Mayoral Column 30 January 2017

Published on 30 January 2017

Congratulations to our winners

Thanks go to all the committees involved in hosting Loddon’s Australia Day events last week. Your great efforts help to bring our communities together on such an important day.

I would also like to congratulate our Australia Day award recipients.

Each winner has been chosen for their unique participation in the community, and all display a willingness to contribute, regardless of individual strengths, skills and circumstances.

Loddon Shire’s Citizen of the Year, Edna Boyle from Boort has given many years’ service to the Boort community whilst raising a family of six children with husband Morrie on the family farm at Leaghur.

Her contributions include her position as a church elder and office bearer at Boort Uniting Church, her dedicated service to the Boort Hospital Auxiliary, and board membership for the Memorial Hall. Edna is the longest serving member and current secretary for the Boort RSL Ladies Auxiliary, and is a current member of the Boort Senior Citizens Club.

Recognition of Edna’s lifetime of volunteering in our community is long overdue and she is a very worthy recipient of this prestigious Australia Day award.

Award recipients for other categories were Julia Twigg (Young Citizen of the Year), Wedderburn Coach House Museum (Community Group of the Year), Sandra Poyner (Boort Community Services Award), Christine Wattie (Inglewood Community Services Award), Graeme Stewart (Tarnagulla Community Services Award), Lionel Mann (Terrick Community Services Award), and Michael Moore (Wedderburn Community Services Award).

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the ongoing contribution that our residents and volunteers make to the communities of Loddon, providing services and enrichment to the lives of so many of us.

Please join with me in acknowledging and congratulating this year’s winners.

Free positive parenting program for rural families

Living in Loddon Shire rewards many families with the development of close community ties, but accessing expert advice when it is most needed can sometimes prove difficult.

A new positive parenting telephone service designed to support rural families has been established to help bridge the gap.

While the new service is expected to be ongoing, it couldn’t have been launched at a better time, with school holidays sometimes fraying the patience of parents, grandparents and other carers, despite their best intentions.

Parenting is a set of skills that are learnt on the job and they can always be improved, so I would encourage families who are experiencing a few bumps along the way to consider taking advantage of the program which is delivered via telephone or online over a six to ten week period.

The program is designed to help families with children between the ages of 2 and 10 years build better relationships, encourage the behaviours you want to see more of, teach children new skills to solve problems for themselves and explore ideas around setting realistic family rules.

The positive parenting telephone service is delivered by qualified parent support workers, from your home, at a time that suits you.

It is currently available free of charge to all grandparents caring for grandchildren, parents and rural families across Victoria.

You can contact the positive parenting telephone service by phoning 1800 880 660.

You can help prevent bushfires this summer

Deliberately and recklessly lit bushfires and grass fires can destroy communities, infrastructure, livestock and human life.

No matter whether it’s deliberately or recklessly lit, the consequences of a bushfire can be devastating.

Starting a bushfire, whether recklessly or deliberately, is a crime.

It’s up to everyone to prevent bushfires and keep Victoria safe this bushfire season.

Be mindful of your activities during fire danger periods – it could be your actions that result in loss of life or property damage.

Reckless conduct can be failing to properly extinguish a campfire, using cutting, grinding or welding equipment that emits a spark, or lighting a fire on a total fire ban day.

It’s up to you to know the rules during fire danger periods and in fire prone areas.

If you see something or know something, say something.

If you see behaviour that could lead to a bushfire, it’s up to you to report it, including descriptions of anyone involved, including those who might have entered or left the scene of a fire, descriptions of any suspicious vehicles, and the time and location that the fire started.

Your information could be the key to helping the police prevent a bushfire.

Report suspicious behaviour confidentially by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au/report-a-crime/.

If you see smoke or fire, call Triple Zero (‘000’) immediately.