UNSUNG local heroes were recognised at Corangamite Shire’s Australia Day celebrations at Skipton yesterday.
Cobden’s Frank Martin was named citizen of the year. Ben Anderson, of Mingay, and Verity Watt, of Dixie, were the council’s male and female junior citizens of the year, while the Derrinallum P-12 School’s 50th Anniversary celebration was named community event of the year.
Shire mayor Chris O’Connor said 38 nominations were received for this year’s awards. “We always have an outstanding selection of candidates and choosing the winners is never an easy decision,” Cr O’Connor said
Mr Martin said awards weren’t something he sought, but he was “enormously proud” to win the accolade.
“If you’re putting in to your local community you are doing it because you want to, not for awards,” he said.
“I came pretty late to living in a small community, but soon realised that communities work when everyone works together to help improve the services and amenities available and that’s all part of being a volunteer.
“I’m very pleased and very grateful to the person who nominated me. I said they should have been up on the dais rather than me, but it wasn’t to be.”
Cr O’Connor said the 50th Anniversary of Education at Derrinallum P-12 School involved 600 people returning to the school 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,” he said.
Cr O’Connor said Verity Watt and Ben Anderson were two examples of young people making a contribution to their rural communities.
“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, St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army Soup Kitchen.”