Some of St Arnaud's finest citizens have been recognised for their contributions to their community as part of the Northern Grampians Shire Council's 2021 Australia Day celebrations.
The festivities began at 8am in St Arnaud with a free community breakfast in Market Square, followed by the Australia Day awards presentations at 9am and finished off with morning tea in the Town Hall.
Troy Hendy was announced as the Citizen of the Year for his work providing hay, food and supplies to drought stricken farmers throughout 2016-2019.
In this time, he was involved in hay runs to various Queensland locations as part of the Burrumbuttock Hayrunners Convoy and privately gifted two truckloads of food and drink items from IGA Victoria and delivered them to a drought stricken farmer in Queensland.
Mr Hendy also privately gifted 84 pallets of hot cross buns from IGA Victoria and delivered them to another drought affected farmer in Queensland in 2018, as well as playing a key role in organising and transporting goods to Black Saturday evacuees at Alexandra, Victoria in 2009.
Young Citizen of the Year Callum Edwards was also recognised for his large contribution to St Arnaud through his work, coaching and volunteer roles.
Mr Edwards has worked as a projectionist/usher with the St Arnaud Community Cinema, as an assistant coach with the 2019 premiership under-15 team at St Arnaud Hockey Club and as food services assistant at East Wimmera Health Service, helping older members of the St Arnaud community.
Mr Edwards was also a 2020 student council representative at St Arnaud Secondary College, a 2020 house vice-captain and has been offered places with the Community Achiever Program at Australian Catholic University and the Aspire Program at Latrobe University.
"I was shocked and quite surprised and I was honoured when they called my name out," he said.
"I don't know how to explain, it was almost surreal and it felt like it wasn't really happening."
After completing his VCE in 2020, Mr Edwards is now moving to Warrnambool to study a Bachelor of Nursing with Deakin University.
"I am actually quite nervous about that, but I am also still excited at the same time," he said.
The Senior Citizen of the Year award was also presented during the ceremony and was given to Gordon Wright.
Mr Wright has been an active member of the St Arnaud RSL Sub Branch since 1994, a member with the St Arnaud Uncle Bob's Club since 1979 and involved with the St Arnaud Citizens Brass Band as a committee member for 20 years and the president for four years.
He was also a member of the inaugural St Arnaud Festival Committee.
Finally, the council also crowned the St Arnaud Young Farmers - Bendigo Bank Harvest Festival the Community Event of the Year.
The Harvest Festival is a free community event run annually for the past four years.
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Murray Emerson, said it was impossible to measure the positive impact on our community made by the award recipients.
"Our communities are changed forever by the people who work so hard and are such incredible forces for good in our region," he said.
"I thank and congratulate each and every one for their amazing accomplishments."
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