A Warrnambool resident who has been a driving force within Warrnambool’s creative industries is this year’s Warrnambool Citizen of the Year.
Artist, teacher, businessman and volunteer Gareth Colliton has been chosen by Warrnambool City Council as the Citizen of the Year for his work supporting the creative arts.
“Gareth is someone who goes above and beyond in his support for the arts in Warrnambool,” Mayor Cr Debbie Arnott said.
“He’s been involved in bringing people and ideas together for many years.
“He’s been active with the F Project, public art projects, he’s run a gallery and is now devoting an enormous amount of time and energy to One Day Studios.
“Whether as a volunteer or in his professional career he enriches Warrnambool’s arts and culture scene.”
Council has also recognised Warrnambool historians Carlyn and Ron Sproston with Local Achiever awards in recognition of their work documenting local history, most recently with the RSL.
“Congratulations to Carlyn and Ron. They’ve put in hundreds of hours to document the military service of local people.
“They have also mentored other RSL historians.
“If you have visited the interactive war memorial at the RSL then you’ll have an insight into the work they have assisted with on behalf of the community.”
The Community Event of the Year Award has been won by the Warrnambool Multicultural Festival.
“We had a large number of nominations for the Multicultural Festival,” Cr Arnott said.
“It had been many years since we had such a festival and this was something the community clearly wanted and embraced wholeheartedly.
“More than 4,000 people attended the festival to enjoy a range of activities including food, dancing, traditional costumes and Tai Chi.
“It was a wonderful event and a great reflection of our increasingly diverse community.”
Cr Arnott said the awards had transitioned to become community awards that were independent of January 26 Australia Day activities.
“The change recognises that the awards are strong enough to stand on their own and also acknowledges that the way in which the community views January 26 is changing,” Cr Arnott said.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony on January 25, from 6pm at the new Library.
The public is welcome to attend. Those wishing to head along are asked to register first at https://events.humanitix.com/warrnambool-citizen-of-the-year-awards