The Shire of Chittering held the Australia Day Awards Ceremony on Monday, 25 January in the Bindoon Town Hall with approximately 70 people in attendance.  This annual ceremony recognises those members of the Chittering community who voluntarily invest so much of their time into the community.  It is the perfect opportunity to publicly thank them for their efforts.

This year we also had the pleasure of sharing the excitement of an Australian Citizenship Ceremony, welcoming our newest Australian to the Shire, Susan Jones.

The first presentation for the evening was the Education Scholarship Award.  This is a monetary grant that the Shire awards to local students for their academic achievement, along with the contribution that they have made to their school and the community.  The young people are asked to complete the submissions which are reviewed by a local committee.

  • Adam Brocklehurst – Years 6:  Adam lives in Bindoon and will be attending Guildford Grammar School to continue his education. Guildford Grammar School was chosen by Adam as they have an extensive variety of programs available to their students.  Adam will use his award towards extra-curricular activities like music lessons, excursion fees and sporting costs.  When Adam has finished his education he hopes to work within the engineering field, i.e. robots.
  • Ebony White – Year 10:  Ebony also lives in Bindoon and will be attending Ellenbrook Christian College to continue her education, where she is currently a student.  When Ebony leaves school her hopes are to attend university to fulfil her dream of becoming a veterinary surgeon.  Ebony will use her award towards her school fees and education resources.  

Cr Peter Osborn presented the two winners with their awards.

The School Citizenship Awards are presented to students who attend our local schools, and they are nominated by their school. 

  • Immaculate Heart College – Harmarnie Barker:  Harmarnie resides in Lower Chittering and was nominated by Principal Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis.  Harmarnie is a courteous and polite student who always greets staff and fellow students with a positive attitude.  Harmarnie demonstrates respect and acceptance of diversity; seeking out the schools wheelchair bound student to support her with play and help her move between classes.  Harmarnie displays empathy, support and consideration for fellow students.  

Cr George Tilbury presented Harmarnie with her award.

The Community Service Awards are awarded following submissions from Councillors to thank recipients for their service to their community:

  • Vicki & Keren Portelli – Vicki and Keren reside in Lower Chittering and have been involved in the community for many years, including the Chittering Valley Progress and Sporting Association, Chittering Broncos, Bindoon Basketball Association, Chittering Scouts (just to name a few).  The contribution made by Vicki and Kieran is why they are a deserving couple for this award.
  • Rita & Craig Herbert – Rita and Craig run the successful and award winning Bindoon Fresh Meats.  Their contribution to the community through their support for local community groups and events is why they were nominated for this award.  They have also added to the personality of the “CBD” (Binda Place) through their positive involvement, fresh outlook and kindness.  They have shown the community the value of involvement and the benefit of kindness.

Cr Aaron King presented the recipients with their awards.

At the 2015 Local Government Convention two former Councillors were awarded the Merit Award, which recognises Elected Members who have provided distinguished service to the community through their local government:

  • Alex Douglas – Committed to improving tourism opportunities, aged care facilities and water access to the Shire of Chittering, Alex has been pivotal in lobbying for upgraded water services in the Shire, has championed improved planning for the Bindoon Town Site and was actively involved in the development of the local retirement village.  Alex has served 14yrs as an elected member, and represented Council on a number of committees, including chairing the Chittering Tourism Association.  Alex was a member of the Wheatbelt North Regional Road Group, the District Health Advisory Council and the Bindoon and Districts Historical Society. 
  • Doreen Mackie – Doreen served 8yrs with the Shire of Chittering providing exemplary community representation and as a result of her medical background Doreen was interested in implementing improved access to health facilities in the Shire.  Doreen was heavily involved in the implementation of the Chittering Health Centre.  Doreen was a member of the District Health Advisory Council and the Bindoon Progress Association.  Doreen also serves on the Bindoon Incident Support Brigade and was an active member of the Chittering Bush Fire Advisory Committee.

Cr Vallance presented Doreen with her award; unfortunately Alex was unable to attend so Cr Vallance accepted the award on Alex’s behalf.

The Premier's Australia Day Active Citizenship Awards focusses on community contribution and participation rather than personal achievement.  These awards are selected from people and groups/events that have made a noteworthy contribution during 2015; or have given outstanding service to the local community over a number of years through active involvement.

This award is judged on active citizenship, how the nominees have contributed to community life and their active participation in local projects:

  • How has the nominee contributed to the Chittering community?
  • How has the nominee demonstrated leadership on a community issue resulting in the enhancement of community life?
  • What has the nominee achieved that has brought about change and value to community life?

Unfortunately at the close of nominations there were no submissions received for a person under 25yrs.

