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THE CORRYONG COURIER
THURSDAY JANUARY 28, 2016
How we celebrated our national day
Breakfast surprise for award winner
A woman who has been co-ordinating the Lions Club’s
Australia Day Breakfast in Corryong for many years was
stunned when she was called forward at Tuesday’s event to
receive the Citizen of the Year award.
Lorraine Griffiths was a thrilled winner of the community
award for 2016 and thanked her Lions’ colleagues for their
Lorraine said her community spirit was instilled by her
family at an early age and she was taught “to help others
before you help yourself.”
“I have tried to live life by that motto ever since,” she said.
The Young Citizen of the Year award was won by Jorja
Brown and the Corryong Rotary Club was recognised as the
Community Organisation of the Year.
The Corryong breakfast was one of five to be held at towns
throughout the Towong Shire on Australia Day.
The audience of almost 200 seemed to appreciate the later
start to proceedings at 8am when the national flag was raised
and the recital of the words of affirmation.
The master of ceremonies was Nadia Edwards who, along
with her young choir, also backed up singer Trevor Best and
Maurie Foun on the lagerphone who played a selection of
Aussie tunes to much appreciation.
Local historian John Murphy paid tribute to the traditional
owners of the land and gave an interesting potted history of
indigenous life in the region.
Departing Anglican priest Fr Norman Gray officiated at his
last local function before moving to Melbourne to be closer
to his 13 grandchildren and his elderly friends.
Last year’s Citizen of the Year, Ray Waters, spoke of his
military service during the Malay conflict and Vietnam War
and how tough it was trekking through the rugged terrain and
very humid conditions. His talk underscored the sacrifices
that people have made to ensure the Australian way of life
A breakfast and presentation of awards was also held at
Walwa. Other breakfasts were held at Bellbridge, Eskdale,
Tallangatta and Tumbarumba.
Corryong - Citizen of the Year
The recipient of the 2016 Citizen of the Year Award has been
described as a real community person, a kind person helping
others in need.
Lorraine Griffiths is a very familiar face around the Corryong
district especially since moving into town from the Nariel
Valley. Once that happened, it wasn’t long before her
community involvement extended to the kindergarten,
primary school then secondary college For 19 years she
has followed her children throughout their local education
holding positions of president and secretary with the parents
Lorraine also gives generously of her time to the Red Cross,
Anglican Church, Corryong Recreation Reserve, Federal
Football Netball Club and the Man From Snowy River
However, it is her association with the Corryong Lions
Club that is now perhaps the closest to her heart. Lorraine
and the Lions club are synonymous. She has been a Lioness
for 25 years and she has achieved so much for the Corryong
Lorraine has worked tirelessly to ensure the refurbishment
of the Lions Hall went ahead. She has been catering officer,
secretary and president and was even approached to be
district governor - a role she reluctantly declined due to the
travel that would have been involved.
Lorraine’s achievements and commitment to the people of
Corryong is evident and her legacy will last for a very long
Corryong - Young Citizen of the Year
The recipient of the 2016 Young Citizen of the Year Award
has a rare sense of community spirit for one so young.
Jorja Brown has been involved in many pursuits and
community groups including gymnastics, swimming, school
activities and sports, netball, CFA Youth Crew and has also
received recognition for her academic achievements.
She is a very organised and punctual person who also
maintains three casual jobs outside of school.
Jorja has accomplished so much in her short life. Obviously
a very sports-minded young lady, Jorja has been involved
with the junior gymnastics since she was six and has been a
member of the Corryong swimming club for 10 years. She has
won the club’s awards for most determined swimming and
broken many southern division, zone and local records - some
of which have been held for over 30 years! She has displayed
great sportsmanship winning age championships at local and
zone level and first swam at the Victoria State Championships
at the age of 11. She has also been the recipient of the Australia
Sports Commission’s Local Sporting Champions Grant for
three consecutive years, which is designed to help young
people pursue their dreams at an elite level. She is a member
of the Cudgewa Football Netball Club as a competitor and
Following two years in the CFA Advance Youth Crew,
Jorja has just recently become a fully fledged member of
the Corryong CFA - becoming the first female operational
member of the brigade.
Corryong - Community Organisation of Year
Rotary Club of Corryong
The Rotary Club of Corryong was chartered over 45 years
ago and has achieved many things during that time, not only
for the betterment of the local community but also others
‘down the line’.
During that time they have sponsored 22 exchange students
for a 12 month stay in Corryong. Some of those students still
keep in contact with their ‘host’ families today and on top
of that they also sent 22 local students to many destinations
around the world.
The club was instrumental in relocating Jarvis Cottage to the
museum, purchased a hospitality trailer for use by the College
students, escorted Graham Middleton in his epic swim down
the Murray River and facilitated many cultural events in the
community, including the Classical Victorian Concert and the
Australian Boys’ Choir.
The club has also undertaken many projects in conjunction
with Towong Council including seating in the lawn cemetery,
picnic/camping area near Murray Goulburn store and the RV
dump point at the Corryong saleyards to name a few.
In 2015 the club has conducted many fundraising activities
that saw donations to more than 30 organisations, not counting
the $7,300 raised for mental health.
Walwa - Citizen of the Year
The recipient of the Walwa Citizen of the Year Award is a man
not into governance roles but give him a job to do whether it’s
cleaning out gutters, fighting fires, fixing septics or judging at
local shows he is in his element.
Vyner Smithwick has been described as ‘a role model of
He has lived and worked in the Walwa area all his life. He
and his brother used to row across the Murray River to attend
school in Burrowye (until it burnt down) before attending
school in Corryong for a year. Later he attended Albury
Grammar and then Wagga Wagga Agricultural College before
returning to the family farm at Talmalmo.
