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Published Wednesday 26 January 2022
Tags:General, Media Release

2022 Community Award recipients announced

The Mitchell Shire community welcomed 19 new Australian citizens and announced five Community Award recipients in a ceremony held as part of Australia Day in Broadford today.

The annual official Council Australia Day event is being hosted by the Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell at the Island Reserve in Broadford.

Broadford was selected after an expression of interest process and has joined a significant number of other towns who have hosted the event over recent years.

The 2022 Mitchell Shire Community Award recipients are:

  • Citizen of the Year: Norman Mason
  • Young Citizen of the Year: Tatiana Yousif
  • Online or Community Event of the Year: Seymour Local Aboriginal Network NAIDOC Week event
  • Community Group of the Year: Love in Action Wallan
  • Access and Inclusion Champion Award: Mitchell Multicultural Community Association

"These awards in some small way give recognition and thanks to people who have done so much for our communities, in many and varied ways," Mitchell Shire Mayor Bill Chisholm said.

“Lifelong volunteers, dedicated young people and active community groups are the lifeblood of our Shire in our urban and rural areas.

“These people selflessly volunteer to make a real difference to other people’s everyday lives. The awards this year continue to showcase the wonderful community spirit and the high calibre of volunteers we have across the shire.

“I encourage everyone to thank the recipients for their service as well as the many other volunteers who dedicate their time in our communities.”

Citizen of the Year - Norm Mason

Norm Mason is one of the Broadford Cemetery Trust’s longest serving members.

He joined the Broadford Cemetery Trust in 1989 and served as a committee member for more than three decades until September 2021.

During his 32 years with the Trust, Norm has held several positions including Committee Member, Honorary Committee Member, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.

He is the longest serving Chairman in the Trust’s recorded history and was the statutory representative at most funerals from 1993 to 2016.

Norm ensured correct grave location and grave preparation and liaised with funeral directors and families.

As Secretary, Norm secured many of the grants to improve the cemetery, especially the paving, cremation walls and IT equipment.

Norm’s service to the Trust was most prominent in his role as coordinator of burials and as the original contact for a burial at the Broadford cemetery.

He also filled the role of recording Rights of Interment, payment of burial fees, sourcing headstones and plaques and recording grave locations.

The rose garden at the Piper Street frontage to the cemetery was planned, planted and tended by Norm and his wife Evelyn for many years.

During his time, new maintenance standards for the cemetery were set, and this high standard of care continues to drive the Cemetery Trust members today.

Young Citizen of the Year

Tatiana,12, is committed to helping her community by assisting Kilmore Miniature Railway, where she has been a volunteer for more than three years.

She helps with ticket selling, setting up and cleaning on running days and working bees.

Tatiana also helps the 1st Kilmore Joey Scout Group where she has been volunteering & youth member for four years.

She gives her time regularly to these groups and is also a popular local soccer player.

Her quiet demeanor and commitment make her a worthy recipient of this award.

Community Event of the Year - Seymour Local Aboriginal Network NAIDOC Week event

The Seymour Local Aboriginal Network’s NAIDOC Week event was one of very few events that were able to happen between March 2020 and October 2021 due to COVID restrictions.

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for Australians to come together to celebrate and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and achievements.

The theme for NAIDOC Week in 2021 was Heal Country and the entire event was built around celebrating connection to Country and promoting environmental sustainability.

The event attracted more than 200 community members as well as health and service organisations and community groups with stalls and activities offering information and fun for participants.

The event allowed community members, as well as health and community service organisations, businesses and professionals, to engage with one another, network and celebrate face-to-face and the opportunity for community members to find out more about what’s happening in town in a casual, safe space.

As well as being an important event in its own right, the Seymour event provided a welcome morale and energy boost following lockdowns for most of the year.

Community Group of the Year - Love in Action Wallan

Love In Action has been providing support for people in Wallan, Kilmore, Broadford and surrounding areas for more than six years.

The group began in Wallan from a lounge room, initially helping six families, they now support more than 320.

The group provides emergency non-perishable food, clothing and essential goods for anyone doing it tough including people experiencing family violence and homelessness in the shire.

In addition to emergency relief, the group also helps to link up people with offers of support directly with those in need of assistance.

Love in Action also holds a number of activities through the year for people who are isolated and vulnerable such as Christmas Day meals and activities.

Christmas and Easter appeals provide food hampers and presents for families.

Demand has increased sharply in the past two years with the ongoing impacts of the COVID pandemic seeing more offers of assistance and more people needing help.

When the COVID pandemic began, the group provided a range of support to community members in need due to economic impacts and isolation. They also collaborated with Mickleham Sikh Volunteers to bring warm meals to people in need in Mitchell Shire, including culturally appropriate meals.

Access and Inclusion Champion - Mitchell Multicultural Community Association Inc.

The Mitchell Multicultural Community Association teamed up with local businesses to help those in need as part of the 2021 Mitchell Diwali Festival.

The association organised a ‘pay it forward’ meal drive to help those impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Community members could purchase a meal from local businesses that could be picked up by those in need or delivered to them by volunteers.

Award winners

Award winners, pictured L-R:

  • Community Group of the Year award winner: Love in Action Wallan
  • Young Citizen of the Year Tatiana Yousif, pictured with her family
  • Citizen of the Year Norm Mason, pictured with his wife Evelyn

Note: Access and Inclusion Champions and Community Event of the Year were not present to accept their awards. Council will present the awards at a later stage.

This page was last updated on 31 January 2022.