Australia Day 2015: Appreciation Awards for work during Moyston fire

Max McLean and Bill Taylor were recognised for their work during the Moystonfire. Picture: PETER PICKERINGARARAT Rural City Council presented two special awards to recognise the service of two citizens during the recent Moyston fire, Bill Taylor and Max McLean.
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Mayor Cr Paul Hooper said the newly introduced Australia Day Appreciation Awards were fitting to be included as part of this year’s Australia Day ceremony in Alexandra Gardens.

“The community of Moyston, along with the Ararat Rural City would like to formally appreciate the efforts of Moyston CFA captain Bill Taylor and Ararat group officer, Max McLean for their quick response and management of resources and communications that played a crucial role in protecting the township of Moyston from the fire early this month,” Cr Hooper said.

“Many surrounding houses were also protected in a situation that had potential for further loss of dwellings, and possibly lives.

“Both these gentlemen showed great leadership and assistance through a very difficult situation and I know that the communities of Moyston and Willaura very much appreciate the hard work they undertook.”

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Tom Uren dies aged 93

Tom Uren, one of the great characters of Australian post-war politics, has died in a Sydney nursing home this morning, aged 93.
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Uren, a Minister in both the Whitlam and Hawke Labor Governments, was also the Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party from 1975-77. He was a member of the federal parliament for 32 years and, in 2013, was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for his work on behalf of former prisoners of war.

The former Guildford resident had been appointed a companion of the Order of Australia for his service to the Parramatta Park Trust and welfare of veterans.

Portrait: Portrait of Tom Uren with his Archibald Prize portrait, and the artist who painted the work, Mirra Whale. 17th July 2014. Picture: Dallas Kilponen

Uren was born in Balmain on May 25, 1921 to Tom Uren and his wife, formerly Agnes Miller. He carried Cornish and Celtic blood from his father’s family, and Jewish and English from his paternal grandmother. After the family moved to Harbord when he was five, Tom walked barefooted to the local primary school, before being made to wear shoes to Manly Intermediate High.

He left school during the Depression, because his father, a former jockey and jack-of-all trades, was out of work. Young Tom helped classify rabbit and kangaroo skins, sold newspapers and caddied on golf courses. He gave all his earnings to his mother, a former barmaid, not just because they were poor but, he said later, because he wanted to marry her.

He became a surf lifesaver, rugby league forward and learnt to box at Jack Dunleavy’s gymnasium, perhaps driven by the fact that one of his father’s cousins, Tommy Uren, was a notable boxer. He had applied to join the army in May 1939 and was accepted soon after World War II broke out in September, but took leave to fight for the Australian heavyweight title in 1940, aged 19. He had been suffering from the flu and, although he knocked Billy Britt down in the sixth round, was beaten in the seventh.

Uren went to Darwin, then to Timor in December 1941 with the 2/1 Heavy Battery. He had heard the stories of Australian courage at Gallipoli and in France in World War I, but what he saw in Timor was confusion.

As the Australian force was being over-run in February 1942, Uren volunteered to go forward in a vehicle armed with a single Bren gun to support a Tasmanian battalion, the 2/40th, which was making what has been described as the last bayonet charge in Australian military history. Witnessing the Australian advance up Oesaoe ridge under machine-gun fire marked the 20-year-old for life.

Forced to surrender, the prisoners were taken early in 1943 to Singapore, from where Uren was loaded into a railway goods truck which ended up at Konyu River camp, where the surgeon Lieutenant Colonel Edward “Weary” Dunlop was commanding officer of the men slaving to build the Burma-Thailand railway for the Japanese. Uren moved later to the Hintok camps.

One man is said to have died for every sleeper laid on the railway. Uren prayed every day, frightened that cholera would take him, as it had so many others. Yet he rejoiced in the Australian egalitarianism. He believed that the British officers cared above all for themselves, while Dunlop and other officers funded what passed for a hospital.

Uren was transported in 1944 to work in a copper smelting plant at Saganoseki, Japan, then at lead smelting works at Omuta. Finding his Japanese fellow workers comradely, he realised then that it wasn’t the Japanese he hated, but militarism. He later quoted Martin Luther King: “Hate distorts the personality and scars the soul. It is more injurious to the hater than the hated.” He never forgot the colour of the sky over Nagasaki after the atom bomb was dropped: “We didn’t hear any noise, just witnessed that vivid crimson sky.”

