AT an Old Mildura Homestead ceremony on Tuesday morning, Mildura Rural City Council announced its 2021 Australia Day Award recipients, highlighting the selfless and amazing contributions local residents and groups have made to our region.
This year’s Australia Day Award recipients are:
• Citizen of the Year − Bryce Pritchard, (PICTURED with Cr Jason Modica)
• Young Citizen of the Year − Luka Morzer-Bruyns, and
• Community Event or Project of the Year – Mallee Living Histories Group − Mallee Living Histories project which was accepted by Princes Court CEO Jenny Garonne and project team members.
Meanwhile, Mildura Mayor Jason Modica presented this year’s Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year while attending Murrayville’s Australia Day celebrations, where both recipients hail from.
“Australia Day Awards are a fantastic way to acknowledge and draw attention to the achievements and contributions of people within our community,” Cr Modica said.
“These impressive residents and groups contribute so much to our community in so many ways, and often go about these activities quietly, driven by their own passions and dedication, not to receive awards.”
The Mildura and Murrayville events were among numerous Australia Day celebrations across the municipality attended by Mildura councillors, acknowledging the achievements of residents and groups throughout the region.
Citizen of the Year recipient Bryce Pritchard has contributed to the community in a broad range of areas over a long period.
Contributing to everything from the performing arts and organising community events, through to emergency services and the provision of health care and there would be few areas in the Murrayville community that have not benefited from Bryce’s involvement.
Bryce has also helped organise ANZAC Day services, including the bugle for The Last Post for several years.
He’s been involved with the Murrayville Inc. Committee and State Emergency Service for more than 25 years, was a director on the Mallee Track Health and Community Services Board, and has been involved in the Bush Nursing Committee.
Young Citizen of the Year Luka Morzer-Bruyns has been a strong and leading voice for young people in the Mallee, involved in an impressive range of school and sporting groups, as well as volunteering his own time to help the region’s elderly residents, making him a worthy recipient of this year’s Young Citizen of the Year.
Luka’s involvement in community clubs includes the Murrayville Football Club, Murrayville Basketball Club, Murrayville Tennis Club and the Murrayville Drama Group.
He’s also been a significant contributor to his local school, internally as well as representing his school at a broader level.
Luka is a school leader as SCR president, attending and running monthly school meetings and presenting the student report, as well as organising functions and fundraisers.
His significant contributions in the school community led to him being announced Mallee Young Ambassador in 2019, after which he represented his school and actively discussed obstacles faced by rural students and how they could be addressed.
Luka received another major accolade in 2019 when he received the Long Tan Award for outstanding community spirit, leadership among his peers and being an excellent role model for students.
Recipient of the Community Event or Project of the Year
 was the Mallee Living Histories Group – Mallee’s Living Histories project
. The Mallee’s Living Histories project captured the stories of 30 Princes Court Home residents, whose experiences and reflections were documented by 21 volunteer writers in the Mallee’s Living Histories publication. Two publications have been produced, the most recent of which was on launched in November last year.
The project has captured the histories of generations that shaped the communities of north west Victoria, as well as serving an important role enhancing the self-esteem and well-being of residents in Princes Court Homes.