Mayor's Column – 2 June 2022
Published on 02 June 2022
Hello to all residents, ratepayers and visitors to the Borough of Queenscliffe. This weekend just gone, our Council had the great honour of conducting the inaugural Community Service Awards presentation ceremony at the Point Lonsdale Primary School Hall. Recognising some of our community’s quiet achievers is always a great pleasure, and being able to coincide these awards with our volunteer celebrations is also extremely fitting.
Celebrating the Borough’s local legends
What a pleasure to be in attendance and speak at the 2022 Borough of Queenscliffe Community Service Awards, where we handed out five awards to six worthy recipients. One category was so difficult, the judges couldn’t split the winners! This year’s event was timed to coincide with National Volunteers Week (although the federal election pushed back our awards date by a week) and we hope to continue this scheduling in perpetuity. Considering volunteers are the lifeblood of our twin towns, and these awards are primarily about recognising outstanding volunteer work in our community, it only makes sense to align the two.
As I said in my speech on the day, I have the lucky privilege of seeing first‐hand the relentless energy this community puts into making the Borough a caring, connected and welcome place to live. It takes a special kind of contribution to be nominated for such a prestigious award, and it really was an honour to stand beside those members of our community on Saturday.
Taking out the top gong for Citizen of the Year was Liam Petrie-Albutt for his many volunteering and leadership roles across the Borough, which include contributions to the Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club, Queenscliffe Maritime Museum, Queenscliffe Historical Museum and the Point Lonsdale Christmas Tree Lighting Committee. Liam was previously awarded the Borough’s Young Citizen of the Year award in 2016 and it’s clear he’s not only maintained, but increased the amount of community work he does since then. Congratulations to Liam on this special achievement.
There were a number of other important awards handed out in various categories. This year’s Young Citizen of the Year Award went to Eleanor Macleod for her various aquatic and surf life saving volunteer work. Community Event of the Year went to the Queenscliffe Literary Festival, who coincidentally were conducting shows over at the Queenscliff Town Hall while the awards ceremony was taking place! Point Lonsdale Primary School received the Community Organisation of the Year award for its ‘Nippers in School’ program, which teaches local children an understanding of the specific risks of beaches. Finally, the joint recipients of the Community Environment Project of the Year award were Boomerang Bags and Queenscliffe Climate Action Group.
I’m looking forward to seeing plenty more high quality nominations for next year’s awards – get your thinking caps on if you know someone who would be worthy of receiving one of these great honours.
Congratulating our volunteers
The week prior to the awards night, I was lucky enough to host our 2022 volunteers’ celebration at the architecturally stunning Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club. The theme of the year for National Volunteers Week was Better Together, and such a phrase really describes our Borough to a T. The connection between volunteers, community members and visitors leaves people with fond memories and a willingness to want to return and help out themselves.
In response to feedback from some of our local community groups, our Council website now has a dedicated volunteers section where we help facilitate finding volunteers and promoting volunteer opportunities. Citizens looking to volunteer can complete an online form documenting their interests, skills and availability. Similarly, organisations looking for new volunteers can fill out the same data on their own online form. When it’s all done, our experts will try and match the person or organisation to whatever’s most suitable. It’s another exciting way in which we’re promoting the hard work of volunteers in our community.
National Simultaneous Storytime
Last Wednesday, around 30 children from Queenscliff Kindergarten made the short trek over to the Town Hall to take part in National Simultaneous Storytime 2022, and I was lucky enough to be the special guest who read the story.
National Simultaneous Storytime sees thousands of schools, libraries and other organisations across the country reading the same story at the same time on the same day. This year, at 11:00am on Wednesday 25 May 2022, I read Family Tree by Josh Pyke & Ronojoy Ghosh. The initiative promotes the value of reading and literacy, as well as the fun of books! I certainly had a very enjoyable time taking part.
As always, if you have anything you’d like to discuss with me about the Borough, drop me a line via the contact details on Council’s website.
Cr Ross Ebbels
Mayor, Borough of Queenscliffe