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Australia Day celebrations aplenty

Australia Day celebrations will not be hard to find across the Heathcote district on Saturday.

BRONWYN BEYERS January 23, 2013 4:20am

Australia Day celebrations across the district promise to be fun for all ages with warm weather and clear skies forecast.

Festivities start at Mia Mia and Axedale at 8am, Heathcote at 9.30am and Pyalong at 10am, Toolleen at 11am and Goornong at 4pm.

In Heathcote, the formal Australia Day celebration at Barrack Reserve will feature the presentation of the 2013 McIvor Community Awards to Grant Baker and Melanie Whitehead.

Mr Baker was nominated for the McIvor Community Citizen of the Year Award for his contribution to sports development and the sporting life of the community.

A long-term competitor and administrator of the Heathcote cricket, football, bowling and golf clubs, Mr Baker was also president of the Heathcote Cricket Club and instrumental in establishing the club’s prized turf wicket at Barrack Reserve, of which he has been the curator for many years.

Mr Baker was also president of the Heathcote football club for several terms as well as team manager for the under 17s, and after retiring from football and cricket, turned his attention to golf and bowls, which he started playing in 1996.

Now representing Heathcote in the bowls pennant competition, Mr Baker is also on the green’s subcommittee at Heathcote Bowling Club where he keeps the surrounds maintained in top condition along with a small band of helpers.

Melanie Whitehead was nominated for the 2013 McIvor Community Junior Citizen of the Year Award for her outstanding character and contribution to the Heathcote and wider communities.

In addition to her participation in district sports and Girl Guides, Melanie volunteered her time at the Heathcote ambulance station from 2006 to 2009 and played a major role in putting together, managing and storing special burns kits during the Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009.

In 2011, Melanie was part of a group of secondary school students selected to make a trek through the jungle in Cambodia to a remote village where they helped build a school for the village orphanage with funds the students raised themselves.

All district residents are urged to take advantage of the fine weather to join the rest of their community in celebrating Australia’s national holiday on January 26.

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