I take this opportunity to congratulate our most recent Stawell Citizen of the Year, Jim Melbourne, who was awarded this great honour on Australia Day this year. Jim Melbourne is a long-time resident of Stawell with a particular passion for history. Under Jim’s guidance the Stawell Historical Society is now considered to be the best managed historical society in the state, gaining re-accreditation to the Museum Victoria register.
For 12 years Jim has worked at the historical society, where at present he devotes around 25 hours per week to the group, assisting visitors as well as dealing with correspondence and general inquiries. Jim’s love for history and the township of Stawell also prompted him to publish his first book, titled Farms and Fairways, which commemorates 100 years of the Stawell Golf Club.
After his first book was published in 1988, Jim wrote five more books on the histories of other Stawell organisations and has just finished his latest, which is the history of the Stawell Football Club to be launched at Easter this year. Again I congratulate Jim on the honour of being named Stawell Citizen of the Year, a title which is absolutely befitting a man who works tirelessly for his community with such passion and enthusiasm.
It would be remiss of me not to mention Wendy Melbourne, Jim’s wife, who also does an enormous amount of work for the historical society. They are an amazing team who work tirelessly for the local community. I also take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers at the Stawell Historical Society for their hard work, in particular Mrs Joyce Dowsett and Mrs Marie van Leeuwen.