The following community groups / events were nominated by community members for the Premier’s Australia Day Active Citizenship Award for an Outstanding Contribution by a Community Group / Event:

  • Bindoon Annual Historic Vehicle Day – The Bindoon Annual Historic Vehicle Day was nominated by Chris Waldie.  The Bindoon Annual Historic Vehicle Day was first run in 2013 and is a major drawcard for local traders (evidenced by their keen sponsorship of the event).  Not only is the event attended by car clubs and followers, the general public are also interested and attend, with an estimated 2,000 people at the 2015 event.  The 2015 event showcased 30 stallholders who all reported successful trading and indicated their support for future events.  This is becoming an annual event, bringing another group of visitors to our region, providing new customers to local businesses and tourism exposure. 
  • 2015 Chittering Wildflower Festival – The 2015 Chittering Wildflower Festival was nominated by Colleen Osborn.  The major contribution to the community is the financial sense, however the harnessing of energy and ideas to bring about a successful event is an example of a healthy and happy community working together.  Reports of the economic return received by community groups and local businesses were very positive.  Businesses reporting their ‘best day ever’, or best for some years.  The flow on effect is the return visitors who will again spend in Chittering.  Accommodation availability was limited and food outlets were busy with record numbers of people visiting the Chittering Visitor Centre for information.  Currently the success of the 2015 festival has increased interest in more groups participating for 2016.  This is a community inclusive event and is proving popular for the Chittering Community and visitors alike.
  • Bindoon Primary School P&C – The Bindoon Primary School P&C was nominated by Alison Reliti.  The Bindoon Primary School P&C provide support and funding for all students, parents and carers of Bindoon Primary School.  During 2015 they built a fence around the kindy playground as well as a bike path and parking area for parents dropping off children to kindergarten.  They are a committed group of volunteers who attend the following events to raise awareness of the school:  Wear Ya Wellies (May), Taste of Chittering (August) and Bindoon Agricultural Show (October).  During 2014/2015 they also raised funds towards the PATHS system, which is an alternate learning system that helps children learn to be resilient and open to alternate ways of learning, which for some children can mean the difference between passing and excelling in the schooling environment.
  • Wannamal Community Centre’s Long Table Dinner – The Wannamal Community Centre’s Long Table Dinner was nominated by Annette Howard.  The attending crowd enjoyed a long table dinner on the ‘spruced-up’ Wannamal Oval, savouring the Wannamal hospitality under a setting sun.  The opportunity to watch the sunset, listen to kookaburras sing and smell the gum trees, especially for the local farmers after a long, hot harvest and many fires, it provided a much-needed tranquil evening.  Amongst the laughter, chatter, fellowship and children running around, the sky darkened as a canopy of twinkling stars and sparkling fairy lights added another level to the night.
  • 2015 Taste of Chittering – The 2015 Taste of Chittering was nominated by Colleen Osborn.  With over 5,000 visitors, and 80 stallholders this event was a huge success for showcasing the Chittering Valley.  The direct economic benefit to stallholders and the wider business community was income immediately injected into our community.  Many of the stallholders were volunteer groups who took advantage of the opportunity to raise funds for their cause.  This was the third year and each year it continues to grow and attract new visitors to our region.

The Shire President, Cr Steve Vallance, presented the Wannamal Community Centre with the 2016 Award which was collected by Ruth Loudon and Annette Howard.

The following community members were nominated by local community members for the Premier’s Australia Day Active Citizenship Award for an Outstanding Contribution by a Local Citizen:

  • Clive Jenner – Clive was nominated by Karen Dore (Economic Development/Communications Officer, Shire of Chittering). Clive did an amazing job organising the Arvosi Concert; with tireless promotion ensuring that all the tickets were sold.  Those that attended the concert had an amazing ‘sing-a-long’ time.  Clive showed the community what can be achieved with passion and determination. 
  • Alex Douglas – Alex was nominated by Colleen Osborn (Chittering Tourist Association).  Alex has contributed to the Chittering community since he arrived over 30yrs ago.  He has participated on many committees during this time, including Bindoon Theatre Inc, having recently steered this group into the more broadly based group ‘Bindoon Entertainment, Arts and Theatre Group’ (BEAT).  Added to this his current role with the Bindoon Men’s Shed and the Chittering Tourism Association.  Alex’s past positions have been with the Bindoon Retirees, Bindoon Progress Association, Bindoon Agricultural Society and the Bindoon Arts & Crafts.  Alex also contributed as an elected member for the Shire of Chittering for 13yrs, during this time he also served as Shire President; retiring last year.  Alex has spent countless hours travelling within the Chittering region to promote us with the tourism promotional trailer.  Alex’s contribution in attracting the very first doctor to Bindoon and the recent provision of a future retirement village in Bindoon will forever remain a legacy to the community.

The Shire President, Cr Steve Vallance announced the Alex Douglas as the 2016 winner and accepted the award on his behalf.

Ruth Loudon and Annette Howard cut the celebration cake, before all attendees were invited into the kitchen area to enjoy supper and some light conversation.