Citizen of the year is making sure Muckadilla thrives
DONNA Sutton is the driving force behind most of the things people love about Muckadilla, and many consider her the glue which holds the community together.
She volunteers tirelessly to make sure her little town is thriving, by operating the local visitor centre, running guided tours of historical sites for visitors, maintaining the community hall, and organising many of the activities which are run there.
Ms Sutton has ensured the community of about 100 has stayed alive despite hard times in recent years, and for her dedication, has been named the Roma and District citizen of the year.
“I am so over the moon – I have no idea who nominated me for this – but I am so excited,” Ms Sutton said after receiving her award at Australia Day celebrations in Roma on Sunday.
“But really, I am just one part of a committee which is trying to incorporate the community into the hall, which is our main asset now, because the pub burned down.”
Ms Sutton is passionate about keeping the valuable asset open for her community, and in recent years has helped out with weekly yoga, playgroup, fitness classes, monthly barbecues, Christmas parties, men’s shed morning teas, ANZAC and Remembrance Day services, and a host of other events, all hosted in the Muckadilla Hall.
But the biggest event is yet to come: the community is set to their hall’s 100th anniversary in 2020, and Ms Sutton is at the centre of planning centenary celebrations.
“It will be 100 years that the hall has been standing, and there is a lot of memories and history there, so we have got to keep it going,” Ms Sutton said.
“Because these little communities, they are slowly dying, and I don’t want that to happen (in Muckadilla) – we want to keep ours alive,
“A lot of our farming families are doing it tough, and if we can all come together for something, whether it is a Christmas party, or a barbecue, or whatever, it is a place where everyone can just come to talk, and that is the most important thing.”
Ms Sutton is a long standing secretary of the Muckadilla Community Association, and is passing on her passion for community to the next generation of leaders in the community.
Over the past year she has helped recruit a crack team of young women to the hall committee, who are already achieving great things in their own right.
“At our AGM last year, I really wanted to encourage the young ones to take on roles in the community,” Ms Sutton said.
“I think it is so important to keep them here and active in our community, because whether we are in a drought, flood, or whatever, we are there as a community to support everybody.”