Afterwards he worked at the Port Kembla steelworks and met Patricia Palmer; her brother had shown him her photograph when they were prisoners. They married in 1947 and honeymooned at the Hotel Carrington, Katoomba.

She gave him a copy of the J.B. Phillips version of the Bible. The Bible stories moved him and it wasn’t until much later that he realised that his prayers were for himself and not others. Uren was 45 before he became an atheist.

Minister: Tom Uren in 1990.

He later preferred the term “non-believer”, largely in deference to the Sisters of St Joseph, the Catholic order who admired his humanity and called him an honorary Josephite.

Uren continued to box and went to England, with mixed success; his wartime malaria had left effects. He came home, worked as a labourer, then as a trainee executive at Woolworths. He decided to join the Labor Party in 1951 on the way from Lithgow, where he managed the Woolworths store, to Bathurst for the funeral of Ben Chifley, the former Labor Prime Minister.

His political views were founded on his mother’s sense of social justice, Weary Dunlop’s example of leadership and F.D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. He was to add Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Ho Chi Minh and Nelson Mandela to his list of influences.

Living in Guildford, he won the western Sydney seat of Reid in 1958. When he retired from Parliament in 1990, he had been father of the House for eight years.

Uren was a leading figure in the Australian anti-war movement. In 1960, he revisited Japan as part of a peace initiative. He urged in 1968 that trade with Asia be expanded: “Trade and goodwill are our frontline of defence.”

He was the first Labor MP to question support for US intervention in Vietnam, in August 1962. He was jailed in 1971 for refusing to pay a fine over a Vietnam march protest and again for protesting against Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s ban on street marches. He led a delegation to Iraq seeking to have the hostages held by Saddam Hussein released prior to the first Gulf War.

Uren was the Labor Party’s first environment spokesman in the Federal Parliament, in 1969. He believed in revolutionary change, but understood the nature of struggle and the fact that the people had to be convinced. He took to using the word “collectivist” to describe his political stance, pointing out that Hitler, Mussolini and “f—–g Stalin” had given socialism a bad name.

Although he remained on Labor’s Left, his idea of revolution was not necessarily of right or left, but a battle over the environment and human rights. He said in 1994: “I want to help build an environmentally sensitive, beautiful and more tolerant world.”

Uren sued the Fairfax and Packer news organisations in 1963 over allegations that he had links to communists which amounted to his being a traitor. The judgment in his favour for £43,000 was then an Australian defamation record. The case was finally settled on undisclosed terms in 1969. During negotiations, Uren spoke to Sir Frank more abusively than he had to anyone else. The more abuse, the more Packer seemed to like his adversary.

As Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the Whitlam government, Uren bought large areas of Glebe and Woolloomooloo, rehabilitated Fremantle and parts of Hobart, helped improve urban public transport and green western Sydney. He opened Australia’s first bicycle path, in Canberra, and declared the Namagi national park in the Australian Alps. He helped stop the destruction of inner-city suburbs, cut the sewerage backlog and established the Australian Heritage Commission.

Like most Labor leaders of his time, Uren paid scant attention to the economy. He lost more economic arguments than he won in the last 25 years of the 20th century, although the global financial crisis of 2009 saw trust in free market forces evaporate.

His wife, Patricia, left him in 1974, when he was a minister. He regretted not having fought to keep her. When they parted, he gave her nearly all the money he had. She bought a farm at Dorrigo, which she ran, and painted and wove.

When she developed breast cancer she returned to him and he was with her the night before she died in 1981.

He quietly married Christine Logan, a singer in the Australian Opera, in 1992, after waiting for her at the stage door.

They lived in Balmain, with Christine’s daughter, Ruby, in a house designed by Richard Le Plastrier. The house cost so much in the end, with timber from Western Australia, that Uren lived for some years in the basement, with lodgers upstairs.

Uren was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1993, then a Commander in 2013. On Anzac Day 2011, near his 90th birthday, he returned to Hellfire Pass, on the Burma Thailand railway, with the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. Then prime minister Julia Gillard announced that day that the government would meet Uren’s long campaign for a supplementary payment to Australia’s 900 surviving prisoners from World War II and the Korean war.

Tom Uren is survived by Christine and Ruby, and his adopted children, Michael and Heather.

