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Australia Day

2020 Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony

2020 Recipients

Citizen of the Year - John Perrett

John Perrett has been committed to the Mitchell Shire Community for more than 20 years. John has been the Kilmore and District Men’s Shed president for 10 out of 14 years and is currently the shed’s Vice-President.

In 2005, John was one of the driving forces to have a men’s shed established and has helped the membership grow from eight people to nearly 100.

John is a mentor within the Men’s Shed movement and is a foundation member. He supports new members as they settle into our community and helps them create life-long friendships. More than 90 per cent of the Men’s Shed members have resided outside of Mitchell Shire and John is the first face they see when they arrive at the Men’s Shed.

John has ensured that programs were well-run and organised to get members active in the community. The men work together to create a host of different items for the community’s use as they share knowledge in different fields of expertise.

John was the Vice-President of the Wandong Heathcote Junction Community Group and managed the core work of clean ups and beautification for 15 years.

John is part of Kilmore Probus and has been a member for 16 years. He served as President and Vice-President during this time.

John served on the Kilmore U3A Committee as Secretary, Newsletter Writer and as a Facilitator. He has been part of this group for 18 years.

Young Citizen of the Year - Ebony Layley

Ebony Layley works tirelessly alongside her peers in Mitchell Shire and is currently Mitchell Shire Youth Mayor.

Her portfolio includes dedicated campaigns to highlight youth mental health and offering strategies to young people to cope. She has spent three years on Youth Council.

During Christmas 2018, Ebony spearheaded a program to help struggling families throughout Mitchell Shire.

Ebony and her fellow Youth Councillors collected 11 laundry baskets full of toiletries from various homes and businesses in the region. As part of this project, she worked directly alongside Love In Action – based in Wallan – to help other residents out.

These were used in food hampers and made a difference for many struggling families.

Her time on Mitchell Shire Youth Council has been outstanding. She has been to Canberra on advocacy trips and was part of the 2019 Federal Election campaign to bring more mental health services to the region.

Ebony continues to drive change in the youth mental health sector – and she hasn’t even graduated high school yet.

Community Event of the Year - Broadford and District Historical Society, Australia Day 2019 exhibition

The Broadford Historical Society is a small volunteer group which records, preserves and promotes local history through exhibitions, school and group tours.

They have been recognised for their 2019 Australia Day Exhibition.

The society has a number of historical items that have been relocated to their precinct, including the 1891 Courier Office complete with the original printing press and lino type machine, a wooden slab house, Broadford jail and a primary school building.

Their 2019 Australia Day exhibition was featured in the Australian Paper Manufacturers (APM). A DVD was created of the exhibition which has been entered into the Community History awards and has been short listed for the award.

The display created so much interest that the exhibition was extended for many months to give the public the opportunity to see it.

Community Group of the Year - Seymour Agricultural and Pastoral Society

The Seymour Agricultural and Pastoral Society has been within the community for 161 years and is still going strong in 2020. The society is full of volunteers and have been behind some of the best events and innovations in Seymour.

The 2019 Seymour Show was spearheaded by this group and is one of their greatest highlights each year.

The Society also organises workshops at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo (the 2020 edition will be held 14-16 Feb), plays a major part with the Tastes of the Goulburn, runs seminars on matters of interest to the community, holds the Annual Working Sheepdog Event and supports the Victorian Wine Show having started it more than 30 years ago.

Joint Access and Inclusion Champion Award – Paris Ingham

Paris is a Youth Councillor in her first year for Mitchell Shire Council and is a strong advocate for people of all ages with a disability. Paris shows that her disability is not a barrier to participating in community and being a strong advocate for young people in the area.

During her first year in Youth Council, Paris has made a strong impact to senior Council by highlighting accessibility concerns. She has also attended the Northern Regional Youth Forum where she spoke to a room full of her peers.

Paris worked closely with the Kilmore Hub that is being proposed along Sydney Street, Kilmore. She emphasised the need for wider doorways, ramps and accessible car parking spaces – all of which are considered in the first draft.

Joint Access and Inclusion Champion Award – Seymour College Inclusive Education Class

The Seymour College Inclusive Education Class students have volunteered to create an all-abilities sensory garden at Seymour College in 2020.

The students have designed a number of panels for the garden which is set to be accessed by students of all abilities within the primary-aged group.

The Class came together and decided they wanted to dedicate their time to give something back to the community. The concepts were produced by the class and the proposal included plants and murals.

Most of the class are also volunteers outside of school and all excel in this space.

Citizenship Ceremony

Mitchell Shire was buzzing with excitement as a large crowd attended the Pyalong Memorial Gardens for the 2020 Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony.

There were 38 people who became Australian Citizens on the day.

Pyalong Neighbourhood House hosted the celebrations.

This page was last updated on 7 February 2020.