Volunteers valued

Recipients of the Mitchell Shire Australia Day awards were recognised at a ceremony at Pyalong on Sunday. The volunteers recognised included Citizen of the Year John Perrett; Young Citizen of the Year Ebony Layley; Access and Inclusion Champions joint winners Seymour College Inclusive Education Class and Paris Ingham; Community Event of the Year Broadford and District Historical Society’s 2019 Australia Day Exhibition; and Community Group of the Year Seymour Agricultural and Pastoral Society.

By Jackson Russell

Kilmore identity John Perrett was named Mitchell Shire Citizen of the Year at Australia Day celebrations in Pyalong on Sunday.

Mr Perrett was honoured for his years of service to the Kilmore and District Men’s Shed, which has grown from seven men without a shed to nearly 100 members with a new addition to open next month, along with service to numerous other community groups.
One of the shed’s driving forces, Mr Perrett served as president for 10 out of 14 years since its inception in 2005.

He has supported new members as they settled into the community and helped them create life-long friendships.

Mr Perrett said he was most proud of how many people he had been able to help through the men’s shed.

“I’m proud of the number of people that we’ve been able to help, the different organisations and the men that we’ve mentored and given a new lease on life,” he said.

“Men work with men all their life and when they retire, it’s a whole new world with no men to talk to.

“When they get involved in the shed, it’s the best of both worlds.”

In 2009, Mr Perrett quietly provided assistance to those who had requested help following the bushfires.

Mr Perrett was the vice-president of Wandong Heathcote Junction Community Group and managed the core work of clean ups and beautification for 15 years.

He is also part of Kilmore Probus and has been a member for 16 years, serving as president and vice-president during this time.

Mr Perrett served on Kilmore U3A committee as secretary, newsletter writer and as a facilitator. He has been part of the group for 18 years.