Rowan Gribben earns top Arcadia honour

By James Bennett

There is nothing like a decked out CFA Hall and the smell of breakfast to know it's Australia Day in Arcadia.

Community members were up early to celebrate the occasion and taking the top honour of Arcadia Citizen of the Year was Rowan Gribben.

Mr Gribben is known around town as a successful wool classer.

He is involved with the Arcadia Fire Brigade as well as the Shepparton Show and Shearing Competition Committee member, Arcadia Progress Association, Arcadia Landcare Group and Kialla West Uniting Church.

His brother John, spoke highly of Mr Gribben's work ethic despite being born profoundly deaf.

“He's had a lot of difficulties with communication in many cases but he's a workaholic,” he said.

“He's a successful farming of cattle, sheep and cropping. Rowan loves his wool classing and he does a lot around the area.

“He's a real interesting character because he might be wool classing the other side of Benalla or Arcadia or Euroa, so you have to be there at 7.30 and everything must be right.

“But because he's deaf, he doesn't have an alarm clock so he's been able to teach himself how to wake up at the correct times; it's just amazing.

“While he hasn't being on boards or held president or secretary positions he's being behind the scenes with local community.”

Mr Gribben said his brother has been heavily involved as a delegate for the Victorian Farmers’ Federation.

He added Mr Gribben is always the first to arrive at a working bee or community event.

Arcadia residents also heard from guest speaker Lindy Allen, the Regional Arts Victoria and Regional Arts Australia chief executive.