Mayoral Column 26 January 2015

Published on 27 January 2015

Thanking our community heroes

Yesterday was a special day for us, with Australia Day ceremonies conducted in towns the length and breadth of the Shire.

People gathered around barbecues, lunches and morning teas to salute our national day and hear from 10 distinguished Victorians who visited the municipality as official Australia Day Ambassadors.

Different communities structured their ceremonies in different ways, but the same spirit of celebration and thankfulness was common to all.

Congratulations again to the 10 recipients of the Shire’s citizenship honours for their remarkable service to their communities.

The winner of our Citizen of the Year award, Des Roberts of Rheola, has given so generously of his time over many years.

Our Young Citizen of the Year winner Crystal Shaw-Beck of Dingee, is a young person of great character, while Community Group of the Year Boort Swim Club has distinguished itself by its dedicated group of skilled and passionate volunteers.

Well done to our community service award winners – Honie Tweddle from the Boort Ward, Ian Penny from Inglewood Ward, Fraser Ramsay of Tarnagulla Ward, John Twigg from Terrick Ward and Keith Ring from the Wedderburn Ward.

Bryan Jolly from Dingee was awarded an Australia Day award for his outstanding achievement in sport.

Well done to the organisers of the Wool Wheat and Wine Festival in Bridgwater, the event was awarded Community Event of the Year.

While we happily salute these individuals for their generosity in donating so much time and thought to their local communities, we, as a Council, must also thank the many others in our towns and districts who do a great deal – often unrecognised – to contribute to the life of their neighbours.

Loddon’s Australia Day competition winners

Loddon Shire’s Australia Day competition attracted a large number of entries from students around the municipality.

In the colouring competitions, William Hercott (from Pyramid Hill) won the kindergarten section, Rose Holland (Tarnagulla) the preps, Rahya Zain (Bridgewater) Grade 1, and Amy Freemantle (Tarnagulla) in the Grade 2 section.

The winners in the literature competition, writing on the subject ‘A historic building or structure in Loddon’, were William Hunt (East Loddon) prep section, Libby Norman (Wedderburn) Grade 1, Shelby Giorlando (Wedderburn) Grade 2, Matthew Edwards (Bridgewater) Grade 3, Rory Clements (East Loddon) in Grade 4.

Joint Grade 5 winners were Georgia Welsh and Jasmin Gallagher, both from East Loddon.
Macey Holland (Boort) won for Grade 6, Simone Jackson (Wedderburn) Year 7, Ella Turnball (Wedderburn) Year 8, Grace Field (Boort) Year 9, Celine Roberts (Wedderburn) Year 10 and Emma Lockhart (Wedderburn) took the honours in Year 11.

In photography, Neve Canfield, of St Marys, won the junior category, Ben Rothacker (Boort) and Olivia Pickersgill (Pyramid Hill) shared the honours in the senior category and Tarnagulla teacher Lorraine Douglas took out the open section.

Features installed at Loddon’s pools

Young water enthusiasts have taken advantage of the recent installation of water features at three of Loddon’s pools.

The Mitiamo, Pyramid Hill and Inglewood pools had the new editions recently installed.

The water features are part of a large project at all five of Loddon Shire’s public swimming pools which included the installation of nine additional shade structures late last year.

The overall project was funded from the state government’s Seasonal Pool Program ($132,000), with a further $60,000 being contributed from Loddon Shire Council’s budget.

Council has received positive feedback about the water features, especially by Loddon’s youngsters.

Loddon Shire is always looking for ways to improve its community facilities.

Caption for picture: Erno and Villiam Kalmar enjoy playing with the new water features at the Inglewood Pool.

Triathlon fun fit for the whole family

Dust off your runners, find your swimming gear, and recruit some friends.

Organisers for the upcoming Bridgewater triathlon are putting a call out to residents to participate in the family fun event.

Runners, swimmers, riders and those looking for a bit of weekend fun can mark Sunday 1 February on their calendar for the Bridgewater Triathlon Duathlon.

The event, now in its 12th year, all began when the Bendigo Triathlon Club were looking for a half marathon event close to home. Local Bryan Ryan jumped at the challenge and worked with the club to find a suitable course involving a swim in the Loddon River.

The triathlon has growth from strength to strength and last year attracted more than 260 people.

This year the course has a new start line, located at the Bridgewater Public Caravan Park, allowing for better access to swimmers, a larger transitioning area, toilets and plenty of lush green grass and a playground for children to play on.

Enthusiasts can participate in the course individually, while those looking for a little less wear and tear on their sneakers can get a group of friends together and partake as a team.

Loddon was well represented last year, and with four courses to choose from, organisers are expecting a large local line up.

Those looking for a little more fun than sweat can participate in the 50m swim, three kilometre bike ride and one kilometre run.

The short course involves a 200m swim, 10km ride and a three kilometre run, while the triathlon enthusiasts can sink their teeth into the 500m swim, 20km ride and five kilometre run.

Those not looking to get their feet wet can participate in the duathlon. The dry course consists of a two kilometre run, 20km ride, finished with a further three kilometre run.

The event is not all about winning, with event organisers saying they host the day for people to have some fun in the region.

Triathlon enthusiasts travel from across Victoria to participate in the Bridgewater event, with New South Wales and Queensland represented by a few people each year.

There are some great prizes on the day with participants able to win up to $1000 for their local club or school.

Online registrations close Saturday, 31 January at noon. Participants can register on the day, however a late fee will apply.

For more information and to register visit www.bridgewateronloddon.com.au/triathlon.

Organisers have praised community businesses for sponsoring the event, including Loddon Shire Council, Inglewood and District Community Bank, Bridgewater Bakery, Scato Plus and North Central Catchment Management Authority.

Without the generous on-going support of our local business community, the event would not be at the level it is today.