Penola pride on show

Penola pride on show

Penola and district residents assembled at the Penola War Memorial Park on Australia Day for a special awards ceremony and celebration.

The Penola Lions Club’s Ray Haines welcomed the gathering of more than 250 people in the cool but fine conditions.

Members of the Coonawarra-Penola RSL raised the flag and guest musicians played the national anthem.

In his address, Mr Haines explained the significance of Australia Day.

“On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what is great about Australia and being an Australian,” he said.

Guest speaker Dr Bob Irving gave an interesting address, speaking about his time as a vet in outback South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia, mainly helping dogs with severe illnesses.

Wattle Range Riddoch Ward Councillors Emma Castine and Chris Brodie presented the Australia Day award recipients with their certificates.

In accepting his award as Penola’s Citizen of the Year, Doug Balnaves said he was very surprised and shocked when he was notified he had won the award.

“I am born and bred in Penola and have been involved in many committees and organisations in my time,” he said.

“However, when you join committees you go along to offer support and for enjoyment and not to receive individual accolades.”

Mr Balnaves is a patron of the Coonawarra Vignerons, has been involved in the Penola Pipe Band for some 66 years, and over the years has been involved in many other organisations.

“It is wonderful to have so many volunteers in our district, and this is the reason we are able to hold such successful events,” he said.

In closing Mr Balnaves sincerely thanked his family for their outstanding support.

The Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Penola High School student Shelley Crawford, who was recognised for a host of achievements.

Shelley is a keen supporter of her community and has participated in many leadership conferences, both locally 
and abroad.

She has also been very successful in Lions Youth of the Year competitions in Penola and regionally.

Shelley also thanked her family and friends for their support.

The Active Citizen of the year was awarded to Judy Goodes-Mountford.

Ms Goodes-Mountford has been involved in many organisations as a volunteer since she was a young child, including helping her parents Margaret and Ken Mountford as they were both volunteers.

“It was instilled in both my sister and myself as children how important it was to ‘help out’,” she said.

“I am most humble to receive this award, and as Doug Balnaves said, you do it for love and do not expect any individual accolades.

“I urge any young people out there to become a volunteer as it is most rewarding.”

Other awards were presented to Cory O’Connor (Youth Recognition Award for Environment and Sustainability), Toby Zerk (Inspiration by Innovation) and Shelley Crawford (Learning Success).

All award recipients thanked the Wattle Range Council for hosting the event.

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