A memorial service will be held for Tom Uren in Sydney next week

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Celebrating who we are

Celebrating who we are Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Charles Matthews, 3. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115
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Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Charles Matthews, 3. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Margaret Marshall and Alwyn Kerr. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Margaret Marshall and Alwyn Kerr. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. 6 year-old Ryan Healy takes a ride in a police car with Constable Sheldon Robertson. Ryan will have his ‘wish’ come true from the Make A Wish Foundation. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. 6 year-old Ryan Healy takes a ride in a police car with Constable Sheldon Robertson. Ryan will have his ‘wish’ come true from the Make A Wish Foundation. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. 6 year-old Ryan Healy takes a ride in a police car with Constable Sheldon Robertson. Ryan will have his ‘wish’ come true from the Make A Wish Foundation. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. 6 year-old Ryan Healy takes a ride in a police car with Constable Sheldon Robertson. Ryan will have his ‘wish’ come true from the Make A Wish Foundation. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Zara Bolton, 3. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Zara Bolton, 3. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Zara Bolton, 3. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Rockin 50’s Rock’n’Roll Club dancers perform a demo. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Rockin 50’s Rock’n’Roll Club dancers perform a demo. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Lizzy Neunhoffer. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. James and Lizzy Neunhoffer. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Jacob Heppell with daughter Alice, 4. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Jacob Heppell with daughter Alice, 4. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Ruby Sloper, 3, and Lachlan Webb, 9. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Trevor Lacey with his ’54 Morris Minor. The Central Victorian Morris Minor Car Club are celebrating their 35th Birthday. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Trevor Lacey with his ’54 Morris Minor. The Central Victorian Morris Minor Car Club are celebrating their 35th Birthday. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Ron and Lyn Purves. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Bendigo Woodturners Norm Eason. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Bendigo Woodturners Meg Bruinsma.Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Navy Cadets raise the flag. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Navy Cadets raise the flag. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Navy Cadets raise the flag. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Navy Cadets raise the flag. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Navy Cadets raise the flag. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

Australia Day at Lake Weeroona. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN 260115

TweetFacebookThe day really builds spirit

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Building designers recognised with inaugural awards

REGIONAL RECOGNITION: (From left) judge Rob Pickett, winner Brad Merrett from BCM Design Centre and BDA president Brian Rotherham. Behind every great building is the person who helped to design it.
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Before the skyscrapers and modern homes you see adorned our landscapes, hours of thought and planning went into their design.

The people who carry out this process were recently recognised in the first regional Building Designers Association (BDA) awards ceremony.

State awards are held every year but the Riverina branch of the BDA held its own design awards program to give those in the country the chance to compete against each other.

“The BDA always has state awards but it’s been a bit tricky for us to compete against the city,” Riverina BDA vice president, Brad Merrett, said.

“Our branch thought it would be nice to showcase our designs on a more local basis and thought it would be an idea to run something a bit simpler.”

Three winners were picked over seven categories from 18 entrants from Wagga, Griffith, Leeton, Narrandera, Tumut and Cootamundra.

Categories included new residential under 300 square metres, new residential over 300 square metres, residential alterations and additions, multi-unit development, new commercial, commercial alterations and additions and sustainable design.

“We probably didn’t get the entries we were hoping for but it was only our first time, we were treading water,” Mr Merrett said.

“We are definitely looking to progress on that in the future.”

Winners

New Residential under 300 square metres: Rod McMullen of Icono Building Design

New Residential over 300 square metres: Brad Merrett of BCM Design Centre

Residential Alterations and Additions: Glen Sewell of Sewell Design

Multi-unit Development: Glen Sewell

New Commercial: Rod McMullen

Commercial Alternations and Additions: Rod McMullen

Sustainable Design: Brad Merrett

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Australia Day festivities in Picton Botanical Gardens

Australia Day festivities in Picton Botanical Gardens Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.
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Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

Wollondilly locals come out to the Picton Botanical Gardens to celebrate Australia day with awards for citizens and of course the new citizens.

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Emergency works for Raby Bay canalFollow today’s council meeting here

PARING back the city’s 10 divisional boundaries to eight or six will be a topic of discussion at Wednesday’s Redland City Council meeting, the first for the year.
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Division 1 councillor Wendy Boglary, who faces major changes to her electorate’s boundaries under several officer proposals, will call for all maps and plans to be revealed.

Cr Boglary also wants community views to be included on council’s website.

It is still unknown whether this month’s federal government announcement to sell two blocks of land at Birkdale will be up for debate.

However, Division 10 councillor Paul Bishop said he wanted to broach the issue to find out whether council would endorse the sale to a private development company for housing.

