KANVIA'S optimism campaign has come to a climax, with the town declaring itself the most optimistic town in all of Australia.
More than 50 people attended a dinner on Wednesday night at Kaniva's Commercial Hotel to celebrate the initiative, which had Kaniva residents from all walks of life share their answer to the simple question, 'What makes you optimistic?'.
The campaign was organised by former parliamentarian and chief optimism officer at the Centre for Optimism Victor Perton, who appeared at the event virtually from Melbourne.
"I've loved walking the streets of Kaniva and asking them what makes them optimistic," he said.
"The wonderful consensus is that Kaniva is on their way up. There's confidence in young people, the entrepreneurial people, there's confidence in good things to come"
The evening also showcased a collection of videos from Kaniva residents about what made them optimistic.
Margaret Coutts said optimism helped her cope with difficult times living through WWII, epidemics, polio, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, mouse and rabbit plagues.
"The beliefs, faith and strong foundations of the people in this district will always be relevant to the continued optimism that, I believe abounds here," she said.
"We have beautiful people living here, the majority of whom were born here including young families, who are a joy to all, others who have come to reside and work here, and retire here. All very special in the community."
Kylie King said her optimism came from surrounding herself with positive people, and working for the community.
"I'm optimistic because I surround myself with positive can do people," she said.
"I see growth and improvement in my community. I appreciate that people here identify areas that could use improvement and not only come up with great ideas to add value to our town but they follow through, work together and contribute to the projects rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
"Kaniva is a friendly inclusive welcoming community that comes together with a common interest or purpose and also celebrate and accepts people's individualities."
Louise Hobbs spoke about returning to the area after completing her degree and the employment opportunities available, and making a positive impact on young lives through teaching.
Jock Maddern spoke about how he could see the investment in the area as he travelled around as a stock agent for Kyle Livestock.
Bob Cane spoke about relocating to Kaniva and buying the pub and the Australian spirit and identity that Kaniva embodies.
A number of prizes were given out on the night, including best videos won by Alla Grant, Sienna and Colby Champness, Most creative video was by Sue Berry, Most viewed video was by Lyn Powell. Best business video was by IGA's Lachie Doyle "choosing to be optimistic".
Kaniva and District Progress Association Chairman, Charlie Ferrier thanked all of the speakers and presented them with vouchers from local businesses.
He thanked West Wimmera Shire Council for their sponsorship through their Social Connection Grant and Member for Western Victoria Stuart Grimley for his giveaways.
"It was a good turnout and everyone enjoyed themselves, it makes the future look bright," he said.
West Wimmera Shire Council mayor Bruce Meyer congratulated Kaniva and District Progress Association on the night.
"These grants are about lifting people's spirits and this night has certainly done that" he said.
To see the full collection of optimism videos, visit https://kaniva.info/optimism.html.
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