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Australia Day awards | Ian Walter and Dustin Cross making a difference

HUMBLED: Dustin Cross and Ian Walter are Horsham Rural City’s 2018 Australia Day Award winners.  Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

HUMBLED: Dustin Cross and Ian Walter are Horsham Rural City’s 2018 Australia Day Award winners. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Horsham’s latest Australia Day award winners are strong believers they get more out of volunteering than what they put in.
Horsham’s 2018 Citizen of the Year Ian Walter, 77, and Young Citizen of the Year Dustin Cross, 21, boast an extensive list of achievements.
But it is their love of their community and a desire to pitch in where needed that drives their ongoing commitment to making a difference, no matter how big or small.
Horsham Rural City Council leaders will officially recognise the pair at an Australia Day ceremony at Sawyer Park on January 26.
The awards recognise and honour individials and groups who have made an outstanding contribution to their community.
Mr Walter, who has been an active Country Fire Authority volunteer for more than 60 years, said he was shocked to learn of his accolade.
“I’ve been referee to some other people who received it, but it’s definitely something I didn’t set out to achieve, I assure you,” he said.
“I just enjoy doing things for the community and you get out of it more than you put in, most of the time.”
Horsham mayor Pam Clarke said Mr Walter had made a significant contribution to the Horsham district community throughout many years.
“He has been a volunteer and member of various groups and associations demonstrating strong community involvement, particularly in the role of chairman of Horsham Emergency Food Centre,” she said.
“He is well respected among the community and is a very worthy recipient of this award.”
Mr Walter has chaired the food centre committee for the past decade.
“The food centre is one of the success stories of Horsham,” he said.
“It’s been going for coming up 20 years and is a very, very worthwhile organisation. It helps a lot of people, not only in Horsham, but the whole Wimmera.”
Mr Walter said the centre had about 60 volunteers on its books.
“I believe it’s bought all the churches together in Horsham,” he said.
“Nobody knows who belongs where a lot of the time and it doesn’t make any difference.”
Mr Walter has also volunteered his time for Horsham’s Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Sunnyside Lutheran Retirement Village and Horsham Agricultural Society.
He is a member of Dooen and District 17 headquarters brigades and is secretary of Horsham Group of Fire Brigades.
His long and dedicated service was recognised with a prestigious Australian Fire Services Medal in 2010.
“With CFA I’ve got to know people all over Victoria,” Mr Walter said.
“It’s just one of those things, it doesn’t matter where you go, there’s always somebody mixed up with the CFA.”
The former shearer and stock and wool manager is also a Horsham Agricultural Society councillor.
“I was asked to give a hand with the fleece competition at Horsham Show and I was gently handballed the job of chief steward,” he said.
Mr Walter thanked the people who nominated him for the Australia Day honour.
“In any of these organisations, you’re only ever a very small part of a team,” he said.
“That’s probably a cliché, but that’s the way it is.”
Young citizen
AMBASSADOR: Horsham’s Dustin Cross was crowned apprentice of the year at a gala ceremony in  Canberra.

Horsham’s Dustin Cross.

Mr Cross also volunteers his time as a Horsham Agricultural Society councillor and has a long involvement with the Horsham Show.
“I’ve been involved in the show for about 10 years because mum’s always had something to do with it – because mum always has to have something to do with everything that goes on in this town,” he said.
“In a way I have mum to thank a lot because I wouldn’t achieve half of what I have without her putting my name down or saying to someone, ‘my son will do it’.”
Mr Cross said his mother, Andrea, encouraged him to apply for the Victorian Apprentice-Trainee of the Year award.
“I wasn’t even going to fill out a form and mum said I should do it,” he said.
“I said, ‘don’t worry about it, I’m just going to be a shearer’ and she said, ‘no, let’s do it’. So I did and ended up coming out with a great result.”
Mr Cross won the Victorian award in October and went on to win the national accolade in November.
He now wants to champion hands-on training pathways to employment.
The Longerenong College graduate is passionate about the agriculture industry and encouraging people to get the most out of life.
He is also involved in Noradjuha-Quantong Football Netball Club and Zion Lutheran Church, Vectis.
Mr Cross said he was excited about taking on the under-14 football coaching role this season.
“It’s the first step to one day being a senior coach,” he said.
“I love that club with every inch of my body. My family has no ties to it – I don’t have a great-grandfather who played there or anything – I just really love the club.
“Whenever there’s something to be done there’s no ifs or buts or crying about it, you just get in there and help out and get it done.”
Mr Cross said he believed a lot of people who volunteered these days were looking for a pat on the back.
“The mindset for some people these days is they either want praise to do it or they’re too good to do it,” he said.
“As a little country town I think we need more people willing to give you the shirt off your back rather than charge you for it.”
Community event
Kerry Bolger breaks ranks to high-five Mark Taylor in the Tri State games parade to May Park.

Kerry Bolger breaks ranks to high-five Mark Taylor in the Tri State games parade to May Park.

Horsham’s Tri State Games 2017 management committee will also be honoured on Australia Day after winning the Community Event of the Year award.
Cr Clarke congratulated everyone involved in the games, a sporting event for disability organisations throughout Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. “The 2017 event was the biggest Tri State Games to date and it would not have been possible without the support of the many community volunteers who helped out,” she said.
“This was the third year Horsham hosted the Tri State Games and we congratulate all involved in delivering this outstanding event.”
• For more information about Australia Day activities in Horsham and throughout the Wimmera, see next week’s edition of The Weekly Advertiser.

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Posted on Jan 17 2018

Posted by on Jan 17 2018. Filed under Agriculture, Community, FEATURED, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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