|Colac’s Norm Sell, whose attitude to volunteering is “do what you can, while you can”, is Colac Otway Shire’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year for 2012. |
Mr Sell, 85, has a volunteering portfolio which spans community groups including the Colac Pipe Band, Colac Probus Club, Road Safe Colac, Colac Disabled Riders, Meals on Wheels, several Victorian Masonic Lodges, Kana, Colac Driver Reviver, the former Manchester Unity Colac, Colac Youth Club and Central Bowling Club.
Mr Sell was among a distinguished group of people who received Australia Day honours at Beeac on January 26. Keith Hay of Colac, and the Gibson family of Pirron Yallock shared a Sporting Service Award, while Margaret Catlin of Beeac won the Community Service Award. Bradley McLeod, 24, of Colac won Young Citizen of the Year, while Henry Dow, 19, and Reece Karacsay, 18, received certificates of recognition for their bravery when they saved four teenagers from drowning at Wye River beach.
Graeme Tevelein, who nominated Mr Sell for the Australia Day award, said his friend had made an “outstanding contribution to the community”.
Mr Sell is a foundation member of the Colac Pipe Band. He played the bagpipes for 60 years, and has been recognised by Colac RSL for having performed in 50 years of ANZAC Day marches.
He is a life member of Colac Probus, having performed a variety of tasks for the club during the past 17 years including trip convenor.
He is an active member of Roadsafe Colac, and regularly volunteers at Colac’s Driver Reviver station.
Mr Sell has also spent 10 years delivering Meals on Wheels, and eight years helping children with disabilities enjoy horse riding.
Mr Sell said volunteering kept him active, and was a great way to make new friends.
In his spare time, Mr Sell plays lawn bowls with Central Bowling Club, goes fishing or rabbit shooting, and visits sick people at Colac Hospital on behalf of Probus and the Colac Uniting Church.
“I like helping people and I like meeting and mixing with people. Volunteering helps our community and is educational too.
“I have met great people and made great friends. I enjoy the people I help as much as they enjoy me.”
Keith Hay of Colac, and the Gibson family of Pirron Yallock shared this year’s Sporting Service Award.
Mr Hay has been the captain of Colac Rifle Club for more than 50 years and a dedicated member since the club re-formed after the Second World War. An elite shooter in his prime, Mr Hay’s achievements include setting a state record in 1967 at the Victorian Champion of Champions shoot using a .303 rifle.
The Gibson family, headed by Helen and Tim, were the other winners of the Sporting Service Award. Mrs and Mr Gibson, along with their five children, have provided more than 20 years of dedicated service to the Colac Tigers Football Netball Club as players, office bearers, coaches and administrators.
Margaret Catlin received a Community Service Award for her dedication to the Beeac community. Mrs Catlin has served as secretary of the Beeac Community Centre for about 15 years, was instrumental in setting up Beeac’s Rural Transaction Centre, and helped organise Beeac’s 150th celebrations.
Bradley McLeod was a finalist in the 2004 Colac Otway Shire Young Ambassador of the Year award. Bradley is a member of Colac Lions Club and in 2011 was involved in 16 fundraising events including the Leukaemia Foundation and Daffodil Day. He has volunteered at the Colac Visitor Information Centre and Colac Do Care’s Shopping Support Program.
Henry Dow and Reece Karacsay received certificates of appreciation for their rescue of four teenagers struggling in the surf at Wye River.
The two volunteer lifesavers were off duty, but swung into action, towing the struggling teenagers to shore on a rescue board and administering oxygen therapy to one teenager until medical help arrived.
Mayor Stephen Hart congratulated the people who received Australia Day honours and thanked them for their dedication to the community.
Cr Hart said Australia Day was a great opportunity to tell the stories of people who made a mark on our community.
“The people receiving awards today give their time selflessly without seeking recognition, and our community is richer for their contributions.
“To receive an award on Australia Day is something all recipients should be proud of, as it acknowledges your generous spirit and community mindedness,” he said.
January 26, 2012