WITH his cheerful demeanour and his can-do attitude, Michael Sheehan was aptly named Griffith’s top citizen at yesterday’s Australia Day ceremony.
Better known at Mick, the tireless retiree was honoured at the regional theatre as Griffith’s 2014 Citizen of the Year.
For the past two decades, Michael Sheehan has sacrificed a lot of his own time to help his community - but he says he’s got just as much out of it as he’s put in.
Known for his work across many charities over the years, Mr Sheehan is currently a member of the Griffith Show Society Trust, OMNI, Meals on Wheels and more.
Upon receiving the award, presented by last year’s Citizen of the Year Olga Forna, Mr Sheehan said he was simply “flabbergasted”.
“This is a great surprise,” Mr Sheehan said.
“I have to thank the community and especially the person who nominated me – I’ve no idea who that is.
“I do it because I enjoy it, and I’d recommend it to anyone.”
Mr Sheehan’s charitable stint began 20 years ago when he retired.
Sadly, his wife passed away around the same time.
“Volunteering filled in my days and it allowed me to meet a lot of new people and I’ve certainly done a lot of interesting things,” he said.
“I visit people who are lonely and I get a lot of enjoyment out of doing that – it keeps me out of trouble.”
When it came to getting more people involved in community service, Mr Sheehan said it was getting more difficult to be a volunteer.
“There’s a lot more paperwork these days, it is getting harder,” he said.
“If you want to cook a snag, you have to have someone there with a certificate.”
Other nominees for Citizen of the Year were Mary Bertoldo, Ross Catanzariti, Trevor Ceccato, Grant and Denise Hearn, Tahnee Jamieson, Barry Maples, Patrick Pittavino, Bruno and Joy Plos, and Gail Sergi.