Indigo's outstanding citizens recognised with Australia Day awards
Published on 26 January 2024
Beechworth resident Christine Dormer has been named Indigo Shire’s 2024 Citizen of the Year.
Mayor, Sophie Price, says the award recognises Christine’s significant contribution to both the Beechworth and Stanley communities over many years.
“Christine’s incredible history of community service spans decades and truly makes her a worthy recipient of this award. Since the 1980’s she has been a stalwart of both the Stanley and Beechworth communities and her selflessness in sharing her time and knowledge for the benefit of her community, as well as future generations, makes this award so well-deserved.” Cr Price said.
Christine has been instrumental in maintaining and preserving the historic building and collection of the Stanley Athenaeum and has spent hundreds of hours applying for grants, assisting with business and disaster preparedness planning, cataloguing the collection, researching and writing books, planning exhibitions and training volunteers.
She’s had numerous roles from committee member to founding member of many groups and organisations across the Shire, including the Stanley Cemetery Trust, Beechworth Arts Council, Stanley Hall Committee, Murray Museums Group, Beechworth Senior Citizen's, BEAT, Green Fingers gardening group and the Mechanics Institute in Melbourne.
In receiving the award, Christine says she is humbled by the recognition saying, “It’s really nice to be recognised but it is important for me to acknowledge that there are a lot of other people that contribute too.”
Christine was similarly modest as she reflected on her many years of volunteering saying it’s just something she has always done.
“I think it comes from my upbringing, I grew up in a small rural community and it is just what people did. All through my life, I’ve always put my hand up to do things.”
“I guess I try to show leadership when engaging people and in encouraging them to get involved, if people are interested in anything from books and reading, photography or history, I always just say come along and give it a go. It’s social, it’s a great way to be involved in your community and it’s incredibly rewarding to work together toward common goals.” Christine says.
The Indigo Shire Young Citizen of the Year has been awarded to 24-year-old Chiltern local, Kurt Sorenson.
Kurt has been an active and inspiring member of the Chiltern CFA since he joined as a junior member at just 11 years of age, and more recently, he’s taken on the role of Training Coordinator and 2nd Lieutenant.
Kurt has led the Chiltern Junior Fire Brigade team for approximately three years and represents the CFA in the community by coaching juniors in running teams, contributing to the Good Friday appeal and other fundraising efforts and also helps with maintenance tasks at the station.
Cr Price says that Kurt has demonstrated an outstanding level of commitment to his local community and maturity and leadership beyond his years.
”Kurt’s award today is a well-deserved acknowledgment of his dedication to the CFA and his local community. Kurt is a pivotal member of the Chiltern CFA team both on and off the fireground and he’s a brilliant role model for other young people.” Cr Price said.
Cr Price says the future is bright with young people such as Kurt demonstrating such a dedication to serving their community.
Kurt was humbled by the award, saying he certainly didn’t expect it, but it is nice to be recognised.
“I volunteer with the CFA because it’s a really great group of people to be around and its very rewarding to see people come through and become qualified firefighters,” Kurt says.
“All the hard work we put in makes our brigade run really well and means that we’re qualified to handle what’s thrown at us when there’s a fire. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.”
The Community Organisation of the Year award goes to the Kergunyah Country Women’s Association (CWA). Made up of a small and dedicated group of women, the Kergunyah CWA works tirelessly to empower, encourage, and support local women and children.
Cr Price says this group of committed volunteers is the backbone of the Kergunyah and Kiewa communities, supporting the Kiewa primary school with monthly awards, the Kiewa River Gazette, the Kergunyah Community Hall, the SES and local elderly people, and the group can always be relied upon in times of need.
Events to recognise the outstanding citizens, community groups and those receiving certificates of achievement are planned across the Shire – click here to find the details.
FULL LIST OF AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD WINNERS
Christine Dormer – Citizen of the Year
Kurt Sorenson – Young Citizen of the Year
Kergunyah Country Women’s Association – Indigo Shire Community Organisation of the Year
Joelene Humphrey - Kiewa Tangambalanga and District Certificate of Achievement
Julie Simpson – Rutherglen and District Certificate of Achievement
Colin Harkin - Barnawartha and District Certificate of Achievement
Valma Chenoweth - Chiltern District Certificate of Achievement
Reuben Pfahlert - Emma George Sporting Scholarship
Wahgunyah District Certificate of Achievement*
Yackandandah District Certificate of Achievement
Beechworth and District Certificate of Achievement*
*no nominations received in this award category.