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Lindsay Hanchett has been named Wodonga's Citizen of the Year for 2021.
Lindsay is best-known for his annual co-ordination of the Wodonga Carols by Candlelight for the past 17 years. Lindsay has taken the carols, which are a highlight and bring plenty of joy to the community, to new heights including the introduction of proper staging and changes to the funding and donations to make the event one of the largest in the region.
Although Lindsay enjoys putting the carols together, the event has seen its challenges including grasshoppers, rain, smoke, electrical storms, high temperatures as well as the pandemic last year. However, Lindsay has persevered to make the event a highlight of the year.
Lindsay has also been actively involved in the Wodonga Brass Band. He was awarded the Bill Youngson Memorial Trophy in 2000 for the most dedicated band member. He was president of the brass band from 2002 to 2011. He is the current treasurer. He was made a Life Member in 2005.
The qualified accountant has also been a driving force behind the operation of the Murray Hume Business Enterprise Centre since its inception in 1983. The centre has gradually evolved due to the dedication and enthusiasm of Lindsay.
He has served on the committee since 1999 and has been chairperson since 2004. The centre has supported and assisted thousands of business operators to start and grow their business through a range of government-supported initiatives.
Wodonga Mayor Cr Kev Poulton congratulated Linsday, reflecting on his community contribution, having been a part of people's lives year on year through his work with Carols by Candlelight.
"As we know the past 12 months have been quite unique and it was a time more than ever we needed community spirit, and Lindsay and the great support he has, still managed to bring carols to our community at Christmas," he said.
In recognising the challenges posed by this time, the Wodonga Australia Day selection panel decided to award the Citizen of the Year category but not to select a Young Citizen or Community Organisation.
"Nonetheless we know that right across the community people and organisations have continued to be active in many different ways. The stories from these times will no doubt become known in the months and years ahead," Cr Poulton said.