Volunteer given Hepburn's top honours

JOHN Walter has been named Hepburn Shire’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year.

Mayor Bill McClenaghan said Mr Walter was recognised for his volunteer work both within his hometown of Drummond and throughout the shire.

He revitalised the local Community Fireguard group, helped rehabilitate the Drummond Avenue of Honour and organised get-togethers to set up contact between neighbours.

Mr Walter has also been a long-time Malmsbury District Landcare Group member, voluntarily spraying neighbours’ weeds and collecting local native plant seed for propagation and distribution to land owners.

“For these and many other voluntary acts, John has been deemed a very worthy recipient of the Hepburn Shire Citizen of the Year,” Cr McClenaghan said.

Hepburn Shire’s Young Citizen of the Year was given to Amy Harrison, who has been a Daylesford Riding for the Disabled member for four years. Ms Harrison helps prepare RDA riders and horses for events, volunteers weekly to assist riders, has represented RDA at workshops and has spoken about it at functions.

“Amy has demonstrated enormous dedication to Riding for the Disabled through her support and contribution to the Daylesford RDA Centre and team and is commended for her service to the community,” Cr McClenaghan said.

Hepburn Shire’s Community Event of the Year was Children’s Booktown 2012, created as part of the annual Clunes Booktown festival.

The Clunes Youth Group, assisted by local librarian Catherine Hill, transformed the library into a Narnia-themed fantasy land with storytelling, writers’ workshops, Manga and cartoon drawing workshops and fun activities for all ages.

“The young organisers’ efforts and the environment they created was outstanding and a very special feature of Booktown,” Cr McClenaghan said.

Core group organisers were Alice Newitt, Aiden McHarg, Erin McHarg and Alexandra Turner-Hitchcock.

Golden Plains Shire Citizen of the Year was Louise McCann, recognised for her work with the Inverleigh Early Learning Centre.

Senior Citizen of the Year was Lyell Reeves of Bannockburn, who was awarded for a variety of roles and volunteer positions.

Young Citizen of 2013 was Jaymee-Lin Ellis of Newtown, who received the award for her work with local youth, particularly through an anti-bullying initiative.

Community Event of the Year was given to the Dereel Community Safety Expo.

fiona.henderson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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