important community service.

Based on his experiences at Kew Council, Jim’s first ‘win’ in this shire was driving the introduction of green waste bins. After eight years as a Surf Coast Councillor, Jim retired from local government, with his last ‘win’ in waste management being the establishment of the “Tip Shop” at Anglesea Waste Transfer Station.

Nominated as a Local Legend by the Anglesea Men’s Shed members for “working hard for the community” through his involvement in the Surf Coast Shire as a Councillor, alongside his membership of the Anglesea & Aireys Inlet Society for the Preservation of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR), the Anglesea Men’s Shed, Lions Club, Sport & Recreation Club, Motor Yacht Club and Anglesea & District Historical Society.

The nomination especially highlighted Jim's contribution to the development and running of the renamed “Resale Shed” at the Anglesea Transfer Station, saying “his efforts have saved many tonnes of material from going into landfill and community groups have benefited from the funds raised through the sale of items and materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.”

Still actively pushing for the further development of the Resale Shed, Jim is modestly appreciative of the Local Legend recognition.

“I just hope the acknowledgement helps the community become aware of all the good that’s being done – in different ways – by people just like them. And hopefully they also just might get prompted to ‘put in’ something back to their community,” Jim said.

Tim Harte

 Local Legend Tim Harte

Tim Harte was nominated to be a Local Legend for being an active, change-maker in his community. He moved to Gnarwarre from the UK aged six, where he developed his passion for ballet into a career that he loved. In late 2015, aged 18, he developed a number of complex medical conditions, which led to him having to give up his future ballet dreams.

“My perspective and view on what was important in life changed,” said Tim. “I’m a National Disability Insurance Scheme participant, disability pensioner and rural young person – this now drives me to empower young people and improve socio-economic circumstances of those less fortunate in our community, as well as caring for the environment so the next generation can enjoy the splendid Surf Coast environment as well.”

Now 24, he divides his time between studying science at Deakin University and contributing to community organisations, such as Barrabool Hills Landcare Group, Winchelsea Men’s Shed, Corangamite Youth Advisory Group, Youth Affairs Council Victoria and Physical Disability Australia. Tim plays a key role in his community as the editor of the Barrabool Hills Landcare newsletter distributed to over 300 households in the district.

“I’m honoured to be acknowledged as a significant part of the Surf Coast community,” said Tim, an active and change-making member of his community and a proud Local Legends recipient.

Anglesea Lionesses


In 1979, the Anglesea Lionesses formed as a way for women married to Anglesea Lions Club members to contribute to their communities alongside the (formerly male-only) Lions Club. In June this year, Lions Club International made the decision to disband Lioness Clubs to encourage them to integrate further with Lions Clubs.

After more than four decades of service, this change provides the perfect opportunity to look back on the great work that has been done by Anglesea women as part of the Lionesses and recognise the group with Local Legends status.

“We try to work quietly and not beat our own drum, but it felt very, very nice to be recognised as Local Legends and it made us all feel very proud,” said club secretary Betsy Newman.

The 18 members of the Lionesses, including two original members - Betty Butterworth and Doreen Leeman, are now known as the Lionettes, within the Lions Club.

“Our main fundraiser is the Pink Ribbon lunch in October to help breast cancer charities,” said Betsy. “We also support disaster appeals, hold an Irish Bush Dance to raise funds for brain cancer and facilitate car boot sales, barbecues and cake stalls, as well as helping junior sporting clubs financially and really anyone who needs a hand – even just with moving house.”

She says the Anglesea community has been very supportive, “like any small community.”

“You don’t get lost in the number of people like in a city; in a small community someone will know someone who can point you in the right direction for help,” said Betsy, who would love to encourage more members to join and there’s no longer the pre-requisite of being a Lions Club member’s partner.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate and if we can do something to help, we do,” said Betsy. “If there’s a need to serve, we’re there.”

Simon Clark

Simon Clark WEB

Simon Clark joined the Anglesea and District Men’s Shed in early 2011, a year after moving permanently to Anglesea with his wife, Liz, and into a house he renovated to fit his 12 grandchildren for holidays (although he’s quick to point out they don’t all visit at once).

“I joined before there was even a shed for us to go to,” said Simon, who was secretary for six years and is now assistant secretary on the Men’s Shed management committee. “I love the Men’s Shed for the friendship and camaraderie, learning new skills, helping to support other men and creating a place for men to share their lives and support their health.”

Simon also volunteers with St Christopher’s Catholic Church in Anglesea (and wider parish), with Anglesea Aged Care presenting a Classical ABC-style music afternoon (now up to program 190) and is a member of Surf Coast Probus Club. He recently ended up his commitments with the Anglesea Recycle Shed, which he’d been involved in as an original member since 2014.

Simon and Liz have always been involved in their communities through church, primary and secondary schools, parent bodies, working bees and sports clubs, as well as running youth groups and programs to support couples. They also helped with many community events, such as fetes and musicals, wherever they lived.

“It felt natural to get involved with the Anglesea community as well and it was a great way to meet people and find out what was happening in our new community,” said Simon. “We’ve always found we received more from volunteering than we gave – in friendship, emotional and moral support, as well as a real sense of being part of a community that’s active and alive.”

Now retired, Simon’s background is in retail management, as well as in textiles. He was general manager at Bella Knitwear for 27 years, saying: “I loved every day at work – I was able to be creative and support many people with meaningful, regular and permanent work.”

Congratulations Simon on your well-deserved inclusion into the Local Legends of the Surf Coast Shire.

