Mayoral Matters

Mayoral Matters February 2020  –  Mayor Graeme Massey

Residents from the many towns in our shire came together for the traditional Australia Day breakfast barbecue on Sunday 26 January. As part of each town’s ceremony recognition awards were presented to community members to acknowledge their outstanding service and noteworthy achievements. This year I attended Patchewollock’s breakfast to present Robin Yetman with his certificate as Yarriambiack Shire’s Citizen of the Year. Robin has been tireless in organising and promoting Patchewollock’s annual free music festival since 2012. He was instrumental in galvanizing his community into putting on a festival that attracted over 2000 people over the three days in October 2019. The award recognised Robin’s outstanding service and contribution to the Patchewollock community.

The Shire’s Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Hopetoun’s Maddie Cashill for her active involvement as a member of Yarriambiack Youth Council, particularly as the event manager for the endoreic short film festival that was held at Hopetoun in April 2019.

The Community Event of the Year was presented to Melinda Keel on behalf of the committee that organised and hosted the inaugural Wine and Dine in the Stick Shed evening at Murtoa last March.

Council congratulates all recipients of their community’s Australia Day award for 2019, as well as Warracknabeal’s Ian Penny and Hopetoun’s Olive Wellington for receiving an OAM in this year’s honour list.

Yarriambiack Shire is one of six rural councils selected to deliver kindergarten services to three-year-olds this year. Last Monday I visited Minyip Kindergarten to meet with Sonya Kilkenny MLA, Parliamentary Secretary for Early Years in Victoria’s government. It was the first day of kinder for five three-year-olds and Ms Kilkenny attended to welcome them and to congratulate their teacher, Christiana Henke, on attaining a scholarship to expand her educational qualifications. We were told that over 90% of our three-year-olds have been enrolled at the six kindergartens in Yarriambiack Shire. This figure greatly exceeds the government’s target.

Council held its first meeting for the year on 22 January. We face a challenging year. Our main task is to implement the recommendations set out in the inspectorate report following their investigation last year. Other key objectives include supporting projects that will be funded from the latest Drought Community Program, delivering a new library service in all our communities, updating our Sport and Recreation strategy, reaching a solution on the current recycling impasse and initiating master plans for caravan parks and streetscapes.