Lesley Hewitt

2020 is nearing the end and, thanks to all the efforts made by the Victorian community, we are able to come together at Christmas in ways that did not seem possible a few months ago.

But as COVID restrictions lift, I find myself thinking about the challenges and losses that we have all faced during the last year. At a community level, everyone has had to adapt to changes to how we work and go about our daily lives.

Now we have the opportunity to reflect on what worked and what did not and learn from that.

At an individual level, it’s an opportunity to consider what is important to each of us as we think about some of the things that have been missed – celebrating births and mourning the loss of loved family members.

As a community we have shown resilience, we have managed, we have quickly altered what we do and how we work to ensure that we all stay safe. Of course, some things might have gone more smoothly and of course there may have been things that we could have done differently in hindsight. We have all been impacted on various levels and I am proud of the way our community has responded.

Our Shire staff have changed the way they work in order to keep delivering services while keeping the community safe. Businesses have had to adapt rapidly to changing conditions. Residents and community groups have come up with innovative solutions to help each other and to stay connected during COVID restrictions. All are great example of the resilience, creativity and care for each other that we have in this Shire. It’s our capacity to continuously come up with innovative and creative solutions to challenges that will ensure that in 2021 we will work together to deal with the challenges ahead.

Congratulations to the Wombat Post volunteers, who have completed their first calendar year providing an online news service to Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Thank you for your support of local government, including hosting a Meet the Candidates Session by Zoom prior to the recent Council election which provided an opportunity for voters to see and hear candidates when other more traditional public fora were not permitted.

Finally, on behalf of my fellow Councillors I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody in the Hepburn Shire Season’s Greetings and all the very best in 2021.


Cr. Lesley Hewitt is the Mayor of Hepburn Shire and a Councillor for Birch Ward.