South-west citizens honoured for community efforts

LOCAL identity Russ Goodear has been acknowledged as Warrnambool’s Citizen of the Year. 

The award recognises the promotions advertising agent's dedication to various community projects over a number of years.

Five other Warrnambool residents and a community organisation have also been honoured at the Warrnambool Australia Day Awards.

Olivia Niddrie received the Young Citizen of the Year for her extensive community work and the completion of Rotary House on Timor Street was named the Community Event of the Year.

Local Achiever Awards were bestowed on Robert Lowe Snr, Keith McLeod, Andrew Squires and Bruce Pritchard.

Warrnambool City Council mayor Michael Neoh said each of the 2014 recipients were fine examples of commitment to improving the city and region.

“The leadership they show in giving their time to improve the lives of other people is a great demonstration of what it is to be an Australian,” Cr Neoh said.

Cobden’s Frank Martin has been announced Corangamite Shire’s 2014 Citizen of the Year at the Australia Day celebrations in Skipton. 

Young Male Citizen of the Year went to Ben Anderson of Mingay, while Verity Watt of Dixie won Young Female Citizen of the Year and the 50th Anniversary of Education at Derrinallum P-12 School was named Community Event of the Year.

Mayor Chris O’Connor said 38 nominations had been received for the awards. 

“We always have an outstanding selection of candidates for our Australia Day Awards and choosing the winners is never an easy decision,” Cr O’Connor said.  

"There is a strong volunteer ethic in Corangamite and it’s what keeps our communities together.

“Frank Martin represents perfectly what I mean by volunteers keeping our communities together.” 

“It’s conservatively estimated that in his 19 years of volunteering in the Cobden community, Frank has averaged 25 hours per week serving local groups such as the Rotary Club, Hall Committee, Miniature Railway, the Health Service and Progress Association.”

Mr Martin has played an instrumental role in re-inventing Progressing Cobden and redeveloping the Cobden Lake area. 

Cr O’Connor said the 50th Anniversary of Education at Derrinallum P-12 School event saw 600 visitors return to Derrinallum to rekindle friendships made many years ago. 

“Thanks to the vision of Narelle Uren and her team, the 50th Anniversary was a great success that involved local community groups and enabled a week-long opportunity for past and present students to celebrate the school.” 

“Ben Anderson and Verity Watt are two exceptional examples of young people who are making a contribution to their rural communities and who have a very bright future ahead of them.” 

“Ben is Vice President of the Lismore Cricket Club, member of the Mingay CFA and the Lismore Golf Club. Verity has volunteered with the outreach program at Cooinda in Terang, the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army’s Soup Kitchen and was the 2013 Social Justice Captain at Mercy Regional College.” 

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