A report on Raby Bay canal walls has also called immediate works at Carling Court, after a December investigation found the wall “at risk of imminent collapse”.

Carling Court at Raby Bay where a report has found the canal wall is in immediate danger of collapsing.

Works were estimated to cost $3.75million and would result in the $3.32million repairs at Beaufort Place being deferred.

Officers have recommended $2.43million be released from the Raby Bay Canal fund for the works

The monthly accounts will be tabled and include altering the council’s investment policy so it can diversify investments outside the Queensland Treasury Corporation. The document also shows a 0.4 per cent rise over the year in outstanding rates payments.

The next step in approving updated Local Laws, including three more weeks of public consultation, will also be considered along with a document outlining findings from community consultations.

There were 129 submissions on topics ranging from keeping pigs, roadside memorials, election signs, lighting fires, koala conservation, horses in public, and parking infringements.

Dog owners who live within 2km of a koala zone must tie their dog up at night and keep it within a fenced property.

Approval was also given to 52 housing lots in Muller Street, Redland Bay, landscaping works at Renaissance on Bunker Road, Victoria Point and a car park at Sheldon College.

Developers are still the main groups taking council to court with outstanding cases for Villa World, Ausbuild, Polzi, Wigan and George in this month’s court list.

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Social Networks: Tania Johnston’s 40th Birthday

Social Networks: Tania Johnston’s 40th Birthday Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding
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Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding

Tania Johnston celebrated her 40th birthday with a fancy dress party at the Shout Bar on Friday night. Picture: Brodie Weeding

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Australia Day 2015pictures, photos

Australia Day 2015 | pictures, photos 2015 Henley on the Mersey – Jess Harpley, of Devonport, knows the meaning of being true blue.
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2015 Henley on the Mersey – Sophie Haydon, 7, of Melbourne, tries the sheaf tossing competition.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – David Hingston, of Devonport, managed to carry 13 crates before he lost his load in the crate challenge.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – David Hingston, of Devonport, managed to carry 13 crates before he lost his load in the crate challenge.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – David Hingston, of Devonport, managed to carry 13 crates before he lost his load in the crate challenge.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – David Hingston, of Devonport, managed to carry 13 crates before he lost his load in the crate challenge.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – David Hingston, of Devonport, managed to carry 13 crates before he lost his load in the crate challenge.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – David Hingston, of Devonport, managed to carry 13 crates before he lost his load in the crate challenge.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – David Hingston, of Devonport, managed to carry 13 crates before he lost his load in the crate challenge.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – David Hingston, of Devonport, managed to carry 13 crates before he lost his load in the crate challenge.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Michelle and Makenzie White with their ferrets Sid and Knox.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Kiana, 8 and Nicole Ford, of Sheffield.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Lee Elford, of Smithton, managed to coax Molly through to win the Ferret racing grand final.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Lee Elford, of Smithton, managed to coax Molly through to win the Ferret racing grand final.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Lee Elford, of Smithton, managed to coax Molly through to win the Ferret racing grand final.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Lee Elford, of Smithton, managed to coax Molly through to win the Ferret racing grand final.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Ava, 9 and Sienna Lunnon, 7, of Shearwater.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Cale Hammersley, 4, of Ulverstone, has a hold of Mearsey.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Taylen Flint, 12, of Somerset with her ferret Cinnamon.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – (from left) Karen, Josh and Cameron Shaw of Legana and Sherree Richards of Beaconsfield.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Tayla Grabe, 9, of Beulah.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Colleen Squibb, of Devonport.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Glen Gillam jumped for joy when he broke Clayton Stewart’s long standing 300mm record winning $50,000.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Glen Gillam jumped for joy when he broke Clayton Stewart’s long standing 300mm record winning $50,000.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Glen Gillam jumped for joy when he broke Clayton Stewart’s long standing 300mm record winning $50,000.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Glen Gillam jumped for joy when he broke Clayton Stewart’s long standing 300mm record winning $50,000.

Large crowd watch the wood chopping at Henley.

Clayton Stewart 300mm Australian Standing Elimination Challenge.1st – Jason Wynyard of New Zealand speaking with David Foster while awaiting the results.

