Australia Day Awards

The Northern Grampians Shire Council assists the Australia Day Committee (Victoria) to celebrate Australia Day at the local level. Local Government awards provide an important opportunity to acknowledge local achievers for their outstanding contribution.

Australia Day 2018 Award Winners

Kara Kara Ward

Citizen of the Year
Peter Knights

A myriad of involvements, contributions and hundreds of volunteer hours makes Peter a model of dedication to the community. He is a community-minded individual and his list of volunteer positions within this community is too extensive to list in full, including roles with the St Arnaud Hockey Club and North Central Hockey Association, the St Arnaud Turf Club, the St Arnaud CFA, the St Arnaud Agricultural Show Committee and the St Arnaud Basketball Association. This body of work is supported by roles serving the wider Northern Grampians Shire community at large, acting as the chair of Council’s audit committee and as an independent member of East Wimmera Health Service Audit and Risk Committee. On a larger scale, he delivers support and advice to his colleagues across the state as a member of the CPA Australia Public Practice Committee. Somewhere in amongst all these duties, he also finds time to own and operate two businesses in St Arnaud. Dedication to advancing the interests of this community and its members embody is what this award is all about.

Congratulations Peter on your award of St Arnaud's Citizen of the Year.

Young Citizen of the Year
Nathan Grigg

Helping to close the gap between rural and regional students while also completing Year 12 studies demonstrates the commitment our Young Citizen of the Year has to St Arnaud and rural Victoria at large. 
As one of 21 students from around Victoria who were named as Rural Youth Ambassadors for the Country Education, involving regular trips to Melbourne to meet with the Minister for Education, this community-minded young man last year played a key role in addressing the disparities between our rural students and their metropolitan counterparts. At a local level, he consistently volunteers his time for the betterment of the St Arnaud community, taking on the role of coach with the St Arnaud Hockey Club’s under 13 side and leading them to a premiership, volunteering his time to assist in working bees at St Arnaud Mechanic’s Institute, while also serving as St Arnaud Secondary School Captain in 2017 and as Junior Rural Ambassador for the St Arnaud Show.

Congratulations Nathan on your award of Young Citizen of the Year for St Arnaud. 

Senior of the Year
Jean Gloster

A lifelong commitment to education and literacy has more than earned the recipient of our 2018 Senior Citizen of the Year this title. Following an extensive career as a school teacher here in St Arnaud - a role I’m sure many of us will recognise this recipient from - Jean has continued her involvement with the education of the town’s young people by volunteering in the St Arnaud P.S. Library, ensuring students had access to a range of books, and fostering a love of reading and learning amongst our young people. She has also spent many hours tutoring the town’s high school students in order to assist them with their maths homework. Outside of education, Jean is a committed member of SCAN, putting those maths skills to good use as the group’s treasurer, as well as overseeing the Christmas Cracker promotion, which encourages people to shop locally during the festive season. On top of all this, she is a life member of the St Arnaud Hockey Club, a member of the St Arnaud Book Club and a member of the town’s Community Garden.

Congratulations Jean on your 2017 Senior of the Year Award.

Community Event of the Year
St Arnaud District Hospital Foundation

A small band of volunteers helped to deliver a number of small upgrades to one of St Arnaud’s key assets in 2017. Thanks to this group of volunteers, a night of high-class entertainment not often seen in St Arnaud entertained the crowd, while also raising some much-needed funding. Working alongside other community groups, and with entertainment from the BallaRAT pack - along with a couple of local talents - staged a night of well-received reverie. The resulting funds have certainly gone to good use, and I know the staff and patients are extremely thankful to our 2018 Community Event Winners, The St Arnaud Hospital Foundation and their Broadway to St Arnaud evening.

Congratulations to all involved in the St Arnaud District Hospital Foundation- Broadway to St Arnaud evening the winner of St Arnaud's Community Event of the Year.


Stawell Ward 

Citizen of the Year
Murray Hart

Twin devotions to junior sport and education have been the hallmarks of our 2018 Citizen of the Year. 350 games of football with Navarre and Stawell Swifts engendered this year’s recipient with a passion for junior development, leading to years of work spent in administration with the Stawell 13 & Under Football Association, as well as some legendary Sunday bus drives across the Wimmera in support of junior tennis. All this weekend work has been in addition to a career spent further influencing young lives and acting as a role model for our youth during a lengthy career as a teacher and assistant principal with Stawell Secondary College. His dedication has already been rewarded with life membership to the Stawell Tennis Club and the Stawell 13 & Under Football Association.

Congratulations Murray on your Citizen of the Year Award for Stawell.
Young Citizen of the Year
Melissa Sanders

At the age of just 14, our Young Citizen of the Year has already compiled an impressive list of achievements and contributions. In 2017, Melissa travelled to China to represent Stawell Secondary College, Victoria and Australia in a Chinese speech and language competition. She also placed second in the Melbourne competition of June last year. Her skills extend beyond the realm of language, however, extending to music, dance, acting and filmmaking, while she is also a member of the Stawell Junior Fire Brigade. As those who nominated put it, she is an exemplary role model for her peers, and her achievements are testament to participation, a desire to achieve and good citizenship.

Congratulations Melissa on receiving the Stawell Young Citizen of the Year award. 
Local Hero Award
John Hunt

The 2018 presentation of the Local Hero award is merely formalising that title for this individual. Thanks to more than 40 years of service to  Stawell and its people, many already consider John a local hero. His dedication to his work since starting with the City of Stawell as a 16-year-old apprentice has seen open spaces flourish amongst the streets of Stawell, and his enthusiasm and passion for his work has made him the expert in his field, with his advice sought out by others from across the state. The jewel in Stawell’s crown, Central Park, is testament to his expertise, with a fantastic standard delivered time after time for the world-famous Stawell Gift.

Congratulations to John, winner of the 2017 Local Hero Award. 

Community Event of the Year
CGLLEN Stawell Skate Park Day

Often, it is claimed that there is little to do for young people in rural towns. Thanks to this year’s Community Event of the Year, Stawell does not have such concerns. Bringing together young people from across our community, this event invited participants to take to the Stawell Skate Park on their wheels of choice in a series of competitions, with a focus on personal achievement, participation and community spirit, as well as focusing upon the importance of careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. In addition to this, the organisation behind this year’s Community Event of the Year organises a number of other opportunities for young people to socialise, network and learn. Their work is crucial within small communities such as ours. Congratulations to the Central Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network on being named 2018 Community Event of the Year for their Stawell Skate Park Day.