Australia Day awards locations confirmed

By Robert Muir

Continuation of rotating the Australia Day awards and community celebrations with the four same towns hosting Federation Council’s Australia Day from 2021 to 2024 was endorsed at council’s August meeting.

But a lot of discussion amongst councillors took place before the endorsement and much more discussion seems set to occur before confirmation of events beyond next year’s Australia Day at Howlong, which will complete the first four-year cycle of the significant occasion.

Federation Council is concerned that its big event day is not attended by more people and will be considering how to attract substantially more numbers.

Deputy Mayor Shaun Whitechurch praised the 2019 Australia Day at Mulwala, at Mulwala Water Ski Club.

“It was great on the foreshore but only a handful of people came from other towns in Federation,” he said. “Unless you dangle a big carrot people won’t travel distances.”

Cr Fred Longmire said he believes the new arrangement with the enlarged council area has worked well but admitted it can be better.

He preferred the immediate past arrangement, under Corowa Shire Council, of functions in Mulwala, Corowa and Howlong which were timed to enable council representation and the ambassador to officially participate in all three Australia Day functions. “It could be extended to include Urana,” Cr Longmire said.

“We are Federation community. What about other villages?” Cr David Longley enquired. Councillors acknowledged that Savernake host a well-attended event and likes to, like other villages, hold its own to have ownership and duly recognize its locals.  

Cr Gail Law said ideally she would like one big event, as did Mayor Pat Bourke. “I would encourage any other village or town holding an event not to clash with council’s big one,” the mayor said. Cr Norm Wales said he supports one big event.

At this stage, therefore, Urana will host the 2021 event, Corowa in 2022, Mulwala in 2003 and in 2014 it will be Howlong.

More nominations, please!

Cr Bronwyn Thomas asked for a review of council’s process regarding nominations for awards. “How do we get more nominations?” she said.

“It was lovely to get the recipients we’ve got but we’d love to see lots more being nominated.”

Numerous people throughout the Federation Council area are worthy of being nominated for the six categories of awards but it’s a matter of being nominated Cr Thomas said.

Nominations for 2020 Federation Council awards will open on Monday, September 30 and close on Friday, December 6. 

Four councilors – Crs Wales, Thomas, Longley and Andrew Kennedy – will be on the judging panel to assess nominations for the 2020 Australia Day Awards, along with a past award winner, General Manager Adrian Butler and a staff representative.

In an Expressions of Interest process from August 26 to September 6, Federation Council is inviting local community groups or organisations from Howlong to help co-ordinate and deliver the 2020 Australia Day celebration in Howlong.