Northern centres honoured their best with a variety of awards on Australia Day that salute the mostly voluntary service so many people contribute in regional NSW. Across 13 local government areas in this region, thousands of people paid tribute to the unsung heroes of their communities. Among the awards were:
Gardening guru Doreen Goddard is this year’s Citizen of the Year for her work with many gardening groups, including her active work, support and membership of the Botanic Gardens and Tidy Towns groups and other community work.
Tamworth High School student Rhianna Smith is the Young Citizen and has been fundraising for cancer charities since a young age. This year’s Mitchell Brady Encouragement Award was presented to Elizabeth Plane for her community service, fundraising efforts and musical accomplishments.
The Citizen of the Year gong went to one of the university city’s top sports, Steve McMillan, who has been volunteering since he was 15, when he became the junior cricket registrar and publicity officer.
In 2006 he was made president of the Armidale Sports Council and still holds that position today.
Young Citizen Emily Kozera has volunteered in Armidale since the age of 10 and has given her time to the Armidale Private Hospital, Eastwatch and Red Cross doorknock appeals.
Citizen of the Year Alan (Terry) Tearleis a St Vincent de Paul shop volunteer and has had 21 years’ service with the Armidale and Uralla Diabetes Association and is its vice-president. He mans the association’s raffle ticket table at the Armidale monthly markets and in the shopping plaza. At the Vinnies shop he empties the bins and helps with deliveries and pick-ups. He works with the Uralla Showground Trust as a volunteer at functions, fundraisers and with maintenance and improvement works and is called on to assist at St Joseph’s Parish, and the school, with maintenance, improvement work and many odd jobs, He is also a volunteer at the Uralla Driver Reviver.
Young Citizen of the Year joint winners are Timothy, 22, and William Rouse-Upjohn, 24.
The brothers are State Emergency Service instructors and team leaders, and Uralla Pony Club instructors.
Timothy has had an active involvement with the Thunderbolt Festival, Anzac Day parade and horse events at the Uralla Show and William is involved with university organisations, and the Country and Regional Living Expo. He also took part in the Anzac Day parade, Uralla Jamboree and the Uralla Show.
One of Moree’s quiet achievers was awarded Citizen of the Year and Jacqueline Myrtle “Jay” McNamara was surprised and delighted to receive the award.
Mrs McNamara arrived in Moree in 1956 from north-west Queensland and quickly became involved with volunteering, starting with working in the canteens while her young boys were at school.
She is a member of the Moree Lions Ladies’ Club, Gwydir Home and Community Care service, the Moree Seniors Week committee, Moree Hospital Auxiliary, RSL Women’s Auxiliary, the Gwydir Family History Society and the Moree and District Historical Society.
Young Citizen of the Year is Jake Fing whom Moree Plains mayor Katrina Humphries commended on his hard work and involvement with the youth council and the PCYC, along with his role in organising the Moree Superstar competition.
Royce Ford was recognised for his work within the community.
The Young Citizen of the Year award went to the four girls who made up Inverell High School’s state champion debating team – Ebony Adams, Brook McLennan, Hannah Worsley and Matilda Witherdin.
The Citizen of the Year honour was bestowed on two residents, in a first for the town’s Australia Day awards.
Beryl Clibborn and Jim Wilson, along with several others, were nominated, but when it came down to selecting a winner, the Australia Day committee couldn’t choose and decided to award it to them both.
Over the years, Beryl has been involved in the town’s op shop and Lioness club, VIEW club, Meals on Wheels, MS Society, Anglican church fete and catering committee, visited Roseneath and Glenwood residents, knitted rugs for charities and prizes for raffles and helped establish and supports the local branch of Foundation for the Disabled.
Jim Wilson is a past member of the Apex club, has worked tirelessly for the Glen Innes Golf Club and has served on the board of Glen Industries for many years, seeking
to increase the opportunities available for the disabled within the community.
Mr Wilson has also been active in seeking out work placement opportunities for Glen Innes students experiencing learning difficulties, and helped establish the town’s Men’s Shed.
Young Citizen of the Year Tahlia Forde was kept busy with her commitments to the local showgirl competition and the Deepwater Players and undertook significant fundraising projects as part of the Beardies Festival Charity Queen competition.
Community Organisation – Emmaville Mining Museum.
Community Event – Land of the Beardies Festival.
Sue Jurd is Tenterfield’s top citizen for 2013 and gives generously of her time to many organisations and has done so for the past 40 years.
Her public involvement has included substantial contributions to the local pony club, junior soccer club, physical culture, netball asssociation, Jennings Public School, Regional Borderline Art Group, the show society and the showground trust.
Fifteen-year-old Joanna Lusty is the Young Citizen of the Year and last year Joanna participated in leadership roles usually undertaken by Year 12 students, consulted with the Department of Education in the north-east district and the regional director to help solve many problems between students and teachers at Tenterfield High School.