2015 Henley on the Mersey – Glen Gillam jumped for joy when he broke the Clayton Stewart long standing 300mm record winning $50,000.Pictured with sponsor and the son of Clayton Stewart, Errol Stewart.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.Rotary Club of Somerset members helping out are Len Mackenzie (left) and Peter Truman.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta committee chairman Dennis Austin (left) and club president Len Mackenzie were stoked with how the day went.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.Displaying a range of Cambodian-made t-shits is Dorsu founder Hanna Guy. The money raised from the sale of the shirts goes directly back to communities in the Kampot province (Cambodia) where they were made.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park duck race.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park duck race.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park duck race.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.(from left) Georgia King, 6, with Nikolla, 12, and Ella Quarrell, 8, all of Burnie.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.Brothers Logan (left), 11, and Mason Elphinstone, 9, of Boat Harbour.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.(from left) Tom, Sam, 6 months, and Avril Witherden, with Kahla, Daine, 18 months, and Ryan Mackenzie, all of Wynyard.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.Luke, Claire, Ellie, 11, (front), Alex, 7, and Lauren Von Wald, 10, of Hobart.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.Hotrods on display at the event.

2015 Rotary Club of Somerset Australia Day Foreshore Fiesta, at Memorial Park.Hotrods on display at the event.

Tall Timbers/Tasmanian Seafoods Twilight on the Duck, West Esplanade in Smithton.Entertainer Frangipani Annie (aka Annette Dawes) encourages people to sing along with her to the song ‘I Am Australian’.

Tall Timbers/Tasmanian Seafoods Twilight on the Duck, West Esplanade in Smithton.

Tall Timbers/Tasmanian Seafoods Twilight on the Duck, West Esplanade in Smithton.2015 Circular Head Citizen of the Year Sue Smedley, of Stanley.

Tall Timbers/Tasmanian Seafoods Twilight on the Duck, West Esplanade in Smithton.2015 Circular Head Young Citizens of the Year are Jesse Jackson (left), 17, and Callum Poke, 16, both of Smithton.

Tall Timbers/Tasmanian Seafoods Twilight on the Duck, West Esplanade in Smithton.Circular Head Garden Club members (from left) Claire Porteus, Daphny Dixon, Christine Medwin and Lynne Bramich were stoked to take out the 2015 Circular Head Community Event of the Year.

Tall Timbers/Tasmanian Seafoods Twilight on the Duck, West Esplanade in Smithton.Allie Burgess (left), of Forest, and Gracie Hofing, 5, of Mawbanna.

Tall Timbers/Tasmanian Seafoods Twilight on the Duck, West Esplanade in Smithton.Callum Somerville (left), 15, and Michael McLean, 16, both of Smithton.

Tall Timbers/Tasmanian Seafoods Twilight on the Duck, West Esplanade in Smithton.Sabannah, 3, and dad Todd Wilson, of Smithton.

Tall Timbers/Tasmanian Seafoods Twilight on the Duck, West Esplanade in Smithton.Saying G’day to the event mascot, River the duck, are Ashley Popowski, of Smithton, and his grandson Charlie Payne, 15 months, of Forest.

2015 Henley on the Mersey.Rotary Club of Latrobe member Sandra Jones a the Rotary barbecue.

2015 Henley on the Mersey.Tyler Battese, 12, of Launceston, tries the sheaf tossing competition.

Central Coast Australia Day breakfast and presentations. Picture: Caitlin Jarvis.

Central Coast Australia Day breakfast and presentations. Picture: Caitlin Jarvis.

Central Coast Australia Day breakfast and presentations. Picture: Caitlin Jarvis.

Central Coast Australia Day breakfast and presentations. Picture: Caitlin Heathcote.

Burnie citizenship ceremony and citizen of the year awards. Picture: Emily Woods.

Burnie citizenship ceremony and citizen of the year awards. Picture: Emily Woods.

Wynyard young citizen of the year, Angus Thomson, 17, and citizen of the year, Richard Lewis.

Wynyard young citizen of the year, Angus Thomson, 17, and citizen of the year, Richard Lewis.

Wynyard celebrations. Picture: Katrina Docking.

Wynyard celebrations. Picture: Katrina Docking.

Wynyard celebrations. Picture: Katrina Docking.

Wynyard celebrations. Picture: Katrina Docking.

Wynyard celebrations. Picture: Katrina Docking.

Wynyard celebrations. Picture: Katrina Docking.

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Australia Day 2015: Irene Meek is Citizen of the Year

The 2015 Ararat Rural City Citizen of the Year Irene Meek. Picture: PETER PICKERINGA COMMUNITY leader known as the ‘glue in the mix’ has been awarded the Ararat Rural City Citizen of the Year at a ceremony in Alexandra Gardens yesterday as part of the Australia Day celebrations.
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Mayor Cr Paul Hooper and Australia Day Ambassador Shane Hills from Koko Black, presented Lake Bolac’s Irene Meek the Ararat Rural City Citizen of the Year Award.

