Mulwala resident Peter Seeliger has been named Federation Council’s Australia Day, 2018 Citizen of the Year at council’s Australia Day celebrations in Rowers Park Corowa last Friday.
Mr Seeliger’s contribution to the communities of Mulwala and Yarrawonga has been substantial over many years with local government, local business organisations covering Lake Mulwala, tourism, natural gas and sport. He has always put the interests of the shire/council area first and foremost.
“I was really honoured to find out I was nominated,” the 73-year-old retired business manager said. “I’m surprised, really shocked, but very proud.
“I have always believed that if you want to live in a great community you have to get off your backside and help make it a great community.
“Without volunteers, our small country communities would not survive or be able to provide the services the small communities need to survive.
“I am sure people don’t volunteer for any other reason other than putting back into the community. My family and I love living in ‘Federation Shire’ and with the work that is being done it will be a great shire for future generations.”
In the 1990s, Peter was actively involved in the introduction of rugby to Mulwala, becoming the inaugural and only president of Mulwala/Yarrawonga Eagles Rugby Club and the time of the club amalgamating with Mulwala Football Netball Club. It was a successful club for three years.
In 1991 he was elected as councillor to Corowa Shire Council and served until 1995. Upon stepping down for work reasons, he said he would seek re-election at a later date. He did so in 1994 and was duly elected again as councillor until 2004, an overall total of eight years.
As such, Peter was a member of, amongst other committees, council’s Policy and Resources Committee, Roads and Traffic, and Safe Boating Committees.
An active member of the Central Murray Regional Development Corporation, Peter was a strong supporter for natural gas in a corporation well led by the late Max Porter OAM.
Also an active member of Yarrawonga/Mulwala Tourism, Peter was president for two years and was very much part of the Yarrawonga/Mulwala Tourism and Business Development Corporation.
He has always kept the community informed as to the progress of committee work and encouraged young people to take an active role in community matters.
A member of Lake Mulwala Community Action Group, Peter fought to keep the water level of our beautiful Lake Mulwala at a safe height for boating, fishing and skiing.
As inspirational role models, this group organised a march across the Yarrawonga/Mulwala Traffic Bridge in a united show to highlight how valuable the lake is to the community.
As project manager in the 1990s for Murray Valley Engineers Association and with a financial grant, Peter conducted a 12 months training program providing 14 long-term unemployed persons with skills to further their employment prospects. He subsequently became association president.
“Probably the biggest highlight was helping Max Porter and the ex CEO of Berrigan Shire Council Gavin Cator - the three of us getting natural gas from Chiltern to Deniliquin (in the 1990s),” Peter said.
Since 1999, Peter has suffered many health setbacks but doesn’t go on about them. Rather, he just gets on with contributing to a better Mulwala/Yarrawonga and region.