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Long-time volunteer ‘the epitome of community’

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Passionate environmentalist Kathleen Hassell OAM has been remembered as a tireless volunteer who was devoted to her Frankston community.

Ms Hassell, who was in her 90s when she died shortly before Christmas, was a long-serving member of the Frankston Beach Association and worked for more than 40 years to help preserve her beloved Frankston Beach and Olivers Hill. She was named Citizen of the Year and received Frankston City’s Environmental Pioneers Award in 2000, the Dame Phyllis Frost Award in the 2011 Keep Australia Beautiful Awards, and the Outstanding Individual Achievement Award in the 2013 Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence. In 2017 she was awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia.

Frankston Mayor Kris Bolam said Ms Hassell was once described as a “lioness of the environment”, which he said was fitting for a woman “with such passion and determination”.

“Always caring, Kath devoted much of her life to volunteering and often motivated others to get involved,” Cr Bolam said. “Indeed, Kath was pivotal in connecting like-minded members of the Frankston City community and supporting them to improve their local area.

“Through her time working with the FBA, Kath oversaw the planting of countless indigenous plants and secured government grants in excess of $200,000. Kath believed in the power of community and working together, having formed lasting relationships with our local Indigenous community, historical society and other environmental friends groups.

“Kath was the epitome of community, and her legacy will forever be remembered through the work she did transforming our local environment. Rest in peace, Kath. We will miss you.”

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