Accolades aplenty on Australia Day
People who have provided support, direction, leadership or help for their communities were the celebration of Australia Day events across the region.
Municipalities either confirmed or announced Australia Day award winners in a major outpouring of community spirit at the weekend.
From Ararat district to the South Australian border and the Grampians to the Mallee, much of the region joined in a national day of celebration.
Ararat’s Judy Wohlers, Willaura Healthcare Outdoor Market and the Ararat Ladies’ Social Bike Group were Ararat Rural City Council’s Australia Day Award winners for 2019.
Mrs Wohlers is a founding member of Ararat Ladies’ Social Bike Group and is Ararat’s Ambassador in 2019 after more than 40 years’ voluntary work with the group.
The Ararat Ladies’ Social Bike Group won a Healthy Living Award and Willaura Healthcare Auxiliary won a Community Spirit Award. The auxiliary runs popular Willaura Healthcare Outdoor Market in March each year.
In Northern Grampians Shire, Cherelle Nicholson was Stawell Citizen of the Year for her contribution to the wellbeing of Stawell’s ill and elderly.
Mrs Nicholson’s Bookworm Gallery sells donated goods to raise money for organisations such as Stawell Regional Health, Helen Schutt Nursing Home, Eventide Homes and drought relief.
Other winners in Stawell were: Young Citizen of the Year, Bonnie Mellor; Local Hero, Justin Chester for walking from Horsham to Naracoorte to raise awareness and money for mental health; Community Event of the Year, Stawell Regional Health Hospital Auxiliary, historic property tour.
St Arnaud winners: Citizen of the Year, Greg Murray, St Arnaud Festival director; Senior Citizen of the Year, Rene Torney, president of St Arnaud RSL sub-branch Ladies Auxiliary since 1960; Young Citizen of the Year, Chloe Freeman; Community Event of the Year, St Arnaud Hockey Club for its 2018 Kids Night Out.
Annette Creek was Hindmarsh Shire’s Citizen of the Year, recognising her dedication to helping Nhill’s Karen population and other organisations such as Nhill Neighbourhood House.
Dimboola Memorial Secondary College 2018 captain Danni Haebich was Young Citizen of the Year and Nhill Lutheran Church Christmas Tree Exhibition won the Community Event of the Year award.
Alan Miles of Serviceton, a long-standing community contributor, was West Wimmera Shire’s Citizen of the Year. Longerenong College student Justin Merrett, also of Serviceton, was Young Citizen of the Year.
Officials presented Australia Day awards at Kaniva, Edenhope and Harrow.
A Community Event of the Year Award category had joint winners, both celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Australian indigenous cricket team’s tour to England in 1868.
Winners were Edenhope Tourism Committee, which staged commemoration events over the Easter long weekend in Edenhope, and Lake Bringalbert and First XI of 1868 steering committee for First XI Legends Concert on the banks of the Glenelg River in Harrow on the Labour Day long weekend.
Horsham and Warracknabeal communities announced winners before weekend celebrations. • More pictures, pages 18 and 19.