Meet the people making Charleville a better place
EVENTS are at the heart of the community in Charleville, and the hardworking people behind some of the town’s most-loved celebrations have been recognised for their efforts with Australia Day awards.
Inspector Stewart Day of the Charleville Blue Light Association and Jenny Peacock of the HOPE project were jointly awarded Event of the Year for the wildly popular billy cart derby, and local business advocate Sandra Currie was presented with an Achievement Award for her years of service to the Charleville Christmas Street Party.
They joined Young Citizen of the Year Sam Brooks, and junior sports awardee Riley Thureson at the Murweh Shire Australia Day celebrations on Sunday.
For Inspector Day, being awarded for his efforts in putting on what he hopes is the first of many annual billy cart derbies was a humbling experience.
“I am excited and also very humbled to be awarded, because there were so many people who contributed, including the team at the Hope project who were partners in securing the funding for the community, and St Mary’s School who included it as part of their annual Fun Day” Insp Day said.
“We are very fortunate that the event was so well received by the community and we are hoping that this thing continues and gets bigger and better.
“To have whole families participating in the event – particularly dads, and families from rural properties – was really inspiring – this gave them a lot of time together, and a sense of purpose that they could all participate in this together.”
Sandra Currie has also been a driving force in bringing locals out on to the streets.
For five years she has organised the popular Christmas Street Party, which is all about supporting local business.
“I first got involved when the Chamber of Commerce in Charleville were doing the street party, and helped organise the stalls,” Ms Currie said.
“When they folded, I spoke to a few other people in town, and we agree that we needed to keep this going, so we rallied around and started the Shop Local Campaign.
“Charleville is a small community, and it is important to keep money circulating in the local businesses – we have a lot of talented local vendors, and any money spent here, even if it isn’t a lot, is still money spent in Charleville, rather than being taken out of the town.”
Despite their age, young people of the Murweh Shire have also been achieving great things.
Young Citizen of the Year Sam Brooks is well known for his many sporting achievements, but has also been a role model for his fellow students through the Charleville State High School MESH academic program, and the positive attitude he applies to all of his pursuits.
Junior Sports awardee Riley Thureson had a stellar year in 2019, competing in countless equestrian competitions; her performance as an individual and as part of different teams has been exemplary for her fellow athletes in all sports.
Morven’s own Garry Dexter was named Citizen of the Year for the Murweh Shire, in recognition of his many years as an emergency services volunteer.
Mr Dexter is relied upon by the local fire brigade and ambulance, assisting in training others, and always being on hand at community events.
While he was unable to attend the official ceremony, Mr Dexter’s important contributions were celebrated by Mayor Annie Liston.
“The disastrous bushfires have shown us the vital importance of volunteers emergency service workers in our communities,” she said.
“The town of Morven have nominated one of their volunteers as outstanding, and we agree.”