Australia Day reference removed

September 9, 2021 BY

THE BOROUGH of Queenscliffe’s former Australia Day Awards will be renamed Community Service Awards and will no longer be presented on January 26.

As part of a review of the 2021 Australia Day event, council officers noted a “shift in the engagement and participation in the event” and councillors have now endorsed changes which remove any reference to Australia Day in the annual awards policy.

A report to council explained that while the awards were “seen as a favourable recognition program, feedback received from stakeholders revealed a desire to move the community awards to another date which may be seen as more inclusive to the entire community and increase participation in the acknowledgement and celebration of service in our community”.

Councillors voted at its recent council meeting to rename the annual accolades the Community Service Awards and that the presentation be made at the annual volunteers celebrations.

The revised policy remains “largely based” on the current Australia Day Awards program but now shifts the focus to community service generally rather than linking specifically to Australia Day.

The new policy states that the “Borough of Queenscliffe recognises that there are many individuals, community groups and organisations that make outstanding contributions to the community every year and that those contributions should be acknowledged and celebrated accordingly”.

Award categories include: Citizen of the Year; Young Citizen of the Year; Community Event of the Year; Community Group of the Year; Community Environment Project of the Year.

The award nomination date in the policy will change from October to a “date to be determined”, with at least six weeks between the call for nominations and closing date.

Nominations for the new Community Service Awards will be considered by a Community Excellence Awards Reference Group which will include at least one councillor, three community members and council officers as necessary.

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