Mid Murray Council holds Australia Day awards afternoon tea on January 3, 2018

Recognised: Dave Burgess with Stephen Hausler, Mick Heward, Michelle Grieger, Nikayla Clark and Shane McGrath, plus Bill McGhie, Roy Helbig and Courtney Kluge. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Recognised: Dave Burgess with Stephen Hausler, Mick Heward, Michelle Grieger, Nikayla Clark and Shane McGrath, plus Bill McGhie, Roy Helbig and Courtney Kluge. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Many local governments already announce their Australia Day award winners ahead of time, but the Mid Murray council has gone one step further this year.

All its award nominees were invited to an afternoon tea at the council's Mannum office last Wednesday.

Mayor Dave Burgess described each nominee's achievements in turn and handed out certificates, much as one would expect on January 26.

Why jump the gun?

"Normally on Australia Day you present the winners and ignore the nominees," he said.

"I want to celebrate the nominees because they're a very important part of the community, very inspirational people ... and I think that should be acknowledged.

"We're certainly proud of them all."

Nominated in the Community Event of the Year were Bowhill Anzac Memorial Upgrade and Mannum Community College Junior School concert with the former the successful recipient of the award.

Three youths with a strong sense of community spirit nominated for Young Citizen of the Year were Nikayla Clark, Mannum, Stephen Hausler, Morgan and Courtney Kluge, Claypans.

Mr Hausler received the award for his achievements in wakeboarding, volunteer efforts at community events and is a committee member of the Morgan Community District Tourism Association and Morgan Bowling Club.

Up for the award of Citizen of the Year were Roy Helbig, Mick Heward and Bill McGhie, who were nominated for their involvement in community associations.

Mr McGhie was presented the award for his work with the Mannum Men’s Shed.

Today's event was all about acknowledging all the nominees and their achievements.

Mid Murray Mayor Dave Burgess

Mayor Burgess said Mr McGhie has a good relationship with men from all walks of life and is often the first point of contact for men wanting to discuss their problems.

“He shows great empathy and men feel comfortable discussing their problems with him, which is very important in this day and age with mental health being a large and growing concern,” he said.

“Witnessing the connection Bill has with the older men of our community, it was reassuring knowing that this sector of our community is being looked after.”

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