Annual Australia Day Celebrations

Australia Day

Council assists the Australia Day Committee (Victoria) to reflect, respect and celebrate with our local community through events and local government awards that provide an important opportunity to acknowledge local achievements and outstanding contributions.

Australia Day Events

In the lead up to Australia Day, detailed information about events throughout the shire will be found in our Events Calendar.

Australia Day Award Winners 2024

Council hosted two well-attended Australia Day ceremonies held in St Arnaud and Stawell on Friday 26 January 2024 that were designed to show appreciation for the spirited people and groups who play a vital role in strengthening and supporting their communities. Read more here.

The following Northern Grampians Shire Council 2024 recipients of Australia Day Awards were announced on the day.

Citizen of the Year Award - Melissa Weir


Mayor, Cr Rob Haswell presents the Kara Kara Ward Citizen of the Year Award to Melissa Weir

Presented by the Mayor, Cr Rob Haswell, Melissa Weir was nominated for being a caring and unassuming community-minded person who works quietly behind the scenes, with no-thought for self-promotion. Highly regarded and respected by her peers, Melissa is known for her willingness to support, encourage and work with students and their families beyond school hours and is always available. She is also an advocate for diversity and has integrated accessibility programs, special days, and activities for students to participate in and learn through.

Community Group of the Year Award -St Arnaud Neighbourhood House


Members of the St Arnaud Neighbourhood House Committee (L-R) Chris Jones, Rachel Hendry, Heather Stevenson, Cr Karen Hyslop and Graham Ross.

Presented by Cr Karen Hyslop, St Arnaud Neighbourhood House was nominated for the outstanding contribution it makes to the direct benefit of the community. St Arnaud Neighbourhood House is a charitable public organisation driven by a purpose to advance social and public wellbeing and volunteers work tirelessly and with passion to ensure that the wider community is supported.

Young Citizen of the Year Award - Sophie Male


Presented by Cr Eddy Ostarcevic, Sophie Male was nominated for her outstanding leadership skills, active involvement in numerous sporting clubs and support for young people across the community. Sophie plays a key role in community sport in the St Arnaud area and acts as participant, mentor and coach across many sports, all while pursuing tertiary studies.

Senior Citizen of the Year - John Goode


Presented by Cr Eddy Ostarcevic, John Goode was nominated in recognition of the years of service he has dedicated to the clubs and community of St Arnaud, Noted to be a quiet and unassuming person who gets the job done, John is the ultimate club member with fastidious attention to detail who shows no sign of slowing his involvement in any of the significant number of clubs and associations that he has dedicated his time to.

Community Group of the Year Award - Stawell Uniting Church Pop Up Shop


Presented by Cr Erwin, Stawell Uniting Church Pop Up Shop, has been an eagerly awaited event for the wider community and visitors alike since its inception as a fundraiser six years ago. Hosted once every three months by a staff of dedicated volunteers, the pop up promotes sustainability and offers a fabulous sense of community, fellowship, sense of purpose and wellbeing to all who participate.

Local Hero of the Year Award - Mrs Margaret Perry


Presented by Cr Karen Hyslop, Mrs Margaret Perry was nominated as a trusted and wise volunteer with a kind, genuine and caring heart and long history of supporting the community. Noted for her gentle and unassuming disposition, Margaret continues to offer dedicated service to the community well into retirement and is willing to go the extra mile, assisting people in need of personalised in-home support services and providing friendship and much needed quality time to the lives of all those that she cares for.

Young Citizen of the Year - D'Artagnan Walls


Cr Karen Hyslop presents the Young Citizen of the Year Award to D'Artagnan Walls

Presented by Cr Trevor Gready, D’Artagnan Walls was nominated due to his dedication to sport and his willingness to support, guide and lead the next generation of players locally through Stawell Tennis Club. He is an inspiring and generous mentor and provides exceptional leadership to hundreds of kids and their parents throughout the wider community. 

Citizen of the Year Award - Mr Rupert Bibby


Citizen of the Year Mr Rupert Bibby and his wife Helen Bibby

Presented by Cr Rob Haswell, Mr Rupert Bibby was nominated as an outstanding member of the wider community, as a dedicated farmer and proud family man whose lifetime of service to the Navarre community has been offered with care, consideration and a genuine desire to ensure that Navarre is the best it can be.