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Leading Senior Constable Mick Mears was interviewed on RPP FM radio on Breakfast with Marzy, the day after he was awarded Mornington Peninsula Shire’s 2014 Citizen of the Year.

Neatly sitting in the studio ‘uniformed up’ in full Police attire, ‘Constable Mick’, as he is fondly referred, was asked about his many achievements, youth involvement and community work on the Mornington Peninsula.

One of his most significant roles in youth work was founder of the Drum Corps at Mornington Secondary College in 2007 as a result of prevailing issues around youth in the area. Since then, the Corps has won numerous awards, some presented by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, requests to perform at prominent events and continue to receive acknowledgements nation wide, all under the guidance and leadership of Constable Mick.

Mick’s musical experience as a drummer with the Royal Australian Artillery Band, Victoria Police Brass Band and the Mornington Youth and Citizens Band placed him in an  experienced position to form the Drum Corps. In the beginning the Drum Corps played at school assemblies until their skill level increased. Since then, invites to perform at local and Victorian community and big staged events since 2008 include:

• Opening Ceremony held at Federation Square for the 'Great Race' around Victoria involving numerous schools, attended & opened by the State Government Transport Minister in 2009.
• Opening Ceremony of the NAB Australia ‘Schools First’ Awards at Fox Studios Sydney, compared by David Koch from Channel 7’s Sunrise Program.
• Since 2008, selected to perform at each Moomba Day Parade as the Drum & Flag Corps, Hill-view Quarries Australia Day Street Parade in Mornington and the Western Port Festival Parade in Hastings. For a number of years they also performed at the Bendigo Easter Parade, the Bendigo Emergency Services Parade and the Maldon Easter Parade. The three Easter Parades were performed in those years in a 17 hour time frame.
• Performed each year since 2010 at the Shrine of Remembrance for the 'Battle for Australia' Ceremony attended by more than 3000 school students statewide.
• AAMI Stadium Melbourne for the 2011 season of the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby Union team.
• Etihad Stadium prior to the 'round robin' NAB matches between Collingwood, Carlton & Richmond in 2011.
• Opening Ceremony 2011 at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre for the Australasian Schools Swimming & Diving Championships.

This year the Drum Corps is already booked to perform at the closing ceremony of 'Love Your Sister' Breast Cancer event at Federation Square, the Opening Ceremony of the Police & Emergency Services Games at Etihad Stadium in April 2014, the Hastings Day Parade and the Mornington ANZAC Day Parade.

Members of the Drum Corps change each year as students progress through the school. 

Other momentous milestones in the Drum Corps include winning major awards such as 2008 ‘Best Band in Parade’ at the Bendigo Easter Show, the major Prize winner in the Mornington Peninsula Order of Australia Association Awards in 2008, 'Drum Corps' major prize winner of NAB ‘Schools First’ Awards in 2010, awarded ‘Best Band’ in the Mornington Australia Day Street Parade in 2009 and the 2013 Major Award Winner for the film made about the 'Drum & Flag Corps’ participation in ANZAC Ceremonies and shown on SBS in November last year.

The Drum Corps also made television appearances on Channel 7 with David Brown and Channel 10’s Morning program prior to the 2012 Moomba Parade.

Individual members of the Corps have also been recognised for their work including ‘Drum Major’ Kirsty Reeks who won First Prize in the Individual 2008 Mornington Peninsula Order of Australia Association Awards and was also awarded Mornington Peninsula 2009 ‘Young Citizen of the Year’ and Corps member Martin Lee was awarded 'Apprentice of the Year' in 2010 by the 370 Degree organization.

Mick has also been involved with the Youth Corps Program at Mornington Secondary College for the past 7 years and contributed to its development into the largest, most successful youth corps program in the state. In 2013 Mick was also awarded the 2013 Inaugural ‘Citizen of the Year’ awarded by the Mornington Lions Club.  In 2010 Mornington Rotary Club awarded him the ‘Paul Harris Fellowship’ Award which is recognized by all Rotary Clubs around the world.

Mick runs the Blue Light Disco with the assistance of members of the Police Youth Corps, Mornington CFA and Lions Club in conjunction with the Grand Hotel.

He is also involved in the ‘Fit to Drive’ Program and currently organizes and facilitates the Annual Sir Hubert Opperman Bike Skills Competition conducted with the local primary schools from Mornington, Mount Eliza, Mount Martha and Moorooduc areas. He is also responsible for conducting the ‘Ropes’ program at Camp Manyung, Mount Eliza for youth directed to the program by the Frankston Children’s Court and the same program for the YMCA ‘Tools of the Trade’ Program.  He and other Youth Resource Officers from Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula are also responsible for the Youth Bail Engagement program which is aimed at ‘Youth at Risk’.

It seems Constable Mick’s whole existence evolves around mentoring youth and training staff and students on the Peninsula. As a member of the Victorian Police Force in his 45th year of service, he continues to understand the needs of youth today with compassion and dedication.

Mornington Peninsula youth and the community celebrates its fortune to have Constable Mick as a leader and prominent community member and say thank you for the hours and energy he puts in to support youth.

Congratulations Constable Mick winning the Mornington Peninsula 2014 Citizen of the Year, a well deserved honour for his commitment to the Schools Police Education Program and his remarkable work with the Drum Corps at Mornington Secondary College he founded in 2007 taking it to amazing heights.

If you would like to book the Drum Corps to perform at your next event or function, contact the Mornington Secondary College or Mick at Mornington Police Station on 5970 4912.

Words Debra Mar

Pictured – Drum Corps at Etihad Stadium prior to the commencement of the NAB Cup matches in 2011 and Leading Senior Constable Mick Mears.