Walwa - Community Organisation of the Year
Walwa Community Shop
During 2012 the Towong Alliance (a group that saw the
collaboration of the health services within the Towong shire
and the council) met with interested people to discuss ways
in which to promote healthy, connected communities and to
maximise healthy ageing.
Many positive ideas flowed and one of the first initiatives was
sharing excess local produce.
From there the idea of book swapping evolved, then pre-
loved clothes, bric a brac and more.
Before you knew it the Walwa Community Shop was founded
Members have found that tourists love community shopping,
looking for that elusive bargain or a new book to read in their
travels – so here was an added benefit of bringing money into
the district and being shared throughout the community via
services and community projects.
Another benefit has been the social aspect.
The volunteers love a chat and encourage community
members to just drop in.
Tallangatta - Citizen of the Year
The recipient of the 2016 award gives his time freely, never
complains and has a friendly attitude towards everyone.
Roger Lees has ‘served time’on the Memorial Hall Committee,
the Tallangatta Bowling Club, assists the Rotarians with extra
manpower when required and has been a past president of the
Border District Show Jumping group.
However, his one true love (other than his wife) has to be the
Tallangatta Showgrounds and the Tallangatta Show Society.
Roger is the current president of the committee and has
held that position for the past eight years. In that time he has
been largely responsible in obtaining grants and sponsorship
to enable many improvements at the showgrounds. He not
only has the show society’s interest at heart but takes pride
in keeping all the buildings well maintained and makes sure
watering systems are right for all events including the Upper
Murray Horseman’s Association, pony club and cricket club.
Citizens of the Year
Diana and Peter Schmidt
Community Organisation of the Year
Mitta to Murray Blackberry Action Group
MITTA VALLEY AWARDS
Citizen of the Year
Young Citizen of the Year
Community Organisation of the Year
Our Valley Our Future
Senior Citizen of the Year
Eskdale A Grade cricket team
TUMBARUMBA SHIRE AWARDS
Citizen of the Year
James Crozier Snr
Senior Citizen of the Year
Junior Citizen of the Year
Australia Day Message 2016 from Member
for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO:-
Congratulations to Australia
Day Awards recipients and
all volunteers in Indi for their
Volunteering is alive and well!
Australia Day is an important time
to get together as a community
and acknowledge the efforts of
those community members who
help make our communities
A warm welcome also to all those
people who have become Australian citizens.
Australia Day is a perfect time to welcome people to
our communities, to join in Australia Day barbecues
and festivities and to celebrate what it means to be an
Vyner is happily married to Bron and together they have
four children. In his spare time, Vyner loves running and bike
riding and he recently went in the Great Victorian Bike ride
–a gruelling 550 kms.
He has also run in all the Nail Can Hill marathons in Albury.
He has volunteered with many organisations in and around
Walwa including Young Farmers, Apex, Walwa Bush Nursing
Hospital Committee, Walwa Primary School Council, Cubs,
Walwa/Jingellic Lions, the SES and the Rural Fire Service
where he has held the positions of secretary/treasurer, deputy
captain and captain.
He has also been on the RFS Senior Management Team as
deputy group controller for 10 years.
Whichever organisation he has been a member of Vyner
Smithwick always gives 100 per cent of his time. His love of
the Upper Murray is unquestioned and his community spirit
Tallangatta - Young Citizen of the Year
The recipient of the this award completed VCE at Tallangatta
Secondary College in 2014.
Mitchell Maddock has lived all his life in Tallangatta and
currently works in the forestry industry and at the local
abattoir. In his spare time he volunteers for the Tallangatta
Football Club and is a member of the committee. To say he
loves his footy is an understatement but his all consuming
passion is the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
He is a graduate of the CFA Advance Youth Crew Program.
This is a well-established partnership between Mt Beauty,
Tallangatta, and Corryong secondary colleges, the Department
of Human Services and local CFA brigades. During his two
year commitment with the Youth Crew, Mitchell assisted CFA
members who provided support to the program co-ordinators,
learning the necessary and practical skills in the development
of essential firefighting practices along the way.
Mitchell became one of those graduates and is now an
active member maintaining his commitment by turning out
regularly. He regularly participates in brigade activities such
as training and drills and attending fires locally and outside
When not at work, he is a very familiar face at the Secondary
College as he continues his passion for all things CFA by
volunteering and helping out with the current youth crew.
Tallangatta - Community Organisation of Year
Following the disbanding of Tallangatta for the Future, a
group of community-minded people, including the Tallangatta
Uniting Church and Tallangatta traders, joined forces to
ensure the town continued to have a Christmas Party. Working
independently saw some great results previously but what if
they all worked collaboratively?
After much chatting and lots of emails the Tallangatta
Christmas Party was first held in 2014. It was a chance for all
businesses to work together and give back to the community.
The idea of all businesses contributing to the running of the
evening and inviting other service businesses to participate
was so successful, it grew to be bigger and better in 2015.
With the Tallangatta Uniting Church including the Carols by
Candelight the same evening, true community collaboration
was achieved. Two groups holding two events on the same
evening equalled only one thing - success.
Over 300 people from Tallangatta and surrounding areas
attended and supported this fantastic community initiative.
Jorja Brown and Lorraine Griffiths with their awards.
Ray Waters (left) presents Rotary president Peter Humphrey with the Organisation of the Year award.
Ray Waters (left), Nadia Edwards and Trevor Best
lead the Australia Day crowd in singing the national
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