Search on for region's next phone book star

THE search for the next big star of the regional telephone book has begun, but locals only have a few more days in which to answer the call.

The past seven years have seen local identities plastered across the White and Yellow Pages telephone book and now the hunt is on for the next big thing for the 2014/15 book.

Next year’s cover star search is to fit the theme “Inspiring others to achieve” and will honour the mentors, role models, coaches and teachers who go beyond to help others achieve their best.

Telephone book producer Sensis is looking for nominations from the northern region – covering the main centres of Tamworth, Armidale, Inverell, Moree, Gunnedah, Narrabri and Glen Innes.

Spokeswoman Sarah Simpson said they were after people who gave their time selflessly to motivate others and help them reach their full potential.

They are after unsung heroes and people inspiring others.

According to Ms Simpson, they might be fantastic teachers, dedicated sports coaches, inspiring disability advocates or people who break down barriers.

“They’re probably very humble people, but they deserve recognition for their efforts in creating an environment that encourages and rewards hard work and determination and promotes the pursuit of excellence,” she said.

“Their selfless efforts are the reason behind the success of others – no matter how big or small that success might be.”

The search is on only six months into the reign of current covergirl Sarah McFarlane-Eagle.

The Armidale woman is on the 2013/14 telephone book under the theme of “Keeping our communities healthy”.

Ms McFarlane-Eagle’s selection recognises her work raising awareness of mental illness as well as more than $20,000 for SANE Australia by trekking thousands of kilometres across four continents.

She was inspired by the tragic death of her brother, Ben, who died in 2001 following a battle with schizophrenia.

She established Walking Feat and began with a 600km walk in Western Australia, going on to walk across France, Spain and Japan, before taking on a three-month walk from Armidale to Melbourne.

Others before Ms McFarlane-Eagle included Red Cross