Saturday, January 28, 2012

australia day, citizenship and awards

Australia Day is always a big day in local government. At Yarra Ranges it's a day where we award community contribution with our Australia Day Awards and also hold a Citizenship Ceremony as part of the day.

It is always a delight to see a Lyster Ward resident take up citizenship at a Citizenship Ceremony.

I started my day at Burrinja, my official role at the Citizenship Ceremony was to do the "Welcome to New Citizens" speech on behalf of council. It's a privilege to be part of the proceedings.

"...As a Yarra Ranges Councillor I welcome, embrace and value the diversity of views and backgrounds of our citizens. You enrich the social fabric of our wonderful shire..."

Always a joyous occasion, it's great to be able to share the event with people from all walks of life, some who've only been here a short time, some who've been here a very long time.

Burrinja was also the venue for the Yarra Ranges Australia Day Awards. It was wonderful to be able to present the Ken McIntosh Memorial Award for Young Environmental Achiever of the Year, Jordan Crook.

Jordan Crook and Cr Samantha Dunn, Lyster Ward at the Yarra Ranges Australia Day Awards.

This award honours the contribution of Ken McIntosh who was a driving force in environmental and conservation issues in the Yarra Ranges.

Jordan is a passionate advocate on the environment and social justice. During his time as a student at Sherbrooke Community School, Jordan was committed to the education of fellow students as well as the broader school on a range of environmental issues.

Supporting the Sea Shepherd is one of Jordan's key passions and the issue of whaling got a mention in Jordan's acceptance speech as well as the issue of logging in the Toolangi forests.

He played a key leadership role at his school and led the charge in making the school more sustainable. He has continued his leadership role and is currently involved in the Belgrave Survival Day organising committee.

He is an inspirational example of a young person committed to protecting the environmental and cultural values of our region, now and into the future.

Winners for the day include:
Citizen of the Year - Andrew Fullagar
Young Citizen of the Year - Joshua Watson
Community Group of the Year - Millgrove Residents Action Group
Environmental Achiever of the Year - Irene Pearey
Ken McIntosh Memorial Award 2012 Young Environmental Achiever of the Year - Jordan Crook
Mayors Lifetime Achievement Award - Leslie Skate
Ian De la Rue Community Leadership Award - Margaret Brooks
Certificates of Recognition - Alice Keogh, Jillian Hess & Dorothy Barber.

Congratulations to all our winners, your contribution to the shire is exemplary and you make Yarra Ranges a great place to live.

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