Australia Day Awards highlight outstanding achievements

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Mildura Rural City Council’s 2022 Australia Day Award recipients have been announced, highlighting the selfless and amazing contributions local residents and groups make within our region.

This year’s Australia Day Award recipients are:

Citizen of the Year

Carly Heintze

Young Citizen of the Year

Lily Milsom (pictured)

Community Event or Project of the Year

Mildura Eisteddfod Society Inc. for the 42nd Mildura Eisteddfod (pictured)

Mildura Mayor Liam Wood announced this year’s award recipients at the Mildura Australia Day event at Nowingi Place.

“One of the great things about our Australia Day Awards is the ability for the wider community to gain an appreciation of what our local residents are capable of, and what they’ve achieved,” Cr Wood said.

“Our recipients don’t make these amazing contributions to win awards, they are driven by their own passions and dedication, which is why our Australia Day Awards are so important – they’re a chance to make sure those who quietly go about their activities receive the recognition they deserve.

“Congratulations and well done to all of this year’s recipients.”

Citizen of the Year

Carly Heintze

Carly has been a tireless contributor to the Murrayville community for many years across a very broad range of areas, taking in the sporting community through to the performing arts and more.

In the sporting realm, Carly has already created a lasting legacy through her dedication to both tennis and netball.

She was awarded a life membership of the Murrayville Tennis Club in 2019, and over the years has organised the Hot Shots program, assisted in organising grants to renovate the tennis clubrooms, and was instrumental in organising the club’s 40th and 50th Anniversary functions. Carly also runs weekly junior competitions during the tennis season.

Carly has also played a pivotal role progressing netball in the Mallee, dedicating more than a decade to the sport. Her contributions include coaching the local netball team for more than 10 years, winning five premierships. In 2016, she was announced Mallee Netball Association Coach of the Year, and has been a selector, team manager, coordinator and coach of junior teams for the Mallee Netball Association, as well as umpiring.

Carly’s other contributions include:

  • A member of the Murrayville Community College School Council for seven years, and is currently president
  • Member of the Murrayville Cemetery for five years
  • Vice President of the Murrayville Liaison Committee
  • Volunteer driver for the Mallee Track
  • Involvement in the Murrayville Dramatic Society
  • Involvement in the Murrayville Basketball Committee
  • Secretary of the Murrayville Recreation Reserve and new Murrayville Sports Hub
  • She has also been involved in successful grant applications over many years for the Reserve.

Young Citizen of the Year

Lily Milsom

From mentoring junior students through to being a strong advocate for positive mental health and representing her school at ANZAC Day Commemoration Ceremonies, Young Citizen of the Year Lily Milsom’s contributions to the community are many and varied.

Lily was elected as Mildura Senior College School Captain in 2021 and as an active member of the school’s SRC designed their 2021 team jumpers.

She has played an important role helping new students to her school, with involvement in organising and collating survey information into a booklet with tips to assist new students to the school.

Lily has also undertaken various leadership roles such as Peer Mentor, supporting new students transitioning to the Junior College at Irymple P-10.

Other contributions to the school community include representing Mildura Senior College at the ANZAC Day Commemoration Ceremony and advocating for positive mental health, participating in radio and social media campaigns for the College. She has also been a student representative on the Mildura Senior College School Council.

Outside of the school community, Lily is an active coach at the Irymple Junior Netball Club, including umpiring, and has participated in the Relay for Life fundraiser for cancer.

Community Event or Project of the Year

Mildura Eisteddfod Society Inc. for the 42nd Mildura Eisteddfod

The 42nd Mildura Eisteddfod in 2021 is a shining example of what can be achieved in the face of adversity, as the volunteer-run Mildura Eisteddfod Society Inc. were faced with a state-wide COVID lockdown announcement just a week before the massive annual event was to start.

The event usually attracts about 1800 entries from the Sunraysia region as well as areas including, South Australia, Ballarat, Melbourne and Broken Hill.

Rather than simply cancel their event, Mildura Eisteddfod Inc. volunteers rolled up their sleeves and set about working to provide a competition for entrants that maintained the standard of previous years, but was held completely online.

They faced challenges including professional adjudicators based out-of-town, lack of venues for filming, filming equipment and the inability to meet in-person for rehearsals and performances.

Other challenges included co-ordinating such a large number of online entries while maintain privacy and making them accessible to the adjudicators for judging.

Despite these and many other challenges the event was staged successfully online, attracting about 1500 entrants, who were given professional feedback and offered all the usual scholarships and awards that would be given in normal circumstances.

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