Visit by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, Governor of Victoria, to the Ararat Rural City on 13th to 14th February 2024

The Ararat Rural City was pleased to host a regional tour by the Governor of Victoria this week. Regional tours are part of a program of community engagement – a feature of the Governor of Victoria’s role – and allows the opportunity to recognise the contributions of Victorians, interact with volunteer organisations, engage in discussions with community leaders, and support cultural activities.

The Governor visited the Mount Langi Ghiran Vineyard, AME Systems, Gason, the Gum San Heritage Museum, the Ararat Jobs & Technology Precinct at the Federation University, Ararat Campus, and the Hopkins Correctional Centre. The Governor was also officially welcomed to the Ararat Rural City at a Civic Reception hosted by the Council at the Town Hall.

Visits by the Governor of Victoria are planned months in advance, and despite being hopeful of favourable weather, a Total Fire Ban day was declared for the South West Victoria Region, which includes the Ararat Rural City. A Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating was also declared for the Wimmera Region to the north and west of the Ararat Local Government Area.

In response to the devastating events that transpired during the visit, on Wednesday 14th February the Governor gave the Mayor and Councillors a hand written letter stating:

“Dear Mayor and Councillors,

I wish to pass on through you my particular sympathy for the members of your communities who have experienced losses of homes in the recent fires in Pomonal and Bellfield, as well as to those firefighters injured yesterday.

Having witnessed the vibrancy and volunteer spirit of your communities on this visit, I know you will rally around those affected.

My very best wishes to you all and to those you represent.

Please also thank Dr Harrison and his staff for all they will do in supporting the community as it recovers.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Gardner

P.S. Mayor Bob I hope you and your family remain safe given fires in Grampians.”

Quotes from Mayor, Cr Bob Sanders:

“On behalf of the Ararat Rural City, I would like to thank the Governor of Victoria for visiting us. It has been a privilege to host your tour of our region and to the share with you everything that we are very

proud of, including our rich history, our wonderful and hardworking people, our innovative industries and our outstanding local produce.

I also thank the Governor for her very kind letter and sympathies to our bushfire affected communities.

I would also like to especially thank the organisations and businesses who generously gave their time to host an official visit, as well as representatives from our local community who were able to make it to the Civic Reception to give a very warm welcome to the Governor of Victoria.”

/Public Release. View in full here.