THE City of Ballarat recognised its 2018 Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year on Friday, 26 January 2018.
The Australia Day Awards recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations which give up their time to make our community a more vibrant place to live in.
The 2018 Citizen of the Year is Peter Caligari OAM who is instrumental in helping the districts underprivileged through the 3BA Christmas Appeal and Christmas in July.
The Young Citizen of the Year is Giarn Carroll who is a tireless volunteer, while the Buninyong Festival was named the Community Event of the Year.
City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh said, “Ballarat is extremely lucky in the amount of good hearted people who give us their creativity, experience and enthusiasm as volunteers across a wide range of areas.
“The Australia Day Awards are our way of saying a very grateful thank you to some of those people and organisations which give so much to the Ballarat community.” In front of a large crowd aunty Deanne Gilson performed Welcome to Country.
“I greet you today, with my ancestors,” she said in part, “And acknowledge our connection to mother earth… let’s walk together, talk together and live together.” Australia Day Ambassador Tony Cavanagh, a horse racing owner and breeder, delivered the Australia Day address before the Young Citizen was announced.
Giarn was unable to collect her award in person, as she had accepted a post at the University of Tasmania and was at the time, settling in.
Accepting the award on her behalf was her father, Simon, who said that Giarn had asked him to pay respects to the Wathaurung people, on whose land we had gathered.
“Giarn is special young lady and on her bedroom door is a list of human rights, that she observed and paid due respect to, and pretty much her daily thing was to follow those little and how she should behave and the lesson she has taught to us, as a family, is whether it is a local community or worldwide community, if you expect to be a part of it you should contribute to it,” Mr Carroll said.
After many years the Buninyong Festival, a free community event, is still going strong and this year had over 5000 visitors, the largest festival in recent years.
The 3BA Appeal and Christmas in July is invaluable to local welfare groups, assisting them in providing assistance to local families in need.
“It is with a high degree of embarrassment that I accept this wonderful honour,” Mr Caligari said.
“When you look at the contribution made by all the nominees every one of those is just as deserving.
“When I launched the 3BA Christmas Appeal back in 1980 never in my wildest dreams or imagination did I ever think that 38 years later I would still be involved and the Appeal grown to be very much a part of Ballarat.” Twenty Ballarat residents will also swore the oath of citizenship in the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony.
“For our new citizens, taking the oath of Australian Citizenship is a very significant step; to do so on Australia Day makes it especially significant,” Cr McIntosh said.