17 May 2021

Volunteer contributions to the community to be formally recognised in Goulburn

| Lottie Twyford
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Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Bob Kirk, Goulburn Chamber of Commerce President Darrell Weekes and Regional Development Australia Southern Inland CEO Carisa Wells promote the Shop 2580 gift cards.

Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Bob Kirk put forward the propsal, pictured with Goulburn Chamber of Commerce President Darrell Weekes and Regional Development Australia Southern Inland CEO Carisa Wells. Photo: Hannah Sparks.

Deserving volunteers in the Goulburn Mulwaree region are soon to have their commitment to community service recognised with the inception of a new Award designed to do just that.

Mayor Bob Kirk’s original proposal in a Mayoral Minute to create the Goulburn Mulwaree Award was last week endorsed by Council.

It will seek to recognise those citizens who stand out from the crowd because of their achievements and service to the community.

Nominees can be those who are well known to the community or those who are known only to the people they serve and support.

In a Council meeting, it was noted that many individuals do not have their service and dedication recognised as they should.

Mayor Kirk said he felt the system to recognise volunteers was missing a middle step.

“Individual contribution by volunteers can be recognised in many ways, by recognition within local organisations right through to Orders of Australia,” Mayor Kirk said.

However, he said the Orders of Australia process could often be competitive and occasionally controversial.

Of the 32 00 residents in the area, only 83 have ever been nationally recognised since the 1975 commencement of the current awards system.

He said the Goulburn Mulwaree Award could be a way of filling this space by offering something more localised.

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“Year in, year out, there are many wonderful citizens amongst us who stand out by their achievements and service to the community, who I believe, we should honour by way of our own local award,” he added.

It’s also hoped the award will install a deeper sense of community pride throughout Goulburn Mulwaree.

There is already a process in place for a citizen of the year, however, it’s proposed that the new Award is entirely separate and focuses more on the lifetime or longterm achievements and contributions of an individual.

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It’s envisaged there will also be a process through which those citizens who receive the Award can be referred to the national honours award system as well.

Presentations will be held annually in conviction with Goulburn’s birthday (14 March).

Following this year’s elections in September, a Working Party will be established that will create the processes and assessment guidelines for the Award.

This will comprise the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor as well as five independent community representatives.

Once established, the party will have the authority to make decisions relating to receipt, processing, assessment and presentation the Award.

Anyone will be able to nominate someone for the award, and the voting process will be subjective.

Referees will need to be provided and will be approach in order to support the claims made in each nomination.

In the case of the Working Party being unable to agree on a nomination they may have to vote in order to come to a decision.

More information about the Goulburn Mulwaree Award is available online.

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