A widowed father of three received an early Father’s Day gift, winning the 19th annual Geelong Father of the Year Award last Friday.
Justin Trotter, who was nominated by his youngest son Harvey, beat hundreds of other men from across the region to take out the top award.
Nine-year-old Harvey Trotter nominated his father Justin for the Geelong Father of the Year Award, believing that his dad was an obvious pick to take out the top prize. Inspired by his father’s resilience and the support he provided to him and his brothers (aged 13 and 16) following the tragic passing of their mother Tina in 2015, Harvey wrote that Justin is more than just a dad he is a “hero.”
The Grade 3 St Anthony’s Primary School Student wrote a touching nomination, lovingly describing his father as a caring, selfless and inspiring person reflecting the type of positive male role model this Award seeks to acknowledge.
Mr Trotter was announced as the overall winner at a breakfast event held at the Geelong Football Club which was attended by almost 300 business and community representatives.
As well as the announcement of the Award winner, guests were treated to appearances by former tennis champ, author and family violence awareness ambassador, Jelena Dokic, as guest speaker, and Ian Cover (of ABC’s Coodabeen Champions fame) as master of ceremonies.
The Geelong Father of the Year Award is a long-standing partnership between Bethany Community Support, the Rotary Club of Geelong and the Geelong Advertiser and celebrates the importance of positive male role models in families and the community, as seen through the eyes of children. In addition, it helps to raise awareness of Bethany’s services for men.
All primary school-aged children in Geelong and surrounding areas are encouraged to make a nomination by explaining why they think their special bloke deserves to be Geelong’s Father of the Year.
This year Bethany received hundreds of nominations from primary school students from Geelong and surrounding towns, including Ocean Grove, Lara, Batesford and Colac. Nominations are accepted for all types of male role models, including fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, brothers and teachers.
Entries were scrutinised by a judging panel who narrowed the list down to four finalists.