Local News at Your Fingertips

Young Australian of the Year in directing role tonight

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Rebekah Lowe and Kathleen Woods in 5THE FM studios.

by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonlinewattlerangenow

Having just finished year 12,  Young Australian of the Year, Kathleen Woods has kept busy with her on-going interest in guides, volunteering at 5THE FM, editing two radio plays with fellow ex-student Nikki-Lee Lucas and directing a play with Ovation in Mt Gambier.

The play she is assisting with is on tonight at the Sir Robert Helpman Theatre, beginning at 6-30 pm,  is called Club Neverland and features 7-15 year old students from Primary to mid year High School. Senior students assist with the production.

Kathleen said she assists the director, and while a cast of twenty is a big job to direct, the cast is supported by ten more students behind the scenes.

Her interest in directing came from watching television and always wondering about the behind the scenes work and how they made it work. This fueled her interest which may now lead to a career in directing.




Australia Day Celebrations across Wattle Range

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The flag is raised on Australia Day at Millicent.

by S Lowe 5THE FM’s newsonline wattlerangenow.

Celebrations were in full swing across Wattle Range on Australia Day Sunday 26th January 2014, beginning with celebratory breakfast; followed by medal presentation ceremonies for Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards

Millicent Celebrations.

Millicent attracted over 500 people to the breakfast which was a combined effort of local service groups and the Wattle Range Council and was held at Jubilee Park.

Winners of the Australia Day Awards presented at Millicent were Australian Day Citizen of the Year Bill Cull and Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year Kathleen Woods. The awards recognized their outstanding contributions to their community. The Awards were presented by Councillor Peter Dunnicliffe.

(Kathleen Woods speech follows this story)



Centre: Wattle Range Councillor  Peter Dunnicliffe,Young Citizen of the Year Kathleen Woods,         

 Citizen of the Year Bill Cull and Millicent Lions Member Des Knoll.

Beachport Rivoli Bay Lions Breakfast.

Rivoli Bay Lions, provided breakfast at the Lagoon at Beachport, and over 600 attended this years breakfast in idyllic beachside weather.  Rivoli Bay Lions Club President Frank Boylan welcomed everyone and after a small technical glitz decided that the National Anthem could be just as well be sung ‘acapella’ in the absence of a piano and technology failure..

“So much is not known about the people or the area,” he said, “and occasions like this give us the opportunity to share this history.”

“Many times a Citizen of the Year recipient’s parents have also been strong community minded members, contributing much to their community and this is the case with this years winner Elaine Donaldson,” he said. In 1965, there were no roads in and out of Beachport, just tracks and  Elaine’s father Rob Somerville was the engineer behind the building of the roads we enjoy today.
“If any has wondered where the rubble from the Woak Wine Cutting went, it was sold to the Council and used to build the road between Beachport and Robe and  the road to Millicent was built where the train tracks once were. 

Councillor Ben Treloar presented the Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award to Elaine Donaldson, listing some of her achievements as; employed by Council since January 23rd 1969 and retired 2012, managed the Beachport office of the Visitor Information Centre, manned the radio on Ash Wednesday and was one of 8 women trained to do so, served on the committee of Lake George, District National Trust since 1992 – 7 years as secretary and 30 years as chairman, won Hon National Trust Dr Mildred McArthur Award 1999 is well-respected in her community, an obvious asset, and has a love for her town.

Elaine responded by recognising the volunteers that serve their community; fire trucks operators, emergency workers, ambulance, Visitor Information Centre. schools, Beachport District Dev Committee and Lions. everyone who works to put on the Duck Race, Market Days, Australia Day events and the Triathalon. Elaine said she often wonders where everyone get the energy from but believed that the volunteers make Beachport a great place to live and thanked the organisers for her award.

Young Citizen of the Year recipient Rachel Smith, yr 12 student at Kangaroo Inn Area School,  has earned the title of the Cattle Whisperer because of her ability to tame even the most energetic steer, often weighing several hundred kilos. She has often spent her lunchtime working with the cattle and has been involved in the cattle breeding program at school. Rachel has spent time on the Student Representative Council, WREN (educational network), and worked on the 50th Anniversary Committee of Kangaroo Inn Area School. She organised a school knitting group to knit for the homeless and volunteered at Hart Court.

Rachel said she was grateful for the award, thanking her teacher for nominating her, the Wattle Range Council, and Rivoli Bay Lions President Frank Boylan, who had all contributed to the awards in time and effort. She was grateful to her family who always supported her to reach her goals.  She wished everyone a Happy Australia Day and asked that everyone appreciate the country we live in. 

Australia Day Community Events to receive the awards were the Beachport Duck Race and the Glencoe Woolshed 150th Celebration.               

John Zwar  of Coonawarra and Peter DeKoning were awarded Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards and Ella Kidman, Bradley Merritt of Penola received  the Young Citizen Awards.

Millicent’s Janice Nitschke Manager of Libraries in Wattle Range was announced  recipient of the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and Sue Charlton of Beachport was also awarded the AM.

Janice Nitschke will be interviewed live on 5THE FM (107.7) at 10-00 am on Wednesday 29th January and her interview will feature on wattlerangenow later in the day.


Young Citizen of the Year Kathleen Woods

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Young Citizen of the Year recipient 2014 Kathleen Woods

by Kathleen Woods for 5THE FM’s newsonline wattlerangenow

 Thank you —–

‘First up I would like to thank the Wattle Range Council for giving me this award. This is such a huge honour for me and I never expected to have it happen. The day I received the news that I was to be awarded Young Citizen of the Year, when Mayor Peter Gandolfi first called the house phone I was in the bathroom, so dad picked up the phone. Dad then came and told me that I had 5 mins to get out because the Mayor was going to call back and give me a message, apparently. When I finally spoke to Mayor Gandolfi I was pleasantly surprised to be informed about the award. I would like to thank the person who nominated me for this award and the council members who chose me over the others nominated in this area.

This year past year has been one of the most rewarding and successful times of my life and I am grateful that I was able to experience them. With my involvement in Guides for the past eight years, I have been working in and around the community in many different ways. I feel that if I had never been involved with Guides I would not have developed the sense of community spirit that I have today. Through not only Guides but the many community bands and the Millicent high school band ‘Top Notes’ I feel that I have truly learnd the meaning of the word ‘teamwork’ and have applied it to all areas of my life. This past year has really given me the chance, with the help of mentor’s, teachers and family members, to use the skills that I have learned to help more people than I could ever imagine and that makes me so very happy to think that I have made somebody’s day better.

This award is more to me than just another trophy to put in the cabinet. To me it means that I am on the right track and if I continue with my life the way it’s going I will collect even bigger rewards. Now, that may not be money or an even bigger award but it could be something as simple and wonderful as good friends, because the greatest rewards aren’t always something that you can touch but are sometimes something that you feel.

Before I finish I would like to thank some very important people starting with my teachers and mentors that helped me through this year and previous years, my fellow Guides and Guide leaders, my friends who have supported me throughout this year and my family who have been my personal support crew and free taxi service, most of all loving me no matter what.

Thank you for listening to me and again thankyou to the Wattle Range for providing this award. I wish you all a safe and happy Australia day thank you.’

Provided by Kathleen Woods for 5THE FM

Editors note: – Kathleen also volunteers at 5THE FM