Russell Northe – March. 2011

As this is my first contribution to the new look Boolarra Link, I’d like to wish all community members a Happy New Year and I hope that your holiday season was restful and enjoyable. 2011 has already been extremely hectic in terms of events with strong attendances at our local Australia Day celebrations despite the less than ideal weather.

I’d like to congratulate all the winners of Boolarra Community Recognition Awards received on Australia Day. It is fantastic to see our local residents being actively involved and duly recognised for their contributions.

I pass on my congratulations to the following recipients of awards:

Emma Cooke, Michael Schiller, Faye Taylor, Kristy Cupples, Mandy Peter, Michael Taylor, Lisa Papa, Garryelle Rose, Samantha Brick, Catheryn Thompson, Gwenda Pither and Dr Margaret Costello.

These people have shown immense dedication and commitment to Boolarra and District and I’d like to thank each of the recipients for being active citizens and for taking the time to make Boolarra and District a richer community.

I’d also like to congratulate a previous award winner, the Boolarra Folk Festival Committee on their organisation and dedication to the Festival, to be held Saturday 5 March 2011. I for one am looking forward to attending the Festival again, which always has a fantastic turnout and great activities and acts on the day.

The Folk Festival is always a huge drawcard for the town and I am sure it will always continue to be a success in the future. The community should be very proud of itself for hosting an event such as this, and I thank all those involved for making the event a success each year.

I recently spoke in Parliament on the second anniversary of the Black Saturday and Delburn Complex bushfires of 2009 and want to pass on my best wishes to those who are still recovering from the events of that traumatic period. Whilst our thoughts are, of course, with those who were impacted by the fires in January and February of 2009 we should also acknowledge those who have assisted in the recovery which still continues.

The courage, dedication and commitment of so many individuals, organisations and businesses has been absolutely amazing and I congratulate one and all for assisting those in their time of need. It has been a hard couple of years, but I know the community is resilient and are continuing to stand by one another, which is heartening and comforting. I ask the community to please spare a thought and a hug for your neighbours, your friends or your family who may be silently suffering at this time.

I’d also like to welcome all students back to school. I hope all primary, secondary and tertiary students take the opportunity this year to exceed all expectations and put 100% into their studies. For those beginning Year 12, I wish you all the best for the year and I am sure the dedication and brain power you put into your school work will see you succeed.

I wish every member of the community the best for 2011 and I hope that it is a prosperous year, filled with many memorable moments.