More than 200 people saw fellow citizens recognised for their community service at Shepparton’s Australia Day celebrations in the Queen’s Gardens on Saturday. Ethnic Council Strategic Engagement Coordinator Sam Atukorala was announced as the Greater Shepparton Citizen of the Year for his involvement in the community.
Mr Atukorala said he was shocked to receive the award and thanked his family and friends for their support.
‘I’d like to continue to do what I do — as Greater Shepparton’s wish is to actually make this place greater, I’ll do my bit and I hope everybody will enjoy Australia Day,’ he said.
Young Citizen of the Year and winner of the Sports Award was Laura Cole, 16, for her passion for an active lifestyle and volunteering.
Heather Lloyd was announced as Senior Citizen of the Year for her highly respected leadership skills and excellent governance to countless committees in Shepparton.
‘I feel like I am receiving this on behalf of all the seniors … we work tirelessly in this community — for many senior women who give time and abilities, efforts and assistance to many organisations here in Shepparton … this award is really for them,’ Mrs Lloyd said.
Mayor Kim O’Keeffe congratulated award recipients and acknowledged the outstanding contributions they have made to Greater Shepparton.
‘Thank you to those who took the time to submit a nomination to recognise their fellow citizens, it is fantastic to see individuals doing great things for their community and it is important that we recognise and celebrate them,’ Cr O’Keeffe said.
The Community Event of the Year was awarded to the Shepparton Albanian Harvest Festival.