Next week Councillor Gary Norton, Council’s Chief Executive Officer John McLinden and I will travel to Canberra for the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National General Assembly.
The ALGA conference is a great chance to discuss issues affecting local government, and seek support through ALGA (the federal body of the Municipal Association of Victoria) to advocate to the Federal Government.
A number of issues will be raised during the assembly, including reinstating the indexation on Financial Assistance Grants and distribution of Roads to Recovery funding.
Although the federal election will be a couple of weeks away, we will be scheduling meetings with federal politicians (or their advisors). These meetings are an opportunity to discuss issues affecting our community and region, and highlight major projects.
Council will also be waiting for the announcement of the winner of the National Award for Excellence in Local Government. Council is in the running for the award for the Heartbeat of the Murray project. This follows the Heartbeat of the Murray being selected as a category winner for Contributing to Regional Growth. We are hopeful that the Heartbeat will clinch the national prize on Tuesday evening.
Aboriginal Honour Roll
It was a privilege this week to launch the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll exhibition at the Swan Hill Regional Library.
The Honour Roll, which has been brought to Swan Hill by Aboriginal Victoria, recognises the achievements of Aboriginal people, past and present who have made an important contribution to their community and Victoria.
Now in its sixth year, the Honour Roll has so far recognised 79 Aboriginal people for their outstanding achievements in areas including health, education, sport, the arts, justice, military service and community leadership.
Their life stories are presented in the Honour Roll book which is on permanent display in the Victorian Parliament. The book is also a record of their legacy for future generations.
Ivy Bell, who passed away in 2013, is the only inductee from the Swan Hill region on the Aboriginal Honour Roll. We were honoured at the launch to hear from Ivy’s daughter Tania Wise.
Nominations for the Honour Roll, which are now open (and close on 1 July), are encouraged from the Swan Hill and broader region. Nomination forms are available at the Library or online from the Aboriginal Victoria website.