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Published Tuesday 26 January 2021

Mitchell community comes together

The Mitchell Shire community came together to celebrate and welcome five new Australian citizens and five new Community Award winners in a ceremony held in Wallan today.

The Wallan Neighbourhood House and Mitchell Shire Council partnered to bring the Australia Day and Community Award event to the Wallan Multipurpose Centre as a COVID-safe event that heard the stories of many great people within the community.

The event was significant for the community coming out of a year of cancelled celebrations and functions in 2020.

The Community Award winners in 2021:

  • Citizen of the Year – John Simpson (Wandong)
    John Simpson is part of both the SES and CFA in the Wandong area. He has served for more than two decades in the role and played a part in the search for young Will Callaghan at Mt Disappointment last year.
  • Access and Inclusion Champion – Adam Georgelin (Wallan)
    Adam Georgelin, a Richmond Tigers Wheelchair Footy Player, defied the odds and pushed his wheelchair the entire length of the Great Victorian Rail Trail. His inspirational story connected with the community in a big way – and he wants to now use his platform as Champion to gain more interest in wheelchair footy from football clubs.
  • Young Citizen of the Year – Hayley
  • Community Group of the Year – Wallan Circle of Friendship (Wallan)
    The Wallan Circle of Friendship was first established 40 years ago as a group to support people in Wallan. Now, the group regularly fundraises for charity groups and supports its own members through hard times. In 2020, the group stayed connected through a newsletter, delivered by the group’s own volunteers.
  • Community Event of the Year – Broadford Primary School Display by the Broadford and District Historical Society
    The group put together the Broadford Primary School display on Australia Day in 2020. The showpiece was a book created to document the rich history of the school in the community. It was a hit with people young and old.


Comments from Mayor Cr Rhonda Sanderson

“It was fantastic to celebrate alongside our community at the 2021 Australia Day and Community Awards event,” she said.

“The day is a community celebration of everyday people doing extraordinary things to help, honour and encourage each other. It was fantastic to see a wide range of award winners who have all inspired others – even in the toughest of times.

“One of the great aspects of being Mayor is being able to welcome our newest citizens into our community during the Citizenship Ceremony. It was an honour to play a small part in this lifechanging moment for the five new citizens.”


This page was last updated on 26 January 2021.