The annual Australia Day celebrations included the Heathcote and District Community Awards, live entertainment and a classic Aussie sausage sizzle.
Councillor Yvonne Wrigglesworth and Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters were guests at the ceremony.
“I thank you all for attending today, it is a wonderful opportunity for residents to celebrate our great nation in whichever way they wish,” Cr Wrigglesworth said.
“It is an opportunity to celebrate our diverse and vibrant communities, going forward it is important that we reconcile our differences to ensure our nation continues to be welcoming, fair and an inclusive place for all.”
“However you celebrate, I hope you take a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in Australia and especially in Heathcote.”
Heathcote Australia Day committee coordinator Jeanette Dedman said the four award recipients have all made outstanding contributions to the local community.
Award recipient Merle Salisbury is a local resident who has been involved with Wintringham Housing Estate, Heathcote Senior Citizens and has also contributed to the local school and church.
Award recipient Judy Hutchins was celebrated for her work in the community as president of the Heathcote Artists Inc where she has supported various committees and has been integral in obtaining grants to hold events to showcase the best of Heathcote’s art.
Heathcote Fire Bridge captain Carl Watkins was awarded for his long dedication serving the community.
“The recognition I received today is from over 40 years of work, I started off in one of the smaller positions and I ended up becoming captain of the Heathcote Fire Brigade,” Mr Watkins said.
“Being a leader is a lot more valuable than standing here receiving an award, it is something I’ve taken a lot of pleasure in doing, trying to encourage new members to join and mentoring people.”
“I like to mentor the young members who are joining to show them the good culture of the CFA and how what we do makes a difference to the community.”
The Heathcote Agricultural, Pastoral and Horticultural Society Inc was awarded for their work maintaining the Heathcote Showgrounds, one of the town’s oldest and most celebrated annual events.
There were also two other special presentations to local residents Boyd Zimmerman and Sue Bier.
The entertainment included poems from Geoffrey Graham and live music from local musician Mariah McCarthy.
MC Daryl Wallace said the turnout was “excellent” and “above what was expected” because of the hot weather.
The Lions Club of Heathcote hosted the event.
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