Australia Day honours

Dawn Macdonald served as a Barwon Heads Golf Club committee member for 15 years and is a five-time club champion. (Ivan Kemp) 384332_01

Four Bellarine Peninsula residents have been honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division as part of Australia Day honours this year.

Dividing her time between Barwon Heads and Meredith, Dawn Macdonald served as a Barwon Heads Golf Club committee member for 15 years and is a five-time club champion.

She has been a member since 1966 and was made a life member in 2022. She is the only living life member of the club.

A former state and national player, Mrs McDonald was Golf Victoria’s volunteer of the year in 2014.

“I started playing golf when I left school when I was 15,” she said.

“And just living in a country, it was easy to take up golf. I was playing tennis as well, but golf came very naturally to me.”

However, it’s her volunteer work that Mrs Macdonald holds most dearly. She is a life governor of Ballarat Grammar School as well.

Mrs Macdonald has given countless hours to the Red Cross and local schools as well as being former trustee and secretary for Meredith Cemetery Trust, church organist at St Joseph’s Parish of Meredith since 1996 and a foundation member and volunteer at Meredith Kindergarten from the 1970s.

“I just feel that the community side of it is probably just as, if not more, important than the golf,” she said.

“From playing the piano and all sorts of functions at churches and everything else in a country town. That’s been my life.

“I’m honoured and humbled. It never entered my head that the life I’ve been living was that important to people.”

Leopold’s Ted Pitfield was recognised for service to youth, and to the community, particularly with Scouts Victoria.

Mr Pitfield has given countless hours to scouts at Geelong, Newtown, Bell Post Hill, Norlane and Corio.

Awards include Silver Kangaroo and 50-year service in 2021, Silver Emu 2014, distinguished service 2008, Medal of Merit 1980, Baden-Powell Scout Award 1973 and Norlane RSL Anzac Award 1986.

He has been a committee member and treasurer of Leopold War Memorial and president of Geelong Try Boys Brigade.

Bruce Wilson of Barwon Heads was recognised for service to the community and to agricultural education.

Mr Wilson was chair of Marcus Oldham College from 2008 to 2021 and co-founder and inaugural chair of Southern Farming Systems.

He received the HV McKay Science Award, named after the man who invented the Sunshine Harvester, in 1997. He has been chair of Western Pork since 1997 and former CFA captain at Winchelsea.

Cathryn Nixon of St Leonards was recognised for service to choral music and to conservation and the environment.

She received the Vida Goldstein Award for Women in the Arts in 2002 and has been general manager visitor experience at Werribee Open Range Zoo and co-chief executive for Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies at Community Environment Park from 1995 to 2011 as well as founder and artistic director for Brunswick Women’s Choir.

Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, nominate them now at