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Australia Day 2018

Article Category  Current News
Date Published  Friday, January 26 2018

Australia Day 2018
Citizens from all backgrounds came together today to celebrate all that is great about being Australian at Australia Day ceremonies across the country.

Functions were held in the four main towns in the Hindmarsh Shire, beginning with breakfast at Rainbow and Jeparit, morning tea in Dimboola and lunch at Nhill, with community awards being presented at both the Jeparit and Dimboola functions.


The Jeparit Town Committee presented their Citizen of the Year award to another tireless contributor over many years and many different organisations and aspects of life in the town.

Citizen of the Year - Sharon Reilly

Above from left - Hindmarsh Shire Mayor Ron Ismay, Australia Day Ambassador Maree Caldow, Jeparit Citizen of the Year, Sharon Reilly and Jeaprit Town Committee President, Jason Hutson at the town barbeque breakfast this morning. - Dimboola Courier photo


The Dimboola Town Committee presented four awards, including a break with convention by awarding two Volunteer of the Year awards.

All of the awardees are worthy recipients having all contributed considerable to the Dimboola community.

Junior Volunteer of the Year - Danni Haebich

Group of the Year - Lochiel Driver Reviver Group.

Volunteer of the Year - Sharyn Cook

Volunteer of the Year - Amanda Ingeme

Above - Volunteer of the Year, Amanda Ingeme, Dimboola Town Committee secretary Jo Donnelly and Dimboola Town Committee President Bruce Donnelly.

Above - Volunteer of the Year, Sharyn Cook

The Dimboola Football Netball Club Nhill in conjunction with the District Sporting Club, Dimboola received the Hindmarsh Shire Event of the Year for their “Fight MND Ice Dunk Challenge”.

Hindmarsh Shire Awards

The recipients of Hindmarsh Shire Council’s Australia Day Awards for Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, and Community Event of the Year were announced at Nhill by Mayor, Cr Ron Ismay.

Citizen of the Year – Joy Wheaton

Joy has been a tireless volunteer over an incredible length of time. She embodies what it is to be a country woman, with contributions to Lowana, the Country Women’s Association and the Nhill A & P Society spanning more than 55 years.

Joy’s involvement in events such as the Yanac South School back-to, the Wheaton Family Reunion and the Kaniva Consolidated School Reunion is just a small snapshot of the countless hours of volunteer time and effort she has dedicated to many groups and organisations in Broughton and surrounding communities.
Cr Ron Ismay said “Joy is a proud farmer and epitomizes the contributions women have made across our region, Victoria and Australia in the development of local and regional communities”. Cr Ismay added “On behalf of Council I congratulate Joy as a very deserving recipient of the Hindmarsh Shire Council 2018 Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award”.

Young Citizen of the Year – Thablay Sher

Thablay is an active member of the Nhill and district community. In addition to her role as the Multicultural and Education Aide at Nhill College, Thablay undertakes interpretation service on a voluntary basis for the Karen migrant community in Nhill where she is also the Secretary of the Nhill Karen Community Organisation.

Thablay contributes a significant amount of time to other volunteering efforts including the Rotary Club of Nhill, the Nhill Homework Club and the Hindmarsh Landcare network as well as the annual Karen New Year Celebrations.

Thablay is dedicated to her academic studies, having completed her Diploma in Social Science at Federation University, Horsham.

Cr Ismay said “Thablay’s determination to continually improve herself and her community shines through with her volunteering and academic achievements, and it is an honour to be able to recognize her commitment to her Karen and the broader Nhill community with the Young Citizen of the Year Award”.

Community Event of the Year – Fight MND Ice Dunk Challenge

Nhill and District Sporting Club, in conjunction with the Dimboola Football Netball Club hosted the “Fight MND Ice Dunk Challenge” at Nhill in 2017. Well-known local identities volunteered to be dunked in a tank full of ice-water to raise funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Together, the clubs were able to raise close to $40,000, as well as increase the knowledge and understanding of MND. The event was an incredible success in raising the profile of MND, and brought thousands of people together on the day.

Cr Ismay said “It is great to be able to recognise the efforts of the Nhill and District Sporting Club and Dimboola Football Netball Club and present the Community Event of the Year Award to a hardworking group of volunteers who made this event the outstanding success that it was”. Cr Ismay added “The collaboration between the clubs embodies the spirit of Australia and the amount of funds raised would not have been possible without the incredible support of the community”.

“Hindmarsh Shire Council sincerely thanks everyone who took the time to submit nominations for the 2018 Australia Day Awards and congratulates everyone on their nominations across all categories” added Cr Ismay.

The Hindmarsh Shire Australia Day Ambassador Maree Caldow delivered an address at each event.

Maree’s beaming face is universally recognised in Victorian harness racing circles as she has made a sizable impact on the industry since assuming control of the family’s Melton training establishment in the 1999/2000 season.

She has prepared in excess of 400 winners who have accumulated over $2.5 million in prize money.

Her principal successes have included the Group Three Ladyship Cup, Silver Chalice, Graham Goffin Memorial and Victoria Cup Consolation with reigning Australian Mare of the Year, Nolarama, as well as the Group One VicBred Super Series Final with Harry Moreau.

Maree’s enthusiasm and exuberance serve as a tremendous example for others and promote harness racing in a very positive light.

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