As part of her volunteering commitments, she’s also an active member of the Lions club and the drama group, provides peer support and mediation at Tenterfield primary and high schools, and assists with the Salvation Army Toy Run at Christmas.
Citizen of the Year Shirley Anderson is described as a caring and compassionate citizen who went along to a meeting in 1979 of a combined pensioners’ group – and has been with them in a multitude of positions ever since, Shirley also threw her weight behind a campaign to retain rail services when they were threatened with replacement by buses.
Young Citizen of the Year Molly Lorimer is a top achiever and athlete from St Mary’s College.
Volunteer of the Year Roger Reading was awarded for his tireless work for the local PCYC. Tracy McIlveen was honoured for her citizenship work as a younger volunteer in the Gunnedah community.
Citizen of the Year is Ray Collins who has worked tirelessly on the First and Second Fleet Memorial Gardens at Wallabadah over a number of years in his own time and utilised his own funds to purchase materials for the project.
A stonemason by trade, he has carved out the names of all 1500 persons who sailed on the First Fleet on 70 sandstone tablets. He has also restored many gravesites at cemeteries within the shire.
Young Citizen of the Year Jack Howard juggles his senior studies with part time work, local sporting support and participation, volunteering at the Royal Theatre and his commitment to LEOS, Canteen and the Liverpool Plains Relay for Life. Jack is currently working with a number of his peers to achieve his Duke of Edinburgh Award
Marie Maunder Community Service Award was given to Colleen Wills whose contribution to the Quirindi community has been outstanding, from volunteering at the local schools, her commitment to CWA and her work with the less fortunate, particularly the frail aged and disabled members of the community.
She served as a councillor for 17 years, first on Quirindi Shire Council then Liverpool Plains Shire Council.
John Reilly was named Local Legend and he is described as a constant
feature at nearly every event in the shire. He supports many charity organisations, public events and schools through sponsorship and prize giving and been a successful businessman continuing on the tradition of Reilly’s Menswear’s excellent customer service. Regular shoppers need never remember their size in shirts, trousers or hats as he knows them all, and offers a helping hand to people struggling financially.
Community Event – Werris Creek Rugby League 100-year’s celebrations.
Over the long weekend in June the Werris Creek footy club celebrated its 100 years anniversary in grand style. More than 2000 people attended a weekend filled with events and activities for all the family and for all ex-players to celebrate a wonderful association with the club.
Sportsperson Ron Dellar is the the longest serving coach in the history of the Werris Creek Rugby League Club and has dedicated 44 years of service to the mighty Magpies.
Junior Sportsperson Laura Sadler excelled in a number of sports in 2012 and has represented Quirindi Public School, Quirindi Zone PSSA, North-West PSSA in swimming, cross country, athletics, school horse sports, pony club, campdrafting and football.
Citizen of the Year Father Anthony Koppman was ordained as a priest in 2001 and was a priest in Armidale and Moree before moving to Guyra’s St.Mary of the Angels Catholic Church four years ago. Father Koppman is renowned for his Holysmoke fireworks productions.
Citizen of the Year Janice Miller is a library assistant at Bingara Central School who contributed many hours of her own time co-ordinating the school’s 150th anniversary celebrations,and is involved with tennis, art, band support and Lions clubs.
Young Citizen of the Year Jaime-Rae Thomas is the youngest member of the Bingara SES.
Event of the Year – 150th anniversary of public education in Bingara.
Citizen of the Year Robbie Burge was recognised for her volunteering efforts ranging from assisting elderly locals to go shopping, to her membership on community groups including the Naroo Advisory Board, Roxy Advisory Board, Red Cross, local Community Support Group, tourism committee, chamber and Probus.
Senior Citizen of the Year Shirley Rose is a champion of the campaign to build dementia units in Warialda.
Young Citizen Benny Nelson is an outstanding performing arts talent.
Community Event – Warialda Honey Festival.
Citizen of the Year Carol Smith was recognised for her long involvement in community work, particularly with the Uniting Church and Manellae Lodge.
Citizen of the Year –
Young Citizen of the Year –
Citizen of the Year - Bendemeer Country Women’s Association.
Young Citizen of the Year – Megan Reid.
Citizen of the Year - Don Davis
Nundle Junior Sport Award – Cutting and campdrafting competitor Georgia Burnes.
Citizen of the Year - Bob and Pam Walsh (joint awardeees)
Oldest Citizen - Lesba Hamel – 99 years.
Junior Sportsperson – Joe Makeham (rugby, athletics and cross-country).
Senior sportsperson – Tim Stackman (bowls, cricket, touch football, darts, indoor hockey and soccer.
Community Organisation – Walcha Rugby Union Club (Jim Young president).
No nominations Junior Citizen of the year.