“This year the successful nomination for the Citizen of the Year Award goes to a very worthy resident of one of our rural communities for her outstanding commitment to the community over many years,” Cr Hooper said.

“She is dedicated and passionate about all things local. She came into the region as a young teacher and has since been very involved in the local community in being on quite a few committees. She has been president of a mixture of committees ranging from sporting to craft groups and continues to do so.

“Known as the glue in the mix, she is a leader in most clubs and also keeps the rural community engaged.”

Ararat Rural City’s director of assets, finances and corporate services Don Cole said many individuals and organisations have made an enormous contribution to help shape our wonderful nation.

“The Australia Day Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Service of the Year Awards are presented to persons who have made a noteworthy contribution during the past year and have given outstanding service to the local community over a number of years,” he said.

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Good response to Evans Park open day

THE developer of Ararat’s newest housing subdivision Evans Park was pleased with the response to an open day at the estate.
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Developer Paul Thomson said around 60 people, from first home owners through to families and retirees, took advantage of the first open day at the estate to view the layout, blocks and open homes.

The $7 million 76 lot subdivision will be developed in stages, with stage one to comprise 34 lots ranging in size from 320 square metres to about 820 square metres, and eventually around three hectares of nature reserves and community open space with walking paths and seating. The second and third stage will be built on demand

Mr Thomson said there was an excellent response to the first ever open day and with four houses already built or under construction on the estate, people were keen to view the layout and block size.

“Everyone was really satisfied and interested in the estate,” he said.

“This is something that has not happened in Ararat for such a long time.

“In relation to the lots, many wanted to know what the prices are, what the sizes are, some have been driving around before and are quite familiar with the estate while others visited for the first time.”

Elders Real Estate held an open house as part of the opening of the estate and said there was outstanding support cross the whole open day.

“Everyone commented on the quality of the build, the house on sale, the size of the blocks,” he said.

“Most people are probably a little apprehensive until they see a few houses go up, and that has now settled the nerves.”

Throughout the day Mr Todd said he received many positive comments.

“Comments included that it was ‘better than first thought’ – people in Ararat are a bit reluctant to buy off the plan, but now they’ve seen the finished product with the good build and good layout.”

Sales manager for Hotondo Homes Joel Spence was also kept busy with many enquiries throughout the day.

“It was good to see the community so interested in Evans Park and certainly to the people we were speaking to they had been keeping an eye on Evans Park, but this was the first opportunity they had to come and talk to people about it on the actual grounds,” he said.

“The response was good, it very encouraging for Evans Park and the local economy.

“We got a lot of positive comments, there was a mixture of people in the area, I spoke to investors, I spoke to first home owners, I spoke to retirees and I spoke to families, so every buyer type was there and the way Evans Park is set up I was able to point them to different blocks.

“They were able to see the way Evans Park has been set out to suit those different types, so there’s something there for everyone.

“Out of all the people I spoke to we have had a few show very strong interest.”

Mr Spence said the amount of people who attended the open day was double what he expected, which showed that people were interested.

He said having a number of houses built or under construction on the estate also enabled people to see the size of the blocks.

“They can still have their shed, they can fit their caravan there, they’ve got enough room in the back yard for kids to play in. It put a lot of people’s minds at ease that that was definitely possible,” he said.

“It’s hard to imagine it seeing vacant land but once you’ve got a few houses popping up, you see where fencing goes, people are a lot more responsive to that.”

Evans Park is located two kilometres from the town centre on the Western Highway towards Stawell, with views to Langi Ghiran and One Tree Hill.

Evans Park has been designed as a Master Plan community development in line with the latest urban design legislation.

Future stages include a detailed landscaped masterplan and nature reserve to the north and to the west of the current stage.

All stage one lots are currently serviced with underground gas, power, water and sewer as well as being cabled for Telstra NBN.

“It’s a couple of minutes out of town but still close enough to run the kids into basketball or tennis or cricket and things like that and to go shopping its only a quick drive to the shops, it’s probably the same from driving from the other end of Picnic Road or Gordon Street,” Mr Spence said.

“All the services are there, and the fact it’s NBN ready is a bonus for lot of people, especially if you’re going to be running a home business.”

Another open day will be held at Evans Park in the near future.

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