Australian Kelpie, Photo Karla Northcott

John McGrath Award

In 2014 we lost one of our most precious volunteers,
John ‘Cheify’ McGrath.

An award has been struck to recognise the significant contribution John made to the success and volunteering patronage of the Kelpie Muster over many years.

John was a unique individual who was able to bring out the best in everyone, galvanise volunteer effort and pride and harmonise community volunteers whilst maintaining a productive, rewarding and enjoyable experience for all.

He was reliable, tireless, driven and held high expectations for our event and the quality of each and every activity or product that was built. He maintained our reputation and quality of what the event was able to deliver and have Casterton recognised on the regional, state, national and international agendas as ‘Birthplace of the Kelpie and Home of the Australian Kelpie Muster’.


The John McGrath Award recognises the selfless and dedicated contribution of volunteers who consistently support our event, forming enduring friendships, growing our event and building a better community.



2022 John McGrath Volunteer Award winner Ian Murphy with CKA Committee member Jack Matthews. Photo courtesy of Casterton News.
2019 winner - Don Sims (centre) with Karen Stephens and John Matthews. Photo courtesy of Casterton News.
2018 Winner Heather Gill (second from left) with (left to right) Shane Gill, Karen Stephens, John Matthews and Brian Burns.
2017 Awardee, Paul O'Brien.
2016 winner, Neil Widdicombe, with John Matthews (left) and Karen Stephens.
2015 winner Giles Kent with Jan McGrath.