Maggie Isom

Maggie Isom 1.jpg

Maggie Isom retired from serving her profession at 71, but five years further on just can’t retire from serving her community.

“They say what do you do in retirement, just sit down and read a book? I’m busier now than when I was working!” she laughs.

Aside from having reinvented herself as a civil celebrant, the career nurse and former Torquay Community Health Centre manager has maintained her passion for volunteering, and the altruistic ideals of Rotary.

As a 29-year member of the Rotary Club of Torquay she has helped energise countless community-focused projects.

“I just love the fact that it’s giving back,” she says.

“It’s about community service.”

Maggie’s devotion and contribution has amply qualified her as Surf Coast Shire’s latest Local Legend.

The award recognises her sustained positive impact and leadership in the community.

“Maggie is a kind, forthcoming and energetic member of the Torquay community,” nursing and Rotary International colleague Amanda Hough said in her nomination.

“She utilises and maximises her career years of leadership, management, negotiation and nursing skills in all aspects of her volunteering.

“Maggie is a giver.”

Maggie, mother of two adult children and four grandchildren, lives in Barwon Heads.

Her diverse career has included graduating in nursing from the Royal Melbourne Hospital and working in bush nursing hospitals, community health centres including Torquay and with Arthritis Victoria.

She managed and helped establish the Geelong BreastScreen service, managed Geelong Hospice Care and worked as a practice nurse in Ocean Grove until her retirement.

She was managing Torquay Community Health Centre when she was approached to join Rotary in 1992.

“I happened to mention that my Dad Lionel was in Rotary, and then I had a couple of Rotarians at my desk saying we would like to invite you to the Rotary Club of Torquay,” she says.

“I said yes and I’ve been with them all this time because it is kind of like a family, you meet every week and your social connections are really important.”

She is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, recognising outstanding contribution to the Rotary Foundation – with double sapphire recognition of service – was club Secretary last year and has among many roles been Director of Community Service, International Programs and Vocational Service.

She is also District 9780 Chair of the Donate Life organ donorship program and has spent decades passionately advocating Rotary’s Global End Polio Initiative, which took her to India in 2002 for a National Day which saw 30 million children immunised.

“And at the moment Rotary’s focus is the environment. We are collecting the lids from milk containers and my partner John McDonald, also a Torquay Rotary member, has his garage full with 10 kilograms of lids to sort,” Maggie says.

“We just happened to say that we would be the collection point and we’ve been inundated, you’ve no idea!

“They go to Lids for Kids. They used to make artificial limbs from them but now they make toys for kids, it is just phenomenal.”

The pandemic has inevitably impacted some of Torquay Rotary’s activities, including a shift to online meetings and adjustment of events like its annual motor show and Book Fair but the club is now looking forward to regaining full momentum and getting back into the community and more good work.

Her other passions include being Secretary of the Barwon Heads Fine Music Society, volunteering at Barwon Heads Uniting Church and formerly volunteering as a guide at Geelong Gallery.

The Local Legend describes herself as someone who co-operates with people, and as a communicator willing to listen and understand

“And I’m a bit crazy at times. I’m a fun person, I just like having fun and I’ve got a lot of energy,” she says.

“Probably the difficult thing for me is that I can’t say no. But I do love being involved in all of the community groups and especially Rotary.”

Tammas Calder


11-year-old Anglesea resident Tammas Calder was nominated for a Local Legends award after he came to the rescue of 80-year-old Miranda Hall. She was on her usual walk at Urquahart Bluff when she slipped on a rock near the Mermaid Pool, falling heavily.

Tammas ran for 15 minutes (4km) to the car park to meet emergency services and bring them to her aid. Paramedics on scene then called the air ambulance for support with the tricky rescue.

“I am very grateful and lucky for his spontaneous action,” said Miranda. “I don’t know what would have happened to me otherwise.”

In a Surf Coast Times article about the rescue, Tammas said he felt proud to have assisted Ms Hall that day on the beach.

“I felt good that we found her and happy that she’s safe,” said Tammas. “I hope she gets to have another fun walk on the beach.”

Congratulations Tammas on becoming a Local Legend.

Peter McMahon


Peter McMahon, Torquay Lions Club member and 2021 Lion of the Year, moved to Torquay permanently in 2014, four years after he lost his wife of 35 years to cancer.

The couple had created many happy memories in the coastal town prior to his move, having owned a holiday home in Torquay together for 15 years.

“Every morning, I wake up secure in the knowledge that the change in environment (from Melbourne) was in the very best interests of my welfare and wellbeing,” said Peter.

To give back to the community, Peter volunteers as the wellbeing officer for Torquay RSL, as secretary of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Torquay, and as coordinator for Barwon Prison visitations, the Good Friday Appeal collection in Torquay, the Life Activities Club and of deliveries for Feed Me Surf Coast.

He is also a volunteer bus driver for residents of Star of the Sea Nursing Home and a member and active follower of the Torquay Tigers.

“My association with these organisations provides me with unique opportunities to serve the community,” said Peter. “I gain considerable satisfaction (and feel privileged) to be in a position to provide support to the elderly, isolated and less fortunate individuals and families.”

As a “young and active 70-year-old with a zest for life”, Peter was employed by the Commonwealth Bank for the first 28 years of his career, before purchasing and managing licensed post offices within the Melbourne metropolitan area with his wife.

“It goes without saying that I was taken aback when a friend informed me that I was being nominated for this award,” said Peter. “I’m humbled yet proud, and well aware that many individuals within our community give much of their time and energy to contribute to the benefit of others.”

Well done Peter on this recognition as a Local Legend in the Surf Coast Shire.