Two former Deniliquin South School students - Adam Gilchrist and Robbie Sefton - were part of the panel to award Ita Buttrose as Australian of the Year.By Zoe McMaugh
Two former Deniliquin South School students sat on the judging panel that selected Ita Buttrose’s as Australian of the Year.
One was Australian cricket hero Adam Gilchrist, who attended the school where his father Stan was also principal, and the other was former local Robbie Sefton.
Ms Sefton, 50, owns a public relations company in Tamworth, where she lives with her husband, Alistair, on a grazing and cropping property.
She has eight staff based in Tamworth, and another five in other areas of Australia.
With a passion for rural Australia, and Deniliquin, Ms Sefton told the Pastoral Times she is confident a resident from Deniliquin and district could win a national honour such as the Australian of the Year award.
Ms Sefton, who returns to her home town as often as she can, said there were many people in Deniliquin worthy of such an award.
She actually revealed that a Deniliquin man came close to being named a finalist in the Australia’s Local Hero award, which was won by Redfern-based Aboriginal rights advocate Shane Phillips.
She said the local nomination was debated strongly, which she said renewed her hope that a local could be recognised for their community efforts at a national level in the ‘‘very near future’’.
But only if they are nominated, she said.
Ms Sefton has been on the judging committee for three years, and said she was pleased to see a Deniliquin connection considered for the prestigious Local Hero award. She said it fits in with her own focus for the panel.
‘‘My passion is to see as many nominations from rural and remote Australia as possible,’’ she said.
‘‘It shows that no matter what you do, there is always an opportunity to contribute to your community.
‘‘People nominated for these awards share their knowledge and are passionate about making a difference in our communities.
‘‘There are so many people like that in the Deniliquin area — it’s full of vital people.’’
Ms Sefton encouraged more nominations from the local area for next year’s awards, which she hopes to help judge.
This is the final year of her three year term, but Ms Sefton hopes to be invited back.
She was originally invited to be part of the judging panel by Gilchrist.
While she said no one really knows how or why they are invited to the role by government ministers, she believes it was because of her involvement with remote and rural Australia.
‘‘I’m sitting as an advocate of rural, regional and remote Australia,’’ Ms Sefton said.
‘‘I was invited by Gilly, who has very fond memories of the town and attending South School, but not because of the Deniliquin connection.
‘‘It has been a really exciting experience.’’
As part of this year’s judging process, Ms Sefton and other panel members met with the 34 finalists of the Australian of the Year category, which was won by media personality Ita Buttrose.
Social functions were also held at Government House with the Governor General Quentin Bryce and at the National Gallery with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and last year’s Australian of the Year Geoffrey Rush.
It ended with the announcement of winners at a special ceremony on Friday night.
Artist Nici Cumpston will hold a free Artist Talk at Shepparton Art Museum tonight, speaking about her body of work based around the Shepparton region.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
Police allege a man attempted to rob a Cobram supermarket today.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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