Australia Day Awards 2021 – a day to reflect, respect and celebrate

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Australia Day 2021: A day to reflect, respect and celebrate

On 26 January, community members and visitors are invited to come together at one of the seven Australia Day events taking place across Murrindindi Shire.

Murrindindi Shire Council’s Mayor Sandice McAulay said Australia Day 2021 will provide an important opportunity for the community to reflect on the challenges of the past year, respect the sacrifices and contributions of those who responded in a time of need and celebrate being together and being Australian.

‘We, as Australians, have faced enormous challenges in the past year, including bushfires, drought, floods and the coronavirus pandemic’, Cr McAulay said.

‘As we tread lightly into 2021 and hope for a better year ahead, I encourage you to take the time to reflect on the resilience of our communities and the incredible support people have shown one another. It sure makes me proud to be Australian and thankful to be part of such a kind, caring and generous community.

‘This Australia Day, let us honour our first responders and frontline workers who worked through fire, flood and the pandemic to protect life and property, to support their communities and to keep our wonderful country going.

‘Let us celebrate our proud multicultural nation and appreciate the freedoms and opportunities that we are able to enjoy. And let us reflect on our Nation’s past – a history which began more than 65,000 years ago with the First Australians – the world’s oldest culture.

‘The 2021 Murrindindi Shire Australia Day Awards provide us an opportunity to respect and share the stories, histories and contributions of everyday Australians and recognise individual community members for their contribution and commitment to making our Shire such a great place to live.

‘We received some truly inspiring nominations for this year’s Awards. Of course, this means our panel of judges had the tough job of deciding the winners for each category’, Cr McAulay added.

‘This year Elise Anderson of Alexandra will be awarded Murrindindi Citizen of the Year at the Alexandra Australia Day ceremony. Elise has demonstrated an extraordinary passion and commitment to helping the Alexandra community and I’m in total admiration of all that she has achieved since moving to our Shire a few years ago. With a passion for the environment, permaculture and advocating for action on climate change, Elise is involved in many community groups, committees and organisations and regularly volunteers her time to educate the community and host events. Elise’s energy and dedication is inspiring and I look forward to presenting her with this Award.

‘At the Yea Australia Day ceremony, Nicholas Charles will receive the award for Murrindindi Shire Young Citizen of the Year, following his outstanding contribution to the community of Yea and surrounds. Nicholas has a passion for helping young people in our community to access opportunities and support, by championing fantastic development programs and raising awareness of mental health – an incredibly important issue for young people in our Shire.

‘In Kinglake, John Stewart will be awarded Murrindindi Shire Senior Citizen of the Year. John has been instrumental in the formation and success of many community groups, projects and events over the last forty years and has demonstrated his incredible commitment and dedication to Murrindindi Shire and everyone who calls this wonderful place home. As an active member of the Kinglake community since 1981, John continues to give back to the community through his volunteer work for the Kinglake CFA, Kinglake Landcare Group and the Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood Watch.

‘We are very proud of all our Australia Day Award recipients. Personally, and on behalf of Council, I’d like to thank Elise, Nicholas and John. Murrindindi Shire is an extraordinary place to live because of you and your commitment.

‘I really encourage everyone to come along to one of the Australia Day events across the Shire. It will be fantastic to come together as a community after an incredibly tough year in 2020. Unfortunately, the Australia Day event that is usually held in Marysville won’t be taking place this year. However, the communities of Strath Creek, Eildon, Yea, Kinglake, Alexandra, Flowerdale and Glenburn will all be hosting an event. You can find more information about these events here.

‘A big thank you to everyone who has helped get these events up and running. Hosting an event during a pandemic is unchartered territory for us all, but you are all doing a fabulous job. And of course, a huge thank you to all community groups involved in the Australia Day celebrations – these wonderful events wouldn’t be possible without you!

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