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Bass Coast Community awards on the move

Bass Coast Community awards on the move

Friday 16 December 2022

Bass Coast Shire Council voted to move the annual Community Awards from January to May to coincide with National Volunteer Week.

Councillors endorsed a recommendation to create an inclusive local award that celebrates contributions made to the Bass Coast community. The change takes effect from 2023

Citizenship ceremonies will continue to be held on 26 January.

Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor Cr Michael Whelan welcomed the change of date for the Community Awards because the current timing not only constrained participation and the Bass Coast Awards are confused with the Australia Day awards.

“We are really looking forward to celebrating the enormous contribution of our community during National Volunteers Week and this positive change will provide a greater focus for our Bass Coast outstanding citizens as well as an opportunity for a more inclusive celebration for our whole community,’’ Cr Whelan said.

Cr Whelan said the Council did not have a formal position on whether Australia Day should remain on January 26, but said the Council was reducing its activity - and in particular “celebrations” - associated with January 26, in line with many other Victorian councils.

“We do acknowledge the national debate and recognise that Australia Day is painful for many Australians and not celebrated by all,’’ Cr Whelan said. “Many members of our First Nations community have also expressed to Council their sadness regarding the 26 January date.

“Reconciliation is important to our whole community and it is important to show leadership. We are also aware that some young people will not nominate for Young Citizen of the Year due to a negative association regarding the 26th of January. At least two of the last six years have not received any nominations for Young Citizen of the Year.’’

“Bass Coast also looks forward to welcoming new citizens to the area on Australia Day and at other ceremonies throughout the year.’’