St Arnaud's Australia Day honours

ST ARNAUD - Both young and old were recognised at this year's St Arnaud Australia Day celebrations at Market Square.

Citizen of the Year Howard Amos has worked for the St Arnaud Secondary College for 35 years.

His approachability and rapport with staff, students and the wider College community has always been held in high regard.

Since his retirement, Howard has continued to volunteer his time to the school gardens and grounds maintenance.

He gives up his time during the week and at weekends, planting new lawn, weeding, mowing and pruning.

He is always looking out for others in the community and has been known to look after people's gardens if they are unwell or experience an emergency.

Young Citizen of the Year, Matilda Douglas is the chair of the Northern Grampians Shire's first ever Youth Action Council.

She is a capable leader who encourages all other members to reach their full potential, while striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for all young people in the shire.

Matilda completed her law degree with honours and was recently admitted as an Australian Lawyer after completing a post graduate diploma of legal practice at the College of Law.

Matilda is an integral part of the St Arnaud A grade netball team and an active volunteer of the club, especially with the annual ball. In addition, she is a dancer at Dance Capital and plays A grade basketball.

There were joint winners this year in the Community Event of the Year category with Telling It Like It Was and the Victorian Women on Farms Gathering recognised.

Pauline Coates initiated and organised 'Telling It Like It Was', a day to celebrate Seniors Week.

The event invited senior citizens to tell the story of who they are which had a positive impact on the entire community.

What was originally going to be a nice little afternoon tea with a few stories turned into something much bigger. A few queries came in at first, followed by more entry forms being printed and collected and sons and daughters coming in to find out about the event.

Soon staff were flooded with stories, photos and memorabilia and had to find a larger venue for the event.

The 24th annual Victorian Women on Farms Gathering was held in St Arnaud in April last year. The event united St Arnaud and its districts on a scale of huge proportion.

It attracted people from all over Victoria and interstate for two and a half days of activities, and helped to promote St Arnaud and others towns in the Northern Grampians Shire.

Thirteen organisations were employed to cater for the event which involved 20 workshops, 13 entertainers, 48 market stall holders and over 30 sponsors and supporters.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were injected into the local community and tourism in the area received a boost.

Senior of the Year Joan Supple has been the pavilion secretary for the St Arnaud Show for about 30 years.

She even closes her business in the week leading up to the show so she can be available to take entries.

Over the years Joan has also been involved in scouts and guides and many other activities her children have been involved in.

She has also held numerous fashion parades to fundraise for a variety of charities.

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