The two were presented with the honour at the borough’s annual Australia Day civic awards on Tuesday, January 26.
Mr Callaghan, described as one of the municipality’s "most recognisable faces," has over decades volunteered and helped secure pivotal funding for numerous community groups and projects including the Queenscliff Music Festival, Football and Netball Club and the Point Lonsdale Tennis Club.
"I do it because I like it, winning awards like this are the furthest thing from my mind, although it is an honour,” said Mr Callaghan. “There’s a huge number of volunteers that make our organisations run and we need people who can put in the time. I’m happy to do it, I enjoy helping out and I get more out of it than I put in.”
“If I had made a speech I would have thanked [my wife] Pam for her tolerance, although I sometimes think she quite enjoys the fact that I’m out of her hair so that she can do her own thing."
As a member of the former Queenscliffe Rotary Club over many years, Mr Deacon helped to raise tens of thousands of dollars for community, national and international projects. In particular, he was instrumental in securing $150,000 for new exercise stations throughout the borough.
“It was an idea I originally saw on the foreshore of Malaga in Spain when we were having a holiday years ago and I thought given the average age of Queenscliffe something like this would be great,” Mr Deakin said of the project. “But it took over three years including two presentations to Council. Luckily the Pick My Project came along, which enabled us to expand out from a small pod in Point Lonsdale,” he said.
Nine-year old Frankie Davis was named Young Citizen of the Year. The Queenscliff Primary School student instigated and distributed the ‘Cheer Up Weekly’ newsletter during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Century old children’s charity Cottage by the Sea, which prepared more than 10,000 meals for those doing it tough during the pandemic, was named Community Organisation of the Year, while the Community Indigenous Nursery was presented with the Community Environment Project of the Year award.
Last year the nursery propagated more than 20,000 plants, used in numerous revelation projects.
Due to ongoing restrictions, the awards were presented to a small invite-only gathering at the pop-up Pelican Bar tent.
Mayor Ross Ebbels said all recipients had continued to serve their community in “one of the most challenging 12 months” anyone could remember.
“Even though we have not been able to get together as we have in previous years, people such as yourselves have continued to contribute meaningfully to our community,” Cr Ebbels said.