Barham’s Colin Barnes contributes to his district community in a variety of different ways.
In the 20 years since he relocated to Barham, he has been of service to the community through a number of committee positions, most notably his involvement in the Barham Baptist Church where he plays an extremely important role as a church administrator and treasurer.
He is also heavily involved with the Scouting movement, especially with fundraising, and his sons Mark and Albert are known as exemplary Scouts.
The local fire brigade, of which he is a member, values his ‘‘hands on’’ common sense approach to fighting fires and his support and mentoring of new brigade members.
He also assists with Golden Rivers Theatre Group productions, helps in setting up the Barham Show and various Border Flywheeler projects, and in his ‘‘spare time’’ he carries out sundry repairs or gathers firewood for needy residents in the Barham-Koondrook area.
To all this, add his enviable reputation as a shearer.
His approach to his professional work cannot be faulted, and combined his varied commitments demonstrate why he was selected as this year’s Murray River Council Citizen of the Year.
The Citizen of the Year is one of six Australia Day Awards that will be presented on January 26.
The 2020 recipients will be presented with their awards at Murray River Council Australia Day ceremonies on January 26, with breakfasts to be held in Echuca/Moama, Barham, Mathoura, Wakool, Koraleigh, Tooleybuc and Moulamein.
Details of each event is available at www.murrayriver.nsw.gov.au.
Other award recipients and their citations are as follows:
■ Community Group of the Year – Lions Club of Moama: The Lions Club of Moama is a small club with 16 members who have, through sheer hard work and persistence, provided the Moama community with a number of assets and projects through their ongoing fundraising efforts. One of their most notable projects incudes the Moama Lions Community Village. Originally established in 1977, more than three decades later the club has provided, and managed, 28 accommodation units. Other projects administered by the Moama Lions Club include the Southern Cross Care Moama Vegetable Garden Project. The club also supports Echuca Regional Health’s Cancer Wellness Centre, hosts the annual Carols by Candlelight event and provides development opportunities for local youth through the Youth of the Year and Junior Public Speaking competitions.
■ Community Event of the Year – River Daze, Barham: The dynamic team behind this event share experiences and talents, and commit to delivering the best family friendly event possible in a little country community. Held at Riverside Park in early March, the event celebrates where we live, work and play and has grown in its popularity since its inception four years ago. The 2019 event was attended by almost 1000 people and attracted more than 900 overnight stays, with many visitors staying multiple nights. The event was headlined by Russell Morris and Mental as Anything and delivered a number of flow on economic and social benefits to the area. Due to the hard work of the committee, River Daze 2019 received Destination NSW Tourist Flagship Funding, allowing an extensive marketing campaign that resulted in about 38,000 ‘hits’ from Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo.
■ Arts/Cultural Award – Moulamein Arts Council: In 2019 the group hosted the inaugural Acquisitive Sculpture Competition — a three-day outdoor sculpture competition and exhibition providing artists a one-off opportunity to exhibit their works. Held at the Moulamein Art Gallery, the competition was a unique way to put a spotlight on the town, focusing on the impact of drought conditions affecting the area. The brief to create a sculpture was used to encourage the farming community to put their skills into play by designing, creating and displaying their very own masterpiece. The Sculpture Competition was a colourful and vibrant celebration of the talented artists, with the winning sculpture ‘Narrow Combs’ now on display at the gallery and another 3 sculptures on display in Morago St.