NGSC Commits to Elevating Stawell Gift Legacy
Published on 17 January 2024
Northern Grampians Shire Council has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the Stawell Gift, signing a significant four-year partnership agreement with Stawell Gift Event Management on Wednesday afternoon that will see the council invest $400,000 in the prestigious Australian athletics carnival over the next four years.
Signed by Northern Grampians Shire Council CEO Brent McAlister and Independent Stawell Gift Event Management Board Member and Chair Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee Neil Brennan at the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame, the partnership agreement is designed to preserve and invigorate the Stawell Gift and its legacy within the shire, with funding from the council also expected to enhance community engagement while supporting economic growth and an upsurge in tourism within the Northern Grampians region over coming years.
Mayor of Northern Grampians Shire Council, Cr Rob Haswell, expressed his enthusiasm for the renewed partnership following the signing, emphasising the importance of the 147-year-old event to Northern Grampians and the Australian athletics community.
“As a council, we recognise the immense potential for expansion and enrichment, and we are committed to ensuring that the Stawell Gift continues to inspire and grow. As a community we are extremely proud of the whole carnival and have been for generations. It is a major part of the Australian sporting calendar and the council's dedication mirrors the historical significance of the event as well as the joy and opportunity it offers locals, athletes, and visitors alike. It is a rare and incredible opportunity to witness some of the greatest athletes in the world compete on a grass track up close and personal in regional Victoria,” said Mayor Haswell.
“We have a storied history of supporting and facilitating the event, notably contributing to the maintenance and enhancement of Central Park's oval and the grass surface for the track events and this partnership is designed to fortify, expand and sustain this important event for many years to come,” added Mayor Haswell.
Speaking on behalf of Stawell Gift Event Management Board, Neil Brennan also highlighted the importance of the shared commitment between both parties.
"Stawell Gift Event Management is delighted to once again partner with the Northern Grampians Shire Council through the signing of a significant four-year partnership agreement, cementing a dynamic partnership between the two organisations. This collaboration underscores our shared commitment to promote tourism and attract residents to the Northern Grampians Region through the delivery of the iconic Stawell Gift."
The annual event is held at Central Park in Stawell over the Easter long weekend and sees thousands of athletes, supporters and tourists travel to the area, transforming the historic gold mining town of Stawell into an athletics mecca. The Powercor Stawell Gift, known as Australia’s richest footrace, is run on a grass track over 120m up a slight gradient, with athletes handicapped according to form and ability. The final is traditionally held on Easter Monday.
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Media & Communications – Lauren Shipman