Rochester's top citizens of the year have been announced across multiple categories.By Elaine Cooney
Rochester Community Festival committee chair Casey James has been named Rochester’s Citizen of the Year.
Mrs James was chair of the committee which held the inaugural Rochester Community Festival in 2011 and the Kidzcapers event which was held at Rochester Primary School in November last year.
The application was backed up by six letters of support from councillors, schools and community groups.
In the application, Mrs James was described as able to combine work, family and volunteering ‘‘in a way that cannot fail to impress those of us who are less organised’’.
‘‘She steered the (Kidzcapers) team with diplomacy at all times, managing a wide range of issues with wisdom beyond her years,’’ it read.
‘‘In an era when community groups are struggling to attract and retain volunteers, Casey’s dedication and her ability to work with anyone and everyone is unusual to say the least.’’
She was called a ‘‘natural leader and a person with enormous community spirit’’.
Rochester Primary School principal Graeme Hodgens said the Kidzcapers festival was ‘‘an outstanding success’’.
‘‘I believe Casey James has made an outstanding contribution to our community through her work.’’
In his supporting letter, Member for Rodney Paul Weller said Mrs James was a person worthy of the award.
‘‘As a young professional in town and a mother of two boys, Casey is an outstanding role model for others who may wish to follow her path into community volunteering,’’ he said.
Rochester Planning Group secretary Val Gledhill commended Mrs James for her role in organising the Rochester community Festival and Kidzcapers.
Mrs James will be presented with her award at the Australia Day dinner at the Rochester Sports Club at 7pm on Saturday.
Chris has completed five Melbourne Marathons, finishing seventh in his age group.
Since taking up running 10 years ago, Chris has improved his fitness greatly and is dedicated to the sport.
He spends nine months of the year preparing for the event and trains by cycling or running on the back roads of Rochester at night or weekends.
The nomination declared he was ‘‘an inspiration to his family and many other sporting members of the community who admire his dedication to the sport’’.
‘‘His willingness to also involve himself in other sports as a volunteer makes him an excellent candidate for Rochester Sportsperson of the Year,’’ it read.
Throughout last year, she represented Rochester Secondary School and Rochester Little Athletics with pride.
Teleah’s nomination said she was a great icon for young people in the community to strive for the things they loved doing, especially in sport.
‘‘She is a very quiet achiever and doesn’t tell people of all her achievements,’’ the nomination read.
‘‘She is happy to do it for the love of her sport.’’
During the past year, Teleah came first in the State Little Athletics Championship 1500m event and the State Cross Country Championships 3km race.
She has broken the records for 800m and 1500m events for the past five years at the club.
Alanah was described in her nomination as an active member of the Rochester Secondary College Student Representative Council and was made treasurer in 2012.
Alanah helped organise the school’s fun day, which raised $6000.
She was also a big part of the school’s Energy Breakthrough team for the past four years.
‘‘She has excellent communication skills and was happy to share her knowledge of the event with the younger students,’’ the nomination read.
Chloe was given the award for contributing to all aspects of her schooling at Rochester Secondary College and her community.
She was school captain in 2012 and a team captain and member of the Energy Breakthrough team and a strong mentor to younger kids.
The nomination stated she was recognised for being an all-rounder at the school this year which recognised academic excellence and exemplary conduct, willingness to help others, a commitment to achieving excellence and involvement in numerous college and communi
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