MAYORAL COLUMN 6 March 2017

Published on 06 March 2017

Photo caption: Marilyn Lanyon and Robyn Vella are kicking goals for Loddon Valley Tourism.

Community grants now open

Does your local sports club or community organisation have an idea how it could move ahead?

If so, why not put up your hand for a share of some extra funds?

Council’s Community Grants Scheme offers clubs and community groups the opportunity to request Council funds to put towards projects that develop or improve existing community facilities, programs or equipment.

The scheme which began 17 years ago has to date invested about $1.1 million towards 565 community projects worth about $4.5 million.

Projects are funded on a 2:1 basis, with Council giving $2 for every $1 contributed by the applicant.

However, the maximum amount that can be applied for is $10,000 and this requires a contribution of at least $5,000 from the applicant, either cash or in-kind or both.

Applications close on 1 May and are expected to be considered at the June Council meeting.

To see the full list of conditions, or access an application form, visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au or phone Council on 5494 1200.

I’m looking forward to sitting down with my fellow Councillors to consider your application.

Help spread the message that Tough Times Pass

While mental health difficulties can lead to a feeling of isolation or disconnection regardless of your postal address, rural residents may be more at risk.

Geographical isolation, hardship experienced through drought and flood and less readily available access to support services can all contribute to difficulties.

The SPAN (Suicide Prevention Awareness Network) Walk planned for Sunday 19 March, provides a wonderful opportunity for people to connect and talk openly about mental health issues.

Wedderburn resident Ric Raftis, who is Vice President of Ride4Life Inc., has helped coordinate a motorcycle convoy to coincide with the SPAN Walk.

If you would like to join Ric and his fellow riders as they help to spread the message that Tough Times Pass, visit www.Ride4Life.org.au or email Bendigo@ride4life.org.au for further event details.

Residents wishing to join the Suicide Awareness Walk are encouraged to gather at the Dai Gum San Chinese Precinct in Bridge Street, Bendigo, from 8.30am.

A butterfly remembrance ceremony, free sausage sizzle lunch and live entertainment will follow the morning walk.

For further details, phone Alannah McGregor on 0408 541 082. If this article has raised any issues for you, call Lifeline on 131114 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

Explore your options at Our Choice Expo

Loddon Shire residents interested in exploring disability support options ahead of the transition to the NDIS, are encouraged to attend the first ever Our Choice Expo to be held at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre on Thursday 16 March.

With transition to the NDIS starting in Loddon from 1 May, it’s important for residents with a disability to understand their choices and what’s available.

The Expo will feature more than 70 stall holders providing information on disability services, advocacy and recreation, as well as NDIS related information sessions.

A free bus service to the Expo will depart from Wedderburn Community House at 10am and is scheduled to arrive back in Wedderburn at about 4.30pm, with stops at townships including Inglewood and Bridgewater.

Residents must book their seat by this Friday (10 March), with further details about pick up points and times able to be provided when you secure your seat by contacting Gemma Simpson or Cara Smith on 0437 755 575.

Hosted by The Victorian League for Individuals with a Disability, and supported by the City of Greater Bendigo, the Our Choice Expo will be held at Bendigo Showgrounds venue from 10am to 5pm.

Teamwork translates to State Tourism Award

Congratulations to Loddon Shire Marketing and Tourism Officer Robyn Vella, and Boort business owners Ian and Marilyn Lanyon, who claimed the Best Stand Award at The Victorian Caravan Camping and Touring Super Show.

While Ian and Marilyn promoted their Aussie Wool Quilts and Simply Tomatoes products, in doing so they also helped sell Loddon Shire as a must see tourism destination.

Robyn also presented several short break seminars in the Outback Seminar Dome at the event held at the end of last month.

Let’s hope their terrific teamwork pays dividends with increased visitor numbers to Loddon!