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Barrie Baker and Ray Lougheed

Time to celebrate our city and its people

News Article Date: 
Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Two long-time Warrnambool residents and volunteers will be awarded Warrnambool Citizen of the Year recognition at this year’s Australia Day celebrations.

Ray Lougheed and Barrie Baker are both being recognised for theirefforts over many years to improve the lives of those in the Warrnambool community.

Mr Lougheed, whose voice is familiar to many as the compere of Down Memory Lane on 3YB, is chairman of Food Share, president of the Victorian Retired Ambulance Workers and a former regional head of Red Cross,  past board member of Southern Way and a former co-ordinator of the regional Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal.

Mr Baker, who was Director of South West TAFE for more than two decades, has been treasurer of the West Warrnambool Cricket Club, Mozart Choir Group, and Warrnambool Racquetball.

After retiring he sought out to serve as chairperson of the South West Community Foundation. He has overseen the exposure and growth of the organisation.

Mr Baker was also the executive officer of South West Sustainability Partnerships for more than three years.

He remains active in the community and has served on the Uniting Church Council and several church committees over many years. 

He currently serves on the Uniting Church Childcare Committee, the Board of WestVic Staffing Solutionsand the Board of South West Victorian Self Education and Learning (SEAL).

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Robert Anderson congratulated Mr Baker and Mr Lougheed and said those receiving awards on Australia Day set a great example to the rest of the community.

“Ray and Barrie have had distinguished professional careers but it is the work they have chosen to do in their own time that so impressed Council and the Australia Day Committee,” Cr Anderson said.

Both were thrilled to learn they were receiving awards.

“I hold the award very high,” Mr Lougheed said.

“I think it’s an absolute honour to receive it. There are many, many people out there that are doing similar things to what I do and they don’t get accolades.

“So I feel very humbled that I’ve received an accolade for this.

“The work that you do is very important. I have always said that the volunteers in any town, doesn’t matter where it is, the volunteers are the heartblood.

“That’s what it boils down to.

“Without volunteers, things would grind to a halt so we’re very lucky that we do have so many volunteers in this town and for me to receive this award – I’m very humbled.”

“I think the awards recognise the sort of service that you hope all citizens might give so I don’t feel at all special in that sense,” Mr Baker said.

“But it’s terrific in a community like this that we have these awards that recognise people that do their bit.

“Warrnambool’s an outstanding community and to be chosen as a citizen of the year within that outstanding community is a serious honour and I really appreciate it.

“Volunteers are the people that make a community a community.

“Some people have the opportunity and motivation to do a bit more than others but it’s important that everybody does their bit.”

Also to be recognized on Australia Day will be Warrnambool brothersAaron and Chris Gillin. They will receive Young Citizen of the Year awards for their outstanding work in creating awareness of muscular dystrophy. 

Aaron’s award will be posthumous - he died in October last year at the age of just 24. Chris is continuing the work of Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Warrnambool which many will know of as a result of the green laces campaign.

Local Achiever Awards will be presented to Lyn Eales, Lyn Mast and Kate Sewell.

Lyn Eales has been recognized for her support of music within the community and of the LGBTIQ community; Lyn Mast for mental health advocacy; and Kate Sewell for her efforts as a volunteer basketball coach, inspiring young players to get fit, build friendships and self-confidence.

The Community Event of the Year is the Fletcher Jones Christmas Garden Party, which has quickly grown to become a much anticipated event on the community’s calendar.

Co-ordinated by the F Project, the Christmas Party in the Fletcher Jones Gardens brings together former Fletcher Jones employees, artists, Jones Family members and broader community for a day of music, arts, storytelling, fashion parades and more.

It connects people with each other and to the history and story of the Fletcher Jones site at Pleasant Hill. The event also raises funds for artists and the F Project arts collective, which has enriched Warrnambool's community and cultural life over the past five years.

Nominations for Australia Day awards come from the community each year.

The nominations are considered by a committee of community members. The committee then provides recommendations for the Council to review and endorse.

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