The Horsham Rural City Council has announced its Australia Day Award winners for 2021, slightly earlier than normal.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a formal Australia Day ceremony, including the presentation of Citizen, Youth Citizen and Community Event of the Year Awards, will be livestreamed via the council's website and Facebook from 9am.
Colin Puls is a Rotarian, philanthropist and volunteer, known for his hard work and compassion across several decades.
Mr Puls is the driver behind the Sunnyside Lutheran Retirement Village (SLRV) aged care facility for 38 years, having joined the voluntary board in 1982.
It is said his foresight, along with his successful funding applications, helped shape the current facility today.
Mr Puls oversaw the construction of the Trinity Manor, which features accommodation for 72 residents, 48 two-bedroom townhouses and a large Community Centre.
He, along with the board and the committee of management, have recently overseen the addition of the former DHHS one-bedroom units into the management by SLRV on the same site, allowing less advantaged people the ability to live in excellent accommodation that is bright, clean and safe.
Currently the role of chair of the board encompasses a huge work load juggling workers conditions, residents needs and the aged care legislation/compliance.
This year has been particularly stressful with the COVID -19 virus affecting the senior community more than any other and the extra precautions and hygiene protocols that had to be put in place to protect all SLRV residents and staff.
Mr Puls has donated, via Rotary International and personally, to many worthwhile causes including the eradication of polio in the world through Rotary International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Shelter Box disaster aid program, Rotary Foundation and local charitable associations.
As the owner of CH PULS & Co, he built a successful farm machinery enterprise that employed many local people in Horsham and serviced the wider rural community.
The business still exists today as O'Connor's Machinery and is still a leader in farm machinery supply and maintenance.
His technical ability is extensive and that knowledge is passed on in his combined business interests with his son Mark, who now operates PULS Engineering. They service and fix machinery that would normally be redundant.
Away form work, Mr Puls and his family participated in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program for many years, hosting many International students.
Despite his young age, Bart Turgoose is showing maturity beyond his years. In 2018, Bart started volunteering at the Horsham Agricultural Society as a 13-year-old to begin his Duke of Edinburgh Award.
For one hour a week, he would come after school which quickly progressed into volunteering regularly at events including New Year's Eve by the River, Horsham Show, Horsham Irish Festival, Horsham German Fest, 60 Years of Wimmera Rock, Art is... Festival, Bonfire Night and Drive-In Music Concert and Ag Day 2020.
He would like to be a member of the Horsham Agricultural Society, but Bart's age doesn't allow it.
Bart is a member of the Natimuk Field and Game, volunteers on its committee, and sells merchandise at competitions.
He is a strong advocate for the sport and wrote an article for the May/June edition of Field & Game Australia, a national magazine. Bart is sponsored by the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia and is coached by the world number one shooter Robert Hall.
Bart was a special guest of Business Horsham at a recent virtual meeting. He has become the inspiration behind Business Horsham, developing a cadet-style membership to represent entrepreneurs. He is now a member and sits on the Board of Business Horsham, working part-time for the organisation.
Bart founded the Worm King business when he was just seven years old, selling worms from his front gate. This led him to sell directly to the public via Facebook and set up sales at the annual Horsham Fishing Competition.
Ever the entrepreneur, he started Barts Clay Target Adventures, which supports his passion for the sport of clay target shooting. Bart is currently developing a Young Gun program to encourage young people to join the sport.
He is working with the Horsham College to introduce how to dress and cook game as a dish into the curriculum. He hopes to roll the program out to other schools once it's been finalised.
Bart's other passion is social media and photography. For the 2020 virtual Horsham Show, he worked many hours coordinating photos of all the winning entries, branding them and scheduling all 118 posts to go live on Show Day.
The virtual Horsham Show attracted more than 33,000 people on its Facebook page over show week.
He also volunteered for the Horsham Ag Society's Ag Lab project, which was part of the Digital Innovation Festival in September. This consisted of creating short films for the social media. He attended marketing webinars during the festival to improve his skills in his own time.
A full-time student up until Year 10, he is also employed part-time at Horsham Electronics as a retail assistant. He manages social media pages for the Horsham and Bendigo stores.
Bart just signed up to study Certificate III in Business and is employed by the Horsham Agricultural Society to undertake this school-based traineeship while also studying VCAL and VET as he goes into Year 11 at Horsham College.
60 Years of Wimmera Rock was a three-day community event which saw Wimmera band members reunite.
This reunion was enjoyed by thousands of former Horsham residents and current residents along with band members returning to Horsham to perform.
Current local bands were also included in three concerts over two nights across the city from Maydale Pavilion at the Showgrounds, to the Town Hall Theatre and Heritage Hall.
The event was challenged by inclement weather and the scheduled concerts at the Soundshell had to be relocated to the Heritage Hall and the Exchange Hotel at short notice.
More than 50 bands and musicians were involved in the entertainment.
Many other local technicians volunteered their time or provided discounted rates for equipment hire and labour.
The event is the brainchild of Lynton Brown who coordinated much of the concept of the event with a band member coming from as far as Germany to reform his band.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.