2023 Australia Day Awards winners

Published on 25 January 2023

Dianne Lewis.jpg

Horsham Rural City Council has announced its Australia Day Award winners for 2023.

Citizen of the Year

Dianne Lewis.jpg

Dianne Lewis receives the Horsham Rural City Council, Australia Day 2023 Citizen of the Year Award in recognition of her outstanding community involvement and contributions over many years. 

Giving back to the community, whether it’s through her donation of time or expertise, is never too much to ask for Dianne, who has even given up space in her home to help an elderly couple from Nhill receiving cancer treatment.

  • Her involvement and contributions extend across the Horsham community in a number of areas.  These involvements include:
  • Bereavement Counselling services for more than 30 years
  • Leadership roles with Wimmera Health Care Group Auxiliary Opportunity Shop
  • Long standing service to Lions Club
  • Always available to help less fortunate people in the community.

Dianne’s generosity and can-do attitude are an inspiration to her family, friends and colleagues.

She is a deserving winner of the Horsham Rural City Council Citizen of The Year Award.

Young Citizen of the Year

Michael Timms.jpg

Michael Timms receives the Horsham Rural City Council, Australia Day 2023 Youth Citizen of the Year Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership qualities and sense of community.

Michael has been an active member of the 4th Horsham Scout Group for over 12 years. 

During this time he has held many leadership roles between the scouting sections of Cub Scouts, Scouts, Venturer Scouts and now currently a very active Rover Scout. 

At each level of Scouting, Michael has, and continues to, inspire, encourage and lead the younger youth members along their own Scouting journey. 

Michaels’ detailed knowledge of Scouting, both locally and throughout the Wimmera District, makes Michael an “unrecognised expert” and an ever-valuable resource to other leaders and parents.

Community Event of the Year

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Launched in August 2018 the Wimmera River parkrun has become a wonderful weekly community event.  The free, timed 5km event is open to all ages and abilities to run, walk or jog the course along the banks of the Wimmera River every Saturday at 8am.

The social, physical and mental health benefits have been endless with many community members making it the perfect way to start their weekend whether it be solo, with friends and family, work colleagues it has given so many locals a real connection to their community. 

Volunteers fill roles as run directors, timekeepers, barcode scanners, course marshals as well as a tail walker whose job is to come last so no one else has to.  These volunteer positions have been fabulous to create community ownership of the event and super rewarding seeing others achieve goals such as a personal best or completing 50 or 100 event milestones.  The Wimmera River parkrun was featured in the September edition of the National Parkrun Volunteer Newsletter.

Since the launch in 2018, 1,877 individual participants have completed 12,518 parkruns covering a total distance of 62,590 kms including 1,964 personal best times.  211 individuals have volunteered 1,516 times.

The community event has also provided individuals with the support, motivation and encouragement to achieve their own individual goals.  They can be as simple as leaving the house each week to participate, creating better lifestyle choices, ticking off little milestone goals whether they be around personal best times or participation challenges. 

The Wimmera River parkrun have developed relationships with other local community groups and businesses including some themed events.  The Cops and Robbers event, working alongside Victoria Police, was a huge success with members participating in uniform and having their various police vehicles and command semi-trailer on display. 

Creating engagement between community groups such as the Horsham SES unit, Wimmera Umpires Association and local football, netball and hockey clubs.


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