RSL member David Martin OAM has been named Wodonga's Citizen of the Year for 2022 at the City of Wodonga Australia Day award presentation.
David received the award in recognition of his significant contributions to the Wodonga community through his work with disability service the Murray Valley Centre and through the Rutherglen RSL Sub-Branch.
At the award presentation, Wodonga Mayor Cr Kev Poulton congratulated David and reflected on his large contribution and commitment to the local disability sector and the RSL.
"David is a worthy recipient of this prestigious award."
Mayor Cr Kev Poulton
"He is well known and respected by many members of the community for his work with people with disabilities, the aged, veterans and their families," Mayor Cr Kev Poulton said.
Upon accepting the award, David said, "I feel both privileged and very humble receiving this award from the City of Wodonga.
"It is now fifty years since I first arrived in Wodonga as a member of the Army stationed at Bandiana.
"Apart from an absence from 1978 – 1983 I have worked in Wodonga, both in Defence and at Murray Valley Centre up until 2022.
"It has certainly been a pleasure to support the community through the Murray Valley Centre for 36 years and being able to assist people with disabilities to participate in community life."
David Martin OAM
"To witness the expansion of the City of Wodonga over the years has also been very rewarding and I congratulate the community for its efforts during the restrictions and limitations imposed through the Covid pandemic," David said.
RSL Victoria State President, Dr Robert Webster OAM, said, "David's many contributions to the civilian and ex-service communities are inspirational.
"I speak for the whole RSL community when I say a hearty congratulations to David on receiving the Wodonga's Citizen of the Year award," "Dr Webster said.
A true RSL Stalwart
David served in the Australian Defence Force for 21 years, including posting to Vietnam from 1968-1969.
David joined the Rutherglen RSL in 1969 on his return from Vietnam and has served as the Sub-Branch President on three occasions. In 2004, David received life membership to the RSL. In March 2016, he was awarded the RSL Meritorious Service Medal, the highest national recognition of service to the RSL.
David received the Order of Australia Medal in the 2012 Australia Day Honours List for his services to the community.
David was elected to the RSL Victoria State Executive in July of 2018 and has played a pivotal role in the governance of the RSL in Victoria since.
David is currently engaged in a project to install a statue of a special forces soldier in the Rutherglen Memorial Park.
*RSL Victoria credits the City of Wodonga for the photos and quotes from Wodonga Mayor Cr Kev Poulton and David Martian OAM.