Paul Wheelton Australia Day Ambassador for 2014

Ararat - The official Australia Day Ambassador for Ararat Rural City Council for 2014 will be businessman Paul Wheelton OAM.

The announcement comes as nominations continue to be open for the 2014 Australia Day Awards.

Mayor Cr Paul Hooper has asked residents to nominate worthy recipients for the Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Community Event of the Year and Community Service of the Year awards.

"Australia Day celebrations are always a great event held not only in Ararat Rural City but across the country and we look forward to receiving the award nominations each year," Cr Hooper said.

The awards will be presented during Ararat Rural City Council's Australia Day Celebrations held at the Alexandra Gardens on Sunday January 26, 2014. Closing date for all nominations is at 5pm Friday January 17, 2014.

"We are also particularly excited to be welcoming our special guest as our Australia Day Ambassador and look forward to hearing the Australia day message," he said.

"Mr Paul Wheelton OAM is an experienced professional with an extensive career that includes a reputation for determination, resourcefulness and a passionate commitment to successful organisational outcomes."

Mr Wheelton is highly sought after in various roles demonstrating a high level of expertise and corporate professionalism. Recognized for integrity and strong interpersonal skills with the ability to develop positive relations and establish a rapport with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and skills. Building and maintaining high standards with organisations and committed to excellence with a 'can do' approach and 'attention to detail'.

He spends a very large percentage of his time and skills on charitable pursuits. Mr Wheelton was also awarded the Order of Australia in 2009 for his commitment to charities and consistently maintains a positive attitude and enjoys helping people.

He is currently the owner of 12 Budget Rent a Car franchises in Victoria and Queensland and is managing director of Wheelton group of companies.

Mr Wheelton's other main interests are travelling, reading and has a very keen interest in the Hawthorn Football Club and property investment.

He will be attending the Australia Day Celebrations to address what it means to be an Australia Day Ambassador. Celebrations commence at 8.30am with a free barbecue, breakfast and entertainment along with the announcement of the Australia Day Awards.

For more information regarding the Australia Day Ambassador or celebrations for 2014 contact Julie Kilpatrick, manager tourism and community information at Ararat Rural City Council on (03) 5355 0270 or go to www.ararat.vic.gov.au.

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