Northern Grampians recognises standout residents

NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council honoured standout residents and community events during Australia Day ceremonies in Stawell and St Arnaud on Sunday.

Mayor Kevin Erwin said the municipality had several quality entries for this year's accolades.

"I'd like to thank all the individuals and events for their contribution to the community," he said.

Hard-working volunteer Howard Amos was the recipient of St Arnaud's Citizen of the Year award.

Mr Amos worked at St Arnaud Secondary College for 35 years and, since retiring, has volunteered his time to maintain the college's garden and grounds.

He also volunteers at the town's historical society and museum and regularly checks up on elderly residents, helping them with shopping, chores and garden maintenance.

Stawell's Citizen of the Year Graeme Anyon was recognised for his efforts to raise Stawell's profile in the broader community and for his work with a range of organisations, including Stawell Chaplaincy Committee, Stawell Athletic Club, The Community Car and Stawell Interchurch Council.

Mr Anyon was one of the founders of the Grampians Wildflower Bike Ride, aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and bringing people to Stawell, which is now in its third year.

St Arnaud Young Citizen of the Year Matilda Douglas chairs Northern Grampians Shire's first Youth Action Council.

Ms Douglas, a lawyer, is the ambassador of the St Arnaud Show and St Arnaud Cup, a member of the Ballarat Health Service Youth Mental Health and Advisory Group, a dancer at Dance Capital and plays A Grade basketball and netball.

The entire Youth Action Council claimed the Young Citizen of the Year award at last night's ceremony in Stawell.

The council hosted two successful events in its inaugural year in 2013 a twilight cinema in Stawell and a live music event, 'Little Night Out', in St Arnaud. The council also secured money for a mental health project.

Telling It Like It Was and Women on Farms Gathering tied for Community Event of the Year honours in St Arnaud.

Telling It Like It Was, organised by Pauline Coates, celebrated Seniors Week, inviting senior citizens to share their life stories.

The Women on Farms Gathering united St Arnaud and district, attracting people from across Victoria and interstate for two-and-a-half days of activities.

Stawell's Community Event of the Year was the Wimmera Grampians Heart Challenge 'Run for Russ'.

The event, in its second year, raises money for and spreads awareness of cardiovascular disease.

St Arnaud's Senior of the Year award went to long-serving St Arnaud Show pavilion secretary Joan Supple, while Stawell's 'Adoptable' initiative picked up the Local Hero award.

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