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Congratulations to local award winners

2019 Citizens of the year with dignitaries

Congratulations to our 2019 Mount Alexander Australia Day Award winners.

Saturday 26 January 2019

The generous contribution of local residents will be recognised at a community event at Victory Park on Australia Day, with Ken Maddern, Milou Albrecht, Brian McCormick and the Mount Alexander Seniors Festival to be announced as award winners.

The 2019 Mount Alexander Shire Australia Day Award recipients are:

• Ken Maddern – Citizen of the Year
• Milou Albrecht – Young Citizen of the Year
• Brian McCormick – Senior Citizen of the Year
• Mount Alexander Seniors Festival – Community Event of the Year.

Mount Alexander Shire Mayor Bronwen Machin said she was impressed by the many achievements of this year’s nominees.

“Through these awards we have again seen just how much time and effort so many of our locals are giving to our community,” said Mayor Machin.

“Congratulations to the many nominees and winners, and thank you for making such a positive difference to our community,” she said.

Ken Maddern was named Citizen of the Year for his tireless contribution to junior sports, particularly his role in the upgrade of the junior sporting precinct at Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve. The reserve now has six new netball courts, new cricket nets, state of the art facilities and multipurpose pavilion.

“It’s clear that Ken is incredibly passionate about getting young people active and giving them the best chance to get involved in sport,” said Mayor Machin.

“Along with his role as President of the Castlemaine District Netball Association Ken has been involved in cycling for more than 25 years and is a successful coach for junior, elite and masters cyclists,” she said.

Senior Citizen of the Year Brian McCormick worked over many years to establish the Castlemaine Men’s Shed, a highly valued and utilised centre.

“Along with the Men’s Shed Brian generously gives his time to help people of all ages, whether it’s improving their woodworking skills, leading history walks around our region, or coordinating volunteer projects such as the lovely fence at Chewton Primary School,” said Mayor Machin.

“Our Young Citizen of the Year, Milou Albrecht, shares my passion for the environment and she has been instrumental in helping students to find their voice against inaction on climate change,” she said.

“What started as a school strike with a few friends quickly morphed into a national day of action that saw thousands of students around the country participating in non-violent protests. It’s inspiring to see young people making a difference and pushing for change.

“Our Community Event of the Year was the tremendous Mount Alexander Seniors Festival, which provided more than 30 activities and events around our shire.

“This is such a positive and uplifting event and offers so many opportunities to help people to come together and have some fun. Thank you to the committee and all the other volunteers who worked so hard to make the festival such a success.”

Council worked with local elder Uncle Rick Nelson and the Upper Loddon Indigenous group Nalderun to plan the Australia Day activities, including a Welcome to Country with Uncle Rick, supported by Aunty Paulette Nelson and Kane Nelson on digeridoo.

Two residents will pledge their loyalty to Australia in a special Citizenship Ceremony and will be blessed to keep them safe on Dja Dja Wurrung Country.

Guest speaker Lucy Mayes will speak to the many things to love about our local community, the importance of our shared history and the future.

“And a big thank you to all the community members, volunteers and staff who have helped organise our Australia Day events at Victory Park this year,” said Mayor Machin.

Learn more about the award winners and community event at www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/AustraliaDay.

About the winners

Citizen of the Year – Ken Maddern

Ken is a passionate supporter of junior sport. For nearly two decades he has advocated on behalf of user groups for access to first class sporting facilities. His hard work, and the effort of many other volunteers has brought this vision to life, with the redevelopment of the Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve. Players are now enjoying six new netball courts, state of the art facilities, and a brand new multipurpose pavilion which was completed in December. Ken worked tirelessly and volunteers many thousands of hours to ensure the redevelopment would get the best outcomes for the community. Under Ken’s leadership as President of the Castlemaine District Netball Association, Netball Victoria named the group Small Association of the Year. Ken has also been a successful coach for junior, elite and masters cyclists and is a major contributor in Open Cycling events. Along with bringing thousands of cyclists and their families to the shire, these give young people the opportunity to participate in events on their doorstep. Ken is renowned as someone who works hard and sees things through to the end and is making great strides to encourage young people to become more active and improve the health and wellbeing of our community.

Senior Citizen of the Year – Brian McCormick

Brian worked tirelessly over many years to establish the Castlemaine Men’s Shed. He negotiated with government departments and Mount Alexander Golf Club to secure the land and applied for grants and sought donations. As President of the Castlemaine Men’s Shed he continues to dedicate a lot of his time to the community and has coordinated projects for the members, such as the fence at Chewton Primary School. He’s volunteered his time to teach woodwork to students at Campbells Creek Primary School and has also taken senior citizens on outings and shopping expeditions. Brian is a wealth of knowledge about the shire, and has led history walks around Castlemaine and beyond. Many people in the community know Brian as generous with his time, immensely patient, kind and cheerful and an incredible asset to our community.

Young Citizen of the Year – Milou Albrecht

Milou made headlines around the country as leading a school strike to protest the government’s inaction on climate change. Milou and her fellow students initiated a strike, which quickly garnered support from other students around Australia. Their non-violent protests struck a chord and Milou was interviewed by journalists around the world, including the New York Times. On Friday 30 November Milou and her friends led around 200 students from Castlemaine and surrounding towns onto the train for Melbourne, where they were met by thousands of other striking students. Thirty similar strikes were held around Australia on the same day, with another nation-wide strike planned for March this year. Through this campaign Milou has demonstrated incredible passion and the power of action. She stands up for her beliefs and is determined to effect change.

Community Event of the Year – Mount Alexander Seniors Festival

The annual Mount Alexander Senior’s Festival is fun and uplifting celebration of senior members of our community. The festival is organised by a committee of volunteers who are passionate about bringing people together and giving seniors the opportunity to build connections. More than 30 separate events were held right around the shire including at Newstead, Harcourt, Chewton, Campbells Creek, Metcalfe and Castlemaine. The festival has grown over time and last year featured a special public launch event, which brought together 400 people of all ages. The committee also organised an expo featuring local service providers, organisations and groups for seniors, which saw 1,000 visitors through the Market Building over two days. Many groups and clubs made a significant contribution to the festival through working bees and assistance. As with any event there was a tremendous contribution from committee members who gave their time, expertise and more. The festival continues to grow from strength to strength and provides many outing options throughout October.

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