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A message from the Mayor
Citizen of the Year Patrick Dillon with Mayor Les McPhee

A message from the Mayor

I would like to start by congratulating the Local Aboriginal Network for running the 10th annual Robinvale Youth Program.

The free program ran throughout the school holidays, mostly from the Robinvale Leisure Centre, with up to 30 young people attending each day.

Activities included Aboriginal and Tongan cultural days, dance, jiu jitsu, canoeing, visits to the Magistrates and Koori court in Mildura, and learning skills for jobs

As part of the program’s focus on civic service, a group of young people also spent a day working alongside Trevor from our depot to clean up graffiti around Robinvale. Well done to everyone involved.

Well done Australia Day winners

I want to again congratulate the Australia Day award winners, announced last week at Riverside Park.

Patrick Dillon has been a long-time respite carer and volunteers his time to support many in the community, especially retired farmers. He also plays an important role at the Lake Boga Catalina Museum, where many of his personally-restored, rare items are on display. He is a deserving winner of the Citizen of the Year.

Young Citizen of the Year James Schifferle was awarded for his academic success. He completed VCE and a school-based apprenticeship in 2016, was the Victorian School-Based Apprentice of the Year and is now the Victorian Ambassador for School Based Apprenticeships.

Mallee Cruisers representatives with Mayor Les McPhee

Mallee Cruisers representatives with Mayor Les McPhee

And members of the Mallee Cruisers must be congratulated for their Community Event of the Year – the Cruze 4 Awareness – which in 2016 raised $20,000 for mental health programs like the school wellbeing teams and Hope Assistance Local Tradies (HALT).

All the people and events nominated for this award are worthy of congratulations for their community contributions. It is so important to recognise these outstanding residents through programs like the Australia Day awards.

I encourage you to think about the people you know in our community who might be worthy recipients and nominate them for the next Australia Day awards. We’ll call for nominations late in 2017.

Community Satisfaction Survey

You might receive a phone call in coming weeks from a survey company asking about Swan Hill Rural City Council. If you do, please consider giving them your views.

Representatives from independent company JWS Research will call randomly selected phone numbers throughout the municipality from this week, aiming to survey 400 residents.

They will ask a series of questions about Council’s performance – from things like roads, waste and recreational facilities to advocacy, consultation and tourism. Results from the 2017 Community Satisfaction Survey will help us to understand the areas we need to work on, and what the community thinks we are doing well. It is such an important part of our continuous improvement.

Survey results will be released through a report to Councillors at an Ordinary Council Meeting later this year.

Council planning

Councillors will spend today and tomorrow nutting out our four-year Council Plan. The new Council has been working hard since election in November to understand the issues most important to our community and will now put that into an action plan for the next four years.

The draft Council Plan will be released for the community’s feedback later this year, and I encourage you to take a look and let us know what you think.

Mayor visit

Finally, I will visit Robinvale on Wednesday, 8 February and will be available to meet with community members. If you would like to make an appointment, please call Sue Smythe at the Robinvale Resource Centre 5051 8000.