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2019 Australia Day Awards - Honour Roll

Smiling faces of award winners with Mayor Machin and MP Maree Edwards.

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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