Avenel celebrated Australia Day with a special ceremony when Bjorn Sven Wettstein officially became the region's newest citizenJENNA BISHOP January 30, 2014 4:18am
It was a special double celebration at Australia Day festivities on Sunday as Avenel welcomed its newest Australian citizen.
Switzerland national Bjorn Sven Wettstein officially became an Australian citizen after he completed the ceremony conducted by Strathbogie Shire Mayor Deb Swan.
Mr Wettstein said it was difficult to pinpoint just one reason why he loved Australia.
‘‘What don’t I love about Australia — there’s nothing I don’t love,’’ he said.
Mr Wettstein has lived in Avenel for two-and-a-half years after relocating with his wife from Melbourne.
His love for Australia first began after visiting Australia as a tennis umpire in the 2004 Australian Open, where he met his future wife, who worked at the service department where he was staying.
After a brief stint in Switzerland, the couple moved back to Australia.
Mr Wettstein said it was fitting to receive his certificate of citizenship at Jubilee Park, opposite Avenel’s tennis courts, bringing his tennis journey full circle.
He said he planned to celebrate his first Australia Day as a citizen with a traditional barbecue.
The celebrations also recognised a number of people who had made significant contributions to the community.
Deanna Wilson was awarded Citizen of the Year for her tireless community work and presence on many boards and committees across the region.
Young Citizen of the Year Lauren Reece was acknowledged for her work with Avenel Market and for her student leadership role as a house captain at Seymour College.
Avenel Primary School Year 6 student Tom Garner was awarded Junior Citizen of the Year for petitioning to get a skateboarding park in the town with the help of friends and family.
The Avenel 175th Celebrations Committee were also recognised with the Community Award.
Tom and the Avenel 175th Anniversary Steering Committee were also awarded for their respective categories in the Strathbogie Shire awards.
Ms Swan congratulated award recipients and said people were one of the reasons Avenel was a growing, successful town.
‘‘Certainly, communities aren’t buildings, communities are the people in them and the effort that goes in from those people makes it wonderful,’’ she said.
Attendees at the Avenel event were entertained by speaker Amanda Tingay, with music by Lynn Bullen and an address by Avenel’s Australia Day ambassador Lindy Allen.
A morning tea followed the ceremonies, and people looked through a historical display at the Courthouse.
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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