Australia Day 2020: A Big Day for Boolarra

Another great Australia Day celebration at Railway Park in Boolarra with around 140 people turning out to enjoy the perfect weather, an egg and bacon sandwich and a chance to have a chin wag with friends they don’t run into often. It was great to meet a number of the new residents to town in such a relaxed atmosphere.
The large group of kids had fun with the games organised by Daniel Brick, including sack races, gum boot throwing and egg races. The older crowd members were kept on their toes by Australiana Trivia questions. The volunteers on the BBQ started at 7.30am to ensure the hungry masses were very well catered for. Thanks also to Tim Ryan for allowing us the use of his Truck’n with Tim sound gear. Good gear makes it a lot easier for the presenters and the crowd. Well done also to Chris

Cr Darrell White, Rob Franssen, Terry Parker, Roz Carstairs and Adria Turner.

Wareham for bringing the Koffee Kart along and providing free coffees to the masses.
Cr Darrell White arrived from his prior commitments at Churchill and Yinnar and spoke of the significance of Australia Day, the values it represents, how these are reflected in our community, the strength of the community spirit within Boolarra, the large number of clubs and organisations in the town and the important role of the Community Development Group.
We then had the presentation of the Boolarra Community Awards, the raising of the flag and singing of the national anthem. Overall it was a very big day for Boolarra.
Sue Clutterbuck, a local audiologist, was awarded the OAM for her services to the deaf and hearing impaired. Sue is also a prominent volunteer at the Boolarra Community Hotel. The whole community congratulates Sue on her achievements.
Later in the afternoon at the Australia Day ceremony at Kernot Hall, the Boolarra Community Development Group and the Boolarra Community Hotel were awarded Community Event of the Year for the Tom Curtain Speak Up Tour concert held at the pub in February 2019. The Speak Up tour was focused on combatting the effects of bullying on young children and really touched a chord with the local community who supported the event in droves, making it a wonderfully successful event.
In her acceptance speech, Kathy Ryan, on behalf of the Community Hotel, made the following points:
This is truly a wonderful award for Boolarra.
Bullying: whether it be at school, in the community or in the workplace causes so many deep rooted problems that can have long lasting or disastrous ramifications. Tom Curtain experienced this first hand when a young neighbour of his in the Northern Territory, Amy ‘Dolly’ Everitt took her own life as a result of bullying.
Tom was so touched by this disastrous event that he penned a song titled Speak Up which he and Sara Storer produced. Speak Up gives children the united courage and strategies to stand up for their friends who are being bullied.
Our team were able to arrange for the Speak Up song to be taught in local
schools, which also encouraged conversations to occur about bullying.
Local service clubs and organisations sponsored more than 40 families experiencing layers of vulnerability who would have previously been unable to attend the event. This experience in turn gave children and their families the strategies and confidence to better manage bullying.
Tom and Annabel were so inspired by the actions of the service clubs that they kindly sponsored another 20 families to attend. It was so very rewarding to see many local children join Tom in singing the Speak Up song at our event.
Events like this don’t happen without assistance whether it be in the form of financial grants such as AGL, Latrobe City and Latrobe Valley Authority to name but a few. To the Express for sponsored advertising or from the likes of Pro Rent, Willatons Transport and Coates Hire who supplied equipment free of charge such as lighting towers, and Pantech for the stage and a generator.
We say thank you.
Tom returned to Boolarra on 8 February as part of his We’re Still Here Tour that is specifically about the resilience of Australians on the land and the hardships they frequently endure droughts, floods and fires.
Boolarra Community Recognition awards
There were a good number of nominations for Community Recognition awards this year. This reflects the enthusiasm people have for being able to have their friends’ efforts formally acknowledged in front of an audience of their peers.
Once again it was a terrific range of recipients, with a number of the quiet achievers acknowledged, along with a number of people who have been closely involved in key community activities such as the Bowling Club and the Football Netball Club. There were also two nominations from the Budgeree which emphasises the point that our community does not only consist of the township of Boolarra but also the adjoining areas.
Congratulations to the following recipients in recognition of their significant contribution to the Boolarra community. Unfortunately Meg, Kelly and Jeanette were unable to make it to the presentation.
Terry Parker
For his tremendous efforts in ensuring that the Boolarra Bowls Club continues to grow and improve in all areas.Terry serves on the Board, undertakes the computing and reporting of pennant results and is a friendly and welcoming face to new members.
Roz Carstairs
For her hard work and commitment to enhancing the Boolarra Bowls Club in her role as Secretary. She has exercised her skills and experience to ensure the Club runs smoothly and efficiently; has updated processes including establishing computerised files, and been an effective liaison with WGBD and other bodies.
Jeanette Teague
To the staging of the Tom Curtain Speak Up event at the Boolarra Community Hotel. Jeanette’s tireless energy, enthusiasm and organisation prowess was a key factor in making the event a magnificent showcase for Boolarra.
Rob Franssen
For his hard work and commitment to the survival of the Boolarra Community Hotel.
Rob’s efforts in coordinating the cooking of Friday and Saturday night pizzas, and his personal time contribution were key factors in getting the Pub through a very difficult period.
Adria Turner
Adria has been instrumental in project managing the refurbishment of the Budgeree Hall, sourcing and scheduling local trades people to get a range of different work completed on time and on budget. Adria has volunteered hundreds of hours, overcoming the challenges associated with refurbishing an historical building through innovative solutions and by rolling up her own sleeves to get in there and get the work done.
Kelly Van Den Berg
Kelly has worked tirelessly over the duration of the East Gippsland fires to co-ordinate and arrange delivery of feed, transport and accommodation for displaced animals.
She has organised feed drops, including a helicopter load to Mallacoota, and has provided ongoing support to a vast number of impacted people and their animals.
Meg Francis
For her tireless efforts in working to ensure a strong future for netball in our community through the development of junior netball in Boolarra. Her friendly, easy going nature makes her a delight to have around the club and a huge asset to our community.

Colin Brick, OA
Boolarra Community Development Group.