Rural shire wins state tourism award

Article image - Rural shire wins state tourism award (From left) Murrindindi Shire Council’s Team - Lisa Wallace, Economic Development and Tourism Manager Bob Elkington, Council CEO Margaret Abbey, Sarah Light, Julie Blyth and Councillor Christine Challen. Absent – Pauline Roberts.

Murrindindi Shire Council has won Tourism Victoria’s Local Government Award for Tourism. 

The RACV Victorian Tourism Awards ceremony was held at a gala event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and was attended by 900 tourism and event industry leaders and professionals.

Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Spokesperson Councillor Christine Challen said that while she knew Murrindindi Shire Council was a strong contender for the award given the hard work that had been done in working with industry stakeholders to grow tourism in the Shire, it was still a great surprise to be named winner.

“This category is open to all 79 councils from across Victoria, many of which are much larger and who can apply significantly more resources to tourism attraction than many of the smaller councils.  

“Shires across the state have fantastic natural and built attractions and offer a wide range of activities and events.

“So against this backdrop it was particularly rewarding to be named winner, and this was a real boost for our small rural Shire.  

“This award also recognizes the hard work Council’s Economic Development and Tourism Department has done with local tourism operators and Council’s business and tourism partners to capitalize on these natural advantages, including a comprehensive program of events and tourism development initiatives over the past two years.”

The key theme of Council’s award submission was ‘Achieving Better Outcomes through Collaboration and Building Relationships’.  

Working within a tight fiscal scenario, Council has developed key strategic partnerships with local, state and regional organisations and has been successful in attracting funding to facilitate an extensive range of activities.

Just a few of the outcomes of these collaborations include the commissioning of a purpose-built accredited Visitor Information Centre in Yea; branding and marketing initiatives for the Great Victorian Rail Trail; participation in a wide range of activities as part of the Goulburn River Valley Tourism collective and completion of numerous valuable projects through the Marysville and Surrounds Tourism and Events Program in collaboration with Yarra Ranges Tourism.