Buloke came together in Sea Lake on Australia Day Eve to mark a year of achievement and dedication at its annual awards ceremony.
Trevor Emonson was named Citizen of the Year, Blake Lee awarded Young Citizen of the Year and the Buloke Collectable Vehicle Club’s “Show and Shine” was unveiled as Community Event of the Year at the Sea Lake Community Centre.
The night was well attended by those near and far to share in the award announcements, enjoy a community dinner and guest speakers Brad McEwan, David Younger and Member for Mildura Jade Benham.
Citizen of the Year
Selfless, nothing is too hard or too much trouble for Citizen of the Year, Trevor Emonson. Proud of and loyal to his community, Trevor is always there to lend a hand and contribute no matter what the organisation.
Trevor has had an esteemed influence and roles on many committees and clubs in Berriwillock, including the Recreation Reserve, Football Club, Tennis Club, Bowls Club and Tyrrell League President, Fire Brigade, Community Development Group, “Back-to” Committee and Cemetery Trust.
Trevor’s passion for sport and the access to participate for all, is underlined in his achievements. He plays bowls but has, as he does, made sure it is there for all to enjoy by being involved in the committee, presiding over the league and being an integral part of night bowls at Berriwillock.
Not only did he play football, also he umpired and was a timekeeper.
He enjoys following each of his children’s achievements as well, in whatever they may be doing, right through to AFLW, in which daughter Chantel has been involved since 2019.
Young Citizen of the Year
Innovative, committed and driven, Young Citizen of the Year Blake Lee has significantly contributed to the promotion of his local community and the broader Buloke Community through various mediums, including photography, videography, and written reports. He has portrayed a positive image of young people in rural Victoria and Australia through his participation in the YMCA Youth Press Gallery and winning the Heywire competition.
Actively involved in local sports clubs, Blake volunteers for various roles, including lining tennis courts, assisting in the canteen, and contributing as a scribe for the “Bulls Roar”. He also manages a Birchip Sports page on social media, featuring weekly updates on sports events.
Beyond community involvement, Blake is a dedicated photographer and videographer, capturing footage for farmers, local businesses, and community events. He has updated the Birchip webpage, incorporating innovative features like linking photos to cemetery records, and attaching QR codes to heritage sites.
During the 2023 ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit, Blake’s group pitched the concept of “Boredom Relief”, securing a $10,000 grant for a youth, live music, and cultural event in collaboration with the Mali Heart Festival. His efforts have promoted Birchip and Buloke nationally through landline interviews and social media, showcasing the town’s landscapes, fauna, and farming life.
Most of Blake’s work has been voluntary, demonstrating his passion and commitment to the community. He actively seeks opportunities to further his skills and knowledge, including collaborating with professionals like Michael Wilson, AFL chief photographer, and travelling to Canberra and Melbourne.
Blake’s innovation, drive, and outstanding commitment make him a deserving recipient of an award for his contributions to the Buloke Community.
Community Event of the Year
Hosted by the Buloke Collectible Vehicle Club on September 17, 2023 in Birchip, its “Show and Shine” community event attracted over 500 people from right across the state.
The event incorporated a swap meet, a market and children’s activities, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds into Buloke.
This event was an absolute success and helped people to create lasting connections, strengthening the community in many ways including boosting Buloke’s local businesses which will help to create resilience in times ahead.
First run in 2018, the event has seen entries grow in the Show and Shine year on year when not impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Buloke Collectible Vehicle Club will this year offer a generous donation to East Wimmera Health Service as a result of the event, a contribution they rotate annually.
This article appeared in The Buloke Times, 30 January 2024.