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Congratulations to Australia Day Award winners

Australia Day Award winners 2021

Mount Alexander Shire Council is pleased to announce the well-deserving recipients of this year’s Australia Day Awards. The awards were presented at a community event in Victory Park today.

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Mount Alexander Shire Council is pleased to announce the well-deserving recipients of this year’s Australia Day Awards. The awards were presented at a community event in Castlemaine today.

This year’s winners of the Mount Alexander Shire Australia Day Awards are:

• Citizen of the Year – Ian Gallagher
• Senior Citizen of the Year – Lorraine le Plastrier
• Young Citizen of the Year – Jade Bujeya
• Community Event of the Year – The Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show.

Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire Tony Cordy congratulated the winners and nominees for their work.

“On behalf of the community and my fellow Councillors I thank each of you for your incredible contribution to our shire,” said Mayor Cordy.

“Ian, Lorraine and Jade, along with the organisers of the Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show, demonstrate the extraordinary difference that individuals can make to our community,” he said.

“Over many years they have each given their time and skills to help make our shire a better place to live, work and visit.

“Thank you for your commitment to our community. Your efforts are highly valued and widely appreciated.”

Along with presentation of the awards, four people took the pledge to become Australian citizens at the Australia Day - Survival Day community event. Entertainment was provided by the Castlemaine Highland Pipe Band and the Rotary Club of Castlemaine provided a free BBQ lunch.

Dja Dja Wurrung Elder Uncle Rick Nelson performed a Welcome to Country at the community event. They began the morning with a Survival Day dawn smoking ceremony at Leanganook (Mount Alexander), which was livestreamed via YouTube.

“The dawn smoking ceremony was planned in partnership with our local Indigenous community to provide a more inclusive and holistic approach to Australia Day – Survival Day,” said Mayor Cordy.

“January 26 can be a day of mixed feelings for many members of our community. It is a day to celebrate our nation’s history, diversity and achievements while recognising the impact on our First Nations people,” he said.

“The dawn ceremony was an opportunity for education and healing, and also allowed our broader community to be part of the Dja Dja Wurrung culture. By working in partnership with our local First Nations community, we hope the day provided an opportunity for unity rather than division within the community.

The moving ceremony was live-broadcast on Council’s YouTube channel. It is available to watch online, along with coverage of the community event.

“Our Australia Day - Survival Day activities were a unifying boost after what has been a very challenging year,” said Mayor Cordy.

“Thank you to the many people who worked hard to coordinate the activities and bring the day together.

“If you missed the events I encourage you to take a look at the coverage on Council’s YouTube channel.”

For more information on the winners and links to the videos visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/AustraliaDay.
Council received two grants from the National Australia Day Council to support the local events.

2021 Mount Alexander Shire Australia Day Award winners

Citizen of the Year – Ian Gallagher

Ian Gallagher is a quiet achiever who is considerate, respectful and always ready to lend a hand. He has been a volunteer corrections officer for 15 years where he has earned the trust, respect and co-operation of offenders under his charge. Ian has also been an active member and full time volunteer of the Lions Club in Castlemaine for 15 years. Through this he chops and distributes firewood for locals. Ian is the driving force and key contributor for all Lions Club events as well as maintaining, transporting and operating the Lions food catering caravan. Ian contributes to raising funds for the local community, including the Lions McDonald Hill MASARG Respite House, and Castlemaine hospital among other community providers. He has also served on the committee of the Castlemaine and District Old Boys School Association for 12 years as well as being the President in 2018/2019. The association raises money to donate books and educational material to schools in the Castlemaine area.

Senior Citizen of the Year – Lorraine le Plastrier

Lorraine has been a longstanding, strong advocate for people in Mount Alexander Shire who live with disabilities. Lorraine was pivotal in establishing the Mount Alexander Shire Disability Advocacy Group (MASDAG). Under Lorraine’s leadership MASDAG has delivered many contributions to the community. Lorraine was instrumental in supporting the development of the Positive Ageing Advocacy Group, advocating for change on things that matter to older people in the community. In 2019, Lorraine joined the Healthy Heart of Victoria Control Group, contributing by providing insight through a disability and access lens. Last year, Lorraine continued her work throughout the pandemic by contributing to the Emergency Response Working Group. Through this, she supported the implementation of community projects, including the distribution of face masks. Lorraine’s love of people and compassion builds bridges and this often helps those who feel isolated. Lorraine uses her leadership and advocacy skills as well as her ability to connect and include people to work for social change and justice.

Young Citizen of the Year – Jade Bujeya

Jade has been an active volunteer and youth leader in our community for the past five years. She has coordinated various youth events and activities through her role on the Council’s Youth Advisory Group. In 2018, Jade founded the Youth Makers Market and maintains the lead role in the coordination of the event as well as being a stallholder. In 2015, Jade was a member of Castlemaine Secondary College’s Youth Parliament team. The team successfully debated and passed a bill for an opt-out organ donation system in Victoria. Jade has completed a Bachelor of Science at Latrobe University and is currently studying an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Science (majoring in applied mathematics) at Melbourne University. In 2019, she was accepted onto the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program which is an initiative of the Australian Government, aiming to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region. As part of the program, Jade spent 6 months studying in Korea.

Community Event of the Year – The Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show

The Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show would normally bring 200 trucks and raise tens of thousands of dollars that are distributed throughout the year to local charities, youth scholarships and community applications for assistance. The pandemic last year saw this event move online, which allowed them to reach a broader audience of over 40,000 people. In October the committee launched a photo competition, ‘At Work with Trucks’, with entries coming in from across Australia. A local artist was then hired to design a calendar featuring some of the photos and provided marketing material for future events. The committee also organised an online panel of speakers that was broadcast live to Facebook. Through the new skills acquired through their online events, the Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show worked with the Castlemaine Pioneers and Old Residents Association to assist them in presenting their History of Transport in Mount Alexander Shire exhibition on Facebook live to an audience of over 500 live viewers. In November, the Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show held a series of online events and presentations to bring the community together in lieu of the Truck Show event. However, with the easing of restrictions, the committee was able to enact a COVID-safe plan and hold a smaller version of the live truck show. It was also streamed to Facebook and garnered an audience of over 11,000 people. The changing conditions of last year allowed the Truck Show to broaden its audience and provided an opportunity to engage with a larger group of people through media interviews, which they hope will benefit future initiatives and the Truck Show event in 2021.

Image (from left to right): Maree Edwards MP – State Member for Bendigo West, Young Citizen of the Year – Jade Bujeya, , Citizen of the Year – Ian Gallagher, Senior Citizen of the Year – Lorraine le Plastrier, Mount Alexander Shire Mayor, Cr Tony Cordy, Community Event of the Year – The Castlemaine Rotary Truck Show, President Christine Barkla.

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