Wodonga will celebrate its own at this year’s Australia Day ceremony, with the 2024 Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, and Community Organisation of the Year to be recognised.
Wodonga’s Citizen of the Year is Elizabeth Harvey, the Young Citizen of the Year is Caitlin Weppner and the Wodonga Hockey Club has been named the Community Organisation of the Year.
Come along to Wodonga’s Australia Day celebrations at The Cube Wodonga from 7am to 10.30am on Friday, January 26 where you will get the chance to congratulate the recipients in person.
Following the presentation of the awards at the Australia Day celebrations at The Cube on Friday, 52 people will take their citizenship oath.
Activities are as follows:
- 7am to 8.30am: Free barbecue breakfast and morning tea to be served
- 7am to 7.55am: Wodonga Brass Band and Sing Australia to perform, stalls to operate
- 8am: Acoustic performance by Nathan Vaccaro
- 8.30am: Proceedings to commence
- 9.10am: Australia Day Awards presented, followed by the citizenship ceremony
- 9.30am: Ceremony to close
- 9.30am to 10am: Tea to be served
- 9.30am to 10.30am: Live music and entertainment
This event is sponsored by Enviro Culture.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR - Elizabeth Harvey
Prolific volunteer Elizabeth Harvey has dedicated her retirement to helping others.
Elizabeth, who recently turned 75, retired to Wodonga in 2012 to be closer to family and since then has made a significant contribution to our community.
She is the immediate past secretary of the Wodonga Country Women’s Association (CWA), a role which she held for 10 years.
In that time the CWA supported many organisations, including but not limited to the Centre Against Violence, Hilltop Cancer and Carer Centre and Travellers Aid.
The Wodonga branch’s membership has also grown in this time, reflecting the success of the organisation.
Elizabeth has been involved with the CWA’s Kiewa Valley Group, which oversees the Wodonga branch, being its secretary for four years and treasurer for two.
Elizabeth remains a committed member of the Wodonga Branch of the CWA.
For those of you who attend events at The Cube Wodonga, you have probably sampled her Lamingtons, Anzac biscuits or scones.
Despite all her hard work with the CWA, Elizabeth is best known for going out of her way to assist anyone in need.
Elizabeth says she joined the CWA to make friends in her new location and to contribute to the wider community.
She has a strong volunteer ethic, having previously dedicated 30 years of service to the Guides in Ballarat.
YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – Caitlin Weppner
Caitlin Weppner prefers to focus on what she can do, not what she can't - so she’s crammed a lot into her 16 years.
She has been involved with the 3rd Wodonga Scout Group since 2012, and received the Australian Scout Award in 2022.
Last year she attended the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea and she has been a member of the Albury Gang Show Cast in 2022, 2023 and is looking forward to 2024.
Caitlin is qualified to lead scout snorkelling groups and has also completed her Wildfire Firefighter training (General Fire Fighting) with the CFA.
Caitlin was a keen member of the West Wodonga Junior CFA, including being a part of the brigade’s running team at local competitions, demonstrating her endurance and reliability.
Last year she participated in the Girls on Fire Program, which introduces young people aged 15 to 19 to fire, emergency and disaster management skills.
In December 2023 Caitlin was awarded the Australian Defence Force Year 10 Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award for demonstrating leadership and teamwork within both the school and the broader local community.
Last year she took part in the Melbourne ANZAC Day March, carrying the flag for the 4th Light Horse Brigade.
She has also participated in the Good Friday Appeal over many years.
Caitlin is in Year 11 at Catholic College Wodonga and has lived all her life in Wodonga.
Her goals are to be part of the Paying It Forward team to go Vietnam in 2024, gain the Queen Scout Award in 2025 and get a berth on The Young Endeavour.
COMMUNITY ORGANISATION OF THE YEAR - Wodonga Hockey Club
The Wodonga Hockey Club boasts a rich 95-year history of fostering hockey in Wodonga, starting with the formation of a women's club in 1928.
Since then, hockey has persevered and evolved in Wodonga through diverse forms of competition and due to the dedication of its members, of which there are currently more than 200.
In June 2023, the new Wodonga Hockey Club Pavilion and the upgraded Wodonga Hockey Club and Wodonga BMX Club Change Room facilities were officially opened at Birallee Park, Wodonga.
This $3.2m project was funded at the federal, state and local government level and Wodonga Hockey Club Inc, which proudly contributed more than $250,000 to this project.
Without the Wodonga Hockey Club committee's dedication, and its members' support, this would not have happened.
These facilities are now used by more than 1500 hockey players in the Hockey Albury Wodonga region, and the students of local schools.
The club has been a leader in community initiatives over the years, including being the first sporting team in North East Victoria, and the first with Hockey Albury Wodonga, to adopt Fair Go Sport, the forerunner to the Pride Round. The club also celebrates an Indigenous Round with a unique styled endorsed uniform.
The Wodonga Hockey Club established The Anzac Day Trophy between itself and Falcons Hockey Club in 2023 and the Chandler-Maggs Shield between the club and Magpies Hockey Club, which is ‘A Call to Arms Men's Cancer’ fundraiser day in remembrance of Dave Chandler and Andrew Maggs, valued past members, who both passed away from cancer at about 40.