On 26 January 2010 I attended the Australia Day ceremony in Portland, where
history was made. For the first time two equally deserving community members
were named the Shire of Glenelg’s 2010 Citizens of the Year.
Ms Gail Jaensch of Heywood has been a local volunteer for over
15 years, opening the Portland branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation six years
ago, and acting as president of the branch, which helps children in Warrnambool,
Colac, Port Fairy and Princetown. The mayor of the Shire of Glenelg, Gilbert
Wilson, spoke of Gail’s contribution to the community stating:
- Gail’s list of duties is an indication of her care for the community and her
willingness to help others.
- I am proud to present these awards, as they acknowledge individuals who are
outstanding role models in our shire.
The other recipient of the award was Mr Graham Sealey of
Portland, chairman of the South West Relay for Life organising committee,
administrator of the Portland Police Less Advantaged Children’s Fund, committee
member of the Pete’s Walk fundraiser and organiser of the Police Charity Golf Day for
the last 10 years.
I take this opportunity to thank Gail and Graham’s families,
whose generosity to the wider community has enabled Gail and Graham to spend so
much time and energy on important local issues.
At the ceremony there was a very large turnout of community
members who enjoyed the fabulous sounds of the children’s choir, local poetry
and an excellent speech from Shire of Glenelg councillor Ken Saunders. Cr
Saunders, a Gunditjmara elder, spoke on indigenous issues and called for unity
for all peoples. It was an absolute pleasure to attend the ceremony, which
reflected the spirit of Portland and the spirit of our nation.