Australia Day award winners announced 2024

Published on 17 January 2024

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Kaniva resident Michael Hodges is West Wimmera Shire’s Australia Day citizen of the year.

The award will be presented to Mr Hodges at Kaniva’s Australia Day celebrations on Friday.

Other Australia Day award winners include community event of the year Henley on Lake Wallace, in Edenhope, and community group of the year Lake Wallace parkrun.

Mayor Tim Meyer said Council had an extremely high calibre of nominations to choose from this year.

“We have so many outstanding people in our communities doing amazing work,” he said.

Cr Meyer said Mr Hodges was a deserving winner of the citizen of the year award.

“Michael's unwavering commitment to Kaniva has been invaluable,” he said.

“His contributions, spanning over two decades, reflect the true essence of community spirit."

Cr Meyer commended Michael's dedication to Ambulance Victoria, where he devoted more than 20 years.

Mr Hodges has also been involved for more than two decades with the Kaniva Leeor Football Club, and the Kaniva Swimming Pool committee. He also played a pivotal role in the construction of the Kaniva Community Hub.

"Michael's contributions extend far beyond his professional and community engagement,” Cr Meyer said.

“His commitment to the town's well-being, both personally and professionally, makes him a deserving recipient of the Citizen of the Year award.”

The event of the year was Henley on Lake Wallace, which celebrated 100 years in 2023.

The centennial celebration not only marked a significant milestone but showcased the committee’s dedication to keeping the traditional Edenhope event alive.

The community group of the year was Lake Wallace parkrun, which began in December 2022 and has since attracted hundreds of participants and volunteers.

The parkrun displayed outstanding dedication to fostering community well-being through free, weekly, 5km events. These events promote inclusivity, volunteerism, and social connections.

Cr Meyer said all the of winners made enormous contributions to the shire.

“Our shire would not function without the work of all of these tireless volunteers who put so much time and effort into making our communities great,” he said.

“Our citizen of the year volunteers with many different groups and organisations, while Henley on Lake Wallace and Lake Wallace parkrun are run entirely by dedicated volunteers.

“We thank all these people for the amazing work that they do in our shire.”

Cr Meyer said all winners would be formally recognised at Australia Day ceremonies on Friday, January 26.

Winners will receive a framed certificate, and lapel pin.



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