Australia Day Awards a chance to recognise outstanding achievement

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This year’s Mildura Rural City Council Australia Day Award recipients are shining examples of the calibre of individuals and events our region is so fortunate to call our own.

Council’s Australia Day Award recipients were officially announced as part of our city’s annual Australia Day event at Nowingi Place today.

Citizen of the Year

Peter Willersdorf

Young Citizen of the Year

Genevieve Pragt

Community Event or Project of the Year

Willowfest Veterans Cricket Championships

Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence presented this year’s recipients with their awards today and congratulated them for their contributions and achievements.

“Our Australia Day Awards are a fantastic way to recognise the outstanding, and often selfless contribution residents within our region make,” Cr Clemence said.

“They’re great ambassadors for our municipality, and without these awards the wider community may not find out about their amazing efforts and the people they’ve supported or positively impacted.

Citizen of the Year – Peter Willersdorf

Peter has been a significant contributor to a range of local organisations in the Murrayville community for more than 40 years.

He’s been a member of the local Country Fire Authority since 1978, member and Secretary of the local Ambulance committee, and member of the GWMWater Bore Water Advisory Committee.

Peter has also served as Secretary of the Murrayville Liaison Committee since 2007, as well as being a member of the Caravan Park Committee.

He’s devoted significant time to local community groups for more than two decades, including the local Cub Scouts for 25 years, serving as Scout leader at certain points. Peter is also a local football umpire and has been involved with local basketball and tennis.

Peter has provided strong advocacy for the Murrayville community, ensuring local residents and groups are given a voice in issues that impact the community, both now and into the future.

Young Citizen of the Year – Genevieve Pragt

Genevieve has been a member of the Rotary for Life Committee, Sunraysia Gang Show production team, and member of the Scouts 2nd Mildura, where she has been actively involved in planning and delivering activities for Scouts. Genevieve was also a member of the Mildura Youth Ambassadors for two years – in 2013 and 2014.

She’s also dedicated countless hours to helping the elderly, volunteering her time at Princes Court Homes as a companion for residents, and later working as a junior support officer there.

Genevieve has been a major supporter of other young people in our region, donating her hair to Wigs for Kids and hosting exchange students. She also supported her peers during her own VCE year with tutoring in vocals and guitar in a bid to help them successfully completing their studies.

Throughout all of this, Genevieve has supported her elderly grandparents with everyday tasks and errands, particularly her grandmother, who lives with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Genevieve currently dedicates her time to Sunassist, delivering meals-on-wheels, and in 2020 is commencing a double degree in Health Information Management.

Community Event of the Year – Willowfest Veterans Cricket Championships

On the back of the success of the Willowfest Australian Cricket Championships, which have gone from strength to strength over the years, the local Willowfest committee staged the Inaugural Willowfest Veterans Cricket Championships in September 2019.

This was a significant event, attracting 20 teams from four States to Mildura and provided competition across three age groups – 50 years +, 60 years +, and 70 years+.

Two hundred and ninety players and officials participated, bringing with them their families.

This event represented a major opportunity for veterans in regional areas, as the closest veterans championships are in Melbourne and Adelaide.

The event was so successful in 2019, and there was such significant interest, that the event will now become a fixture on the annual Willowfest calendar.

The Willowfest Veterans Cricket Championships is a family-friendly event which provides opportunities for older players to continue competing at a high level, and promotes fitness and wellbeing in all participants, whether local or visiting.

The event provides ongoing economic benefits to the area, but more importantly, provides opportunities for older people in remote and rural areas to come together, develop friendships and remain connected and engaged with their community.

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