Nominate a mate for Australia Day awards

By James Arbuthnott

FOR THE first time in its 55-year history, 2019 saw Rochester abandon its Citizen of the Year award.

Nobody was nominated and the celebratory dinner disbanded, unable to recognise the efforts of groups and individuals in Rochester and surrounds for the year.

The Rochester Australia Day Celebrations Committee, a small community group, organises a flag-raising and awards dinner each year.

And they hope to see quite a few community members nominated for Australia Day in 2020, with applications now available online and at the Campaspe Shire customer service centre in Rochester.

"Nominating in any category provides a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank local individuals or groups who have worked to make a difference in their particular area," said assistant secretary of RADCC Sharon Herne.

"In the past few years we have often only received one nomination for some categories and, considering the number of community minded people in Rochester, it is disappointing that friends and colleagues don't take the time to write a nomination."

The small committee of seven members, including one who is in their 90s and was one of the founding members 40 years ago, hope to recruit younger members to bring fresh ideas to the committee.

"How to encourage the younger generations in our community to get involved in volunteering is a challenge," Sharon said.

"Obviously, many have full lives, but you will find that most of the people in volunteer committees in Rochester are over 60 and many much older.

"They have been involved for years and are ready to step back."

Categories for the Australia Day Awards include citizen, sportsperson, senior citizen and student of the year.

The committee also welcomes representatives from community and sporting organisations, as well as individuals who would like to join the committee.

Those who would like to assist or have ideas for Australia Day 2020 can attend the RSL Hall on Monday, August 26 at 7.30pm.

For more information call 0439 842 177 or 0409 280 509.