City congratulates 2023 Citizen and Young Citizens of the Year

The City of Greater Bendigo is pleased to announce Trevor Strauch as the Citizen of the Year and in 2023 there are two Young Citizens of the Year, Amelia Leach-Unmeopa and Mitchell Graham.

This is the first time two Young Citizens have been recognised by the City in the one year.

Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said Mr Strauch had been recognised for his volunteering efforts over many years, while Ms Leach-Unmeopa was being celebrated for her youth advocacy and promotion of indigenous culture and Mr Graham for his leadership in the Eaglehawk community.

“I am delighted to congratulate Trevor, Amelia and Mitchell on this significant achievement and their contribution to the Greater Bendigo community. The nominations we received for Mitchell and Amelia were so impressive, we had to select them both. All nominees are truly deserving of this local honour,” Cr Metcalf said.

“Trevor has volunteered in the Huntly area for 60 years, including on a range of committees such as for Epsom-Huntly Kinder, Huntly Junior Tennis, Strauch Recreation Reserve and Huntly Primary School.

“He is a Life Member of the Huntly Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Authority, a recipient of the National Emergency Medal and the National Medal for active firefighting service, and is a valued member of the Northern Bendigo Landcare Group. Trevor also raises funds for the Huntly CFA, completes regular maintenance on the St Clements Anglican Church and Op Shop, and has been a blood and plasma donor for 52 years.

“Amelia was a member of the 2022 Victorian Youth Congress, representing regional youth and giving insights on the challenges faced by young people in regional areas. She is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman and in her final year of school in 2022 was active in sharing stories and educating children on indigenous culture.

“Last year, Amelia was also recognised for her local leadership and won the Zonta Indigenous Women and Girls Award and has been offered a place at the National Indigenous Australians Agency based in Canberra, where she hopes to pursue her passion for politics.

“Mitchell is president of Empowering Eaglehawk and has led the group to better connect with the community via the web and social media, and better promote its work across Eaglehawk. He has also helped to profile local groups and organisations online that have befitted from the support of Empowering Eaglehawk, and developed and coordinated the inaugural Eaglehawk Business Gala Night.

“While his passion for badminton has led to him coordinating junior training and competition for the Bendigo Eaglehawk Badminton Association, and he attends monthly association meetings. He is a great advocate and example of the power of engaging young people to be part of community groups to offer advice and expertise.

“I look forward to Trevor, Amelia and Mitchell using their new platform to inspire others and congratulate them again on being named Citizen and Youth Citizens of the Year.”

About Trevor Strauch

Trevor has a long and proud history of volunteering in the Huntly community over 60 years, supporting Epsom-Huntly Kinder, Huntly Junior Tennis, Strauch Recreation Reserve and Huntly Primary School.

He is a Life Member of the Huntly Fire Brigade and Country Fire Authority, a former First Lieutenant, Huntly Fire Fighter of the Year in 2006 and 2018, and recipient of the National Emergency Medal and the National Medal for active firefighting service. As part of the brigade, Trevor has also served in flood and fire strike teams in Victoria and New South Wales, and undertaken countless volunteering activities to raise funds to purchase trucks and equipment.

As a 13-year member of the Northern Bendigo Landcare Group, Trevor regularly picks up rubbish along roadsides, supports community tree planting days and builds nest boxes. 

He also received a Paul Harris Fellow Rotary Award for community service, voluntarily undertakes regular maintenance at the St Clements Anglican Church and Op Shop, is on the Huntly Family Fun Day organising committee, and has been a blood and plasma donor for 52 years.

In the year 2000 in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics, Trevor had the honour of carrying the Olympic torch through Huntly in recognition of his service to the community.

About Amelia Leach-Unmeopa

Amelia is 18 years old and a proud Torres Strait Islander woman who is passionate about education and sharing her indigenous culture with others, particularly children.

She was a member of the 2022 Victorian Youth Congress and has an interest in politics. As part of the Youth Congress, she provided input into changes to legislation impacting young people. The role was an opportunity to also advocate for Indigenous youth.

Last year, Amelia received Zonta Bendigo’s inaugural Indigenous Women and Girls Achievement Award in recognition of her volunteer work and participation on the Bendigo Senior Secondary College First Nations Leadership Team, where she was influential in leading the College to install Acknowledgement of Country signage.

In 2023 she will attend the National Indigenous Australians Agency, based in Canberra, where she will participate in an Australian Public Service career starter program and complete a Certificate IV in Government.

Her aim is to inspire young indigenous women to have the confidence to achieve their goals.

About Mitchell Graham

Mitchell is 21 years old.

Mitchell is president of Empowering Eaglehawk, currently in his third term.

He has led the group to better connect with the community via the web and social media, and better promote its work across Eaglehawk. He has produced a number of videos promoting the group’s activities, grants and showcased what the grants have enabled local club/organisation recipients to do.

Mitchell was also behind the successful promotion for Empowering Eaglehawk called ‘This is Eaglehawk’ and developed the inaugural Eaglehawk Business Gala Night.

As a student at Eaglehawk Secondary College he represented the school in a range of sports, particularly cricket and badminton, winning the Dowding Community Sports Leader Award in 2017 and 2018.

He is also a leader within the Bendigo Eaglehawk Badminton Association where he is Junior Coordinator and organises training, weekly competition and tournaments. He coordinated the development of a new uniform for the association and administers the association’s social media content.

In 2023, Mitchell is both the City of Greater Bendigo Young Citizen of the Year and an Eaglehawk Citizen of the Year.

 

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