Australia Day Celebrations 2017

Australia Day celebrated across Murrindindi Shire

Murrindindi Shire was abuzz on Australia Day as community members and visitors celebrated this important day in style at nine different events taking place throughout the municipality, coordinated by dedicated and hard working community groups.

Four Ambassadors attended events in Alexandra, Kinglake, Marysville and Yea as part of the Australia Day Ambassador Program.

Ambassadors included social entrepreneur Fabian Dattner, opera singer Emily Burke, Victorian harness racing personality Maree Caldow and former Ambulance Victoria CEO Greg Sassella.

These inspirational Australian achievers addressed audiences, spreading the message of national pride and what being Australian means to them.

Murrindindi Shire Council Mayor Charlie Bisset attended celebrations in Alexandra and at the Murrindindi-Woodbourne Hub.

Cr Bisset recognised Australia Day has many different meanings for people and holds great value for communities far and wide to come together and share experiences, memories and traditions. In many cases this means enjoying a good ol’ barbie with friends and family.

As part of the Australia Day celebrations three awards were presented to members of the community.  Recipients received these awards in recognition of their inspiring volunteering in Murrindindi Shire.

“At the event in Alexandra, Ray Steyger was awarded Murrindindi Shire Citizen of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the community," Cr Bisset said.

"In Marysville Melissa Peart was recognised as the Murrindindi Shire Young Citizen of the Year for her volunteerism and fundraising efforts.  The Marysville Jazz and Blues Weekend was awarded the Murrindindi Shire Community Event of the Year for a second year running.

“Congratulations to Ray, Melissa and the Marysville Jazz and Blues Weekend on receiving their respective awards and also to those who were nominated for their outstanding efforts in the community,” said Cr Bisset.

Background for information:

Murrindindi Shire Citizen of the Year – Ray Steyger

Ray has passionately served in the position of President at the Alexandra Football Netball Club (AFNC) for the last 21 years. During this time he has been an extremely dedicated and hard working volunteer and a leader at the Club.

Ray has represent AFNC as President of the Seymour District Junior Football Netball League for 10 years and as representative on the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League.

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the AFNC Ray was presented with Life Membership to the AFNC in 2005.

In addition to the many hours that Ray puts in for AFNC he also volunteers his time over the Christmas period to play Santa at various locations including Kellock Nursing Home, Darlingford Nursing Home, Alexandra Veterinary Clinic and the Alexandra Kindergarten.


Murrindindi Shire Young Citizen of the Year – Melissa Peart

Melissa is a strong leader amongst her peers. In 2016 she was Alexandra Secondary College Vice Captain and Marysville Bus Captain. She was also a member of the College Student Representative Council for four years, including being President in her last year. Melissa also participated in the Alice Sloan Program in 2015, organised through OEG and Berry Street.   

Outside of the classroom Melissa volunteers her time to assist with numerous fundraising activities in her local community including the Good Friday Appeal, Cancer Council events and Lions Club events. She has also been an active member of Girl Guides and in more recent years as a Senior Girl Guide peer mentor.


Murrindindi Shire Community Event of the Year – Marysville Jazz and Blues Weekend

Following the success of the inaugural event in 2015, a small committee of volunteers worked hard to grow the event in 2016. More than 40 locals volunteered on the event weekend, held from 14 to 16 October 2016.

The 2016 Marysville Jazz and Blues Weekend hosted 153 performers including some of the best Australian touring acts, as well as local musicians and performers. Ticket sales were up 30% on the previous year with over 1,000 people visiting for the purpose of the event.

The Marysville Jazz and Blues Weekend helps to support local businesses and increases visitation to the area. The event also builds community spirit and provides an opportunity to showcase local and upcoming musicians.

The committee is already busy working on what they promise to be an even bigger event in 2017.