Australia Day Awards

Each year on Australia Day, Hindmarsh Shire Council presents awards at the Australia Day events held throughout the shire on the day.

The Australia Day Awards recognise outstanding community service to the Hindmarsh Shire community during the current year and/or outstanding service to the community over a number of years. The Awards are provided by the Australia Day Committee (Victoria) and are administered by Local Government Authorities throughout Australia.

These awards include:

  • Hindmarsh Shire Citizen of the Year
  • Hindmarsh Shire Young Citizen of the Year
  • Hindmarsh Shire Community Event of the Year

Past Australia Day Award Recipients:

2022 Hindmarsh Shire Citizen of the Year



Mervyn Schneider OAM of Nhill has been announced as Hindmarsh Shire Citizen of the Year for 2022.

Mervyn is well known by locals for his astonishing accomplishments in life and for the ample amount of volunteer work and involvement he has had in the Hindmarsh community for years. Some of his many achievements include being a Warrant Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from 1943-1945, serving at Mawson Research Station in Antarctica and being inducted into Wimmera Legacy in 1991 where he was on the Board of Management from 2000-2002 and 2008-2017.

He was Chairman of Welfare Services from 2010-2017, Corporal at Arms 1998-2000, has been an active and dedicated member of Avonlea Incorporated Board of Management for 44 years, serving 5 terms as the President and was awarded Life Governorship of Avonlea.

Other significant achievements include being a charter member of the Rotary Club of Nhill since 1961 where he has provided 50 years of outstanding service to the Nhill community. His responsibilities as a member involved establishing Meals on Wheels in Nhill and helping on many projects including planting trees in our streets and plantations.

Mervyn was involved in starting up the Senior Citizens Club and more recently, the Probus Club. Mervyn has received many awards in his time including being awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship, Centenary Modal for his service to the veterans’ community in Victoria and in 2014, he received an Order of Australian Medal for his service to the community of Nhill.

Congratulations Mervyn!

2022 Hindmarsh Shire Young Citizen of the Year



Caleb Zanker of Nhill has been announced as Hindmarsh Shire Young Citizen of the Year for 2022.

Caleb is an exceptional and inspirational leader at Nhill College who is admired by his fellow students and teachers. He is always ready and willing to contribute to activities around the school and his community.

In 2021, he was Year 10 Dux and awarded the Years 7-10 Crouch Family All Rounder Award, among other scholarships. He was also Year 10 form captain (SCR) and Vice House captain.

Also in 2021, Financial Basics Foundation held a competition called the Suncorp ESSI Money Challenge. This competition consisted of students from all over Australia competing against each other for a two-week period. There were two age categories, 12-15-year old and 16-18-year old, and 183 schools across Australia were involved. Caleb, competing against 5382 students, was the top of the 16-18-year-old category in the state of Victoria, which is an outstanding achievement.

Outside of school in his spare time, Caleb enjoys playing hockey and has been a member of the Yanac Warriors Hockey Club for several years. He played his first year of football for the Nhill Tigers Under 17’s team in 2021 and was awarded the Wimmera Football Netball League Under 17 Spirit of Football Award for round 2. Caleb is looking forward to continuing being involved in both of these clubs.

Another of Caleb’s strong interest’s includes playing and listening to music. His instrument of choice is piano and euphonium. Caleb has been a part of Nhill College’s senior band since Year 7 where he has performed at school and community events, including the end of year Carols event.

Congratulations Caleb!

Hindmarsh Shire Citizen of the Year Past Recipients

2021 - Pauline McCracken, Nhill
2020 - Catherine Bates, Nhill
2019 - Annette Creek, Nhill
2018 - 
Joy Wheaton, Nhill
2017 - John Millington, Rainbow
2016 - Bill Hutson, Rainbow
2015 - Dawn Petschel, Rainbow
2014 - Pamela Budde, Dimboola
2013 - Margaret Millington, Nhill

Hindmarsh Shire Young Citizen of the Year Past Recipients

2021 - Jack Kalms, Dimboola
2020 - 
Shannon Smith, Nhill
2019 - 
Danni Haebich, Dimboola
2018 - 
Tha Blay Sher, Nhill
2017 - 
Charlotte Kube, Nhill
2016 - 
Louise Bone, Nhill
2015 - 
Mikayla Farmers, Nhill
2014 - 
Jamie Harding, Nhill

Hindmarsh Shire Community Event of the Year Past Recipients

2021 - Rainbow Desert Enduro Rises 240
2020 - 
Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Nhill Airshow 2019
2019 - 
Nhill Lutheran Church Christmas Tree Exhibition
2018 - 
Fight MND Ice Dunk Challenge, Nhill & District Sporting Club and Dimboola Sporting Club
2017 - 
Dimboola Food Festival
2016 - 
Nhill Air Show 2015
2015 - 
Karen New Year 2014
2014 - 
Winiam Cricket Club's Pink Stumps Day