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Local identities to be awarded for community spirit

THE Warracknabeal Rotary Club has organised a  morning of entertainment and festivities to celebrate Australia Day and commemorate community members who have given back over the years.

The club are putting on a cooked breakfast before the official program of entertainment, featuring a guest speaker and presentation of the Australia Day awards at Anzac Park on January 26. 

Rotary’s Australia Day Committee have secured  former Warracknabeal residents, Forensic Toxicologist Josh Gunn as guest speaker and musician Sofia Laursen to perform for the day.

Sofia is expected to warm the crowd up, singing the Australian national anthem in her own style. 

First Warracknabeal Cubs and Girl Guides will participate in the flag raising ceremony. 

Among the award recipients is a Warracknabeal woman, who long served the disability care agency Woodbine was nominated for citizen of the year. 

Member of the Woodbine Ladies Auxiliary Carol Wilson nominated her fellow member Gwen Steinmeyer for the Australia day awards.

Mrs Steinmeyer has been a member of the auxiliary for 62 years and currently still holds the position of shop supervisor at the Woodbine opportunity shop. 

Mrs Wilson said with Gwen’s years of contribution to the community, she makes the perfect recipient for this award. 

“I admire Gwen greatly and feel she deserves recognition for all the hard work she has done and still for the Warracknabeal Community,” Mrs Wilson said.

A Warracknabeal Secondary College student was nominated for the “Student of the year award” by Girl Guides leader Frances Casey. 

Charlie Inkster, 13, lives by the motto “You don’t have to have a badge to be a leader” and committed herself to doing her best while also encouraging and supporting her classmates. 

Charlie has been heavily involved in the sporting community in Warracknabeal, where she was the captain of the Warrack Eagles netball team in 2019. 

An avid sportsperson, it wouldn’t be unusual for Charlie to go from playing netball straight on to football the same day. 

Mrs Casey said Charlie’s enthusiasm to participate makes her a great recipient for the Student of the Year award. 

“Charlie is an intelligent and energetic young person who challenges herself to achieve her goals by planning and time management to gain sauces,” Mrs Casey said. 

“Having grown up on a farm she has learnt from an early age to rise early to assist and participate in all farming duties. She is resilient and controlled in all circumstances.” 

A member of the Girl Guides since 2013, Charlie completed her Junior BP late last year, which required her to complete a rigorous set of activities. 

Rotary’s Australia Day  Committee Ian Penny said it’s important to acknowledge the hard work these people put into their community. 

“I think it’s important for people to recognise achievements in our community,” Mr Penny said. 

“Most of them are fairly humble about it, but I feel we should recognise those people who have gone the extra mile. 

“It’s that satisfaction of giving back your community.”

Secretary Wendy Hewitt said this is a positive way for the community to start out 2020. 

“Hopefully this will inspire other people to get involved in different capacities,” she said. 

“It’s a good catch up and it’s a way to start the year on a positive note.”

Mrs Hewitt said any funds raised on the day will go toward bushfire relief. 

Breakfast will be at 8am and the officially ceremony will start at 9am.