DIMBOOLA is officially Victoria’s tidiest town.
For the first time in the history of the Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Towns Awards, Dimboola was named the overall winner.
Dimboola Town Committee volunteers were also awarded the 2018 Community Action and Leadership under 3000 population award.
Committee treasurer Kaylene Pietsch accepted the awards on the committee’s behalf.
“The power of work that goes in volunteering is so impressive,” she said. “We’ve completed a lot of projects and have many ongoing projects. It’s nice to see everyone pulling together, helping each other out and working as a community. We’re very passionate about the town.”
Hindmarsh Shire councillor and committee member Deb Nelson said several Dimboola community members attended the awards in Beechworth on Saturday night.
“Audrey Hurst – who used to live in Dimboola – came from Shepparton to support us. She did the Tidy Towns entries for 16 years,” she said.
“It’s fantastic acknowledgement for all the volunteer work that happens in our town. Although we don’t do it for accolades, it’s wonderful to be recognised.
“We’re a small community and often small things that happen in a small community can make a huge difference to peoples’ lives.
“There are so many groups doing so many things; for a little town, we’re certainly punching above our weight.”
Related: Wimmera wins 2017 Tidy Towns awards
Dimboola will now represent Victoria at the national Tidy Towns awards. The state award win also means the town will host next year’s Victorian Tidy Towns awards.
“Next year we will have hundreds of people come to town when we host the state awards,” Cr Nelson said.
“That’s always fantastic because you’ve got this whole room of people that you can showcase your region to.”
Horsham Tidy Towns Committee won the award for Clean Beach/Waterways. Chairwoman Gillian Vanderwaal said it was an honour.
“We entered the Wimmera River experience, so we included all the community things that the river is used for – the footbridge, the rowing club, the fishing competition, the walking track and the catfish breeding program,” she said.
“It should make us very proud what we have it in our city and this shows everyone else what a wonderful asset we have.”
Ms Vanderwaal said the win wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of the Wimmera River Improvement Committee.
“That’s a small group of people who work tirelessly to improve the experience of the Wimmera River in Horsham. They put in many volunteer hours for the improvement of the river,” she said.
She said she wanted to congratulate the Dimboola community for its win.
“We were absolutely thrilled to bits to see Dimboola win this award; it was absolutely wonderful. They’re our neighbour, so of course we should be really excited to see them win – they deserve it,” she said.
Dimboola resident Danni Haebich received the 2018 Young Leaders Award at the ceremony. The Dimboola Memorial Secondary College school captain was nominated by the town committee.
“I work on the Hindmarsh Shire Youth Council; we're a voice the young people, and do projects and hold events for them,” she said.
“We also worked on a Hindmarsh brochure, so when people come into the area they can see what there is to do. At the end of the year I’m going to volunteer in Cambodia with school.
“I love Dimboola so it’s great to be a part of the community; I like to get involved and help out whenever I can. It’s really exciting and I was not expecting to win – it feels great.
“It was great to meet the other Young Leader nominees and hear about what they do in their communities.”
Northern Grampians Shire Council received the 2018 Protection of the Environment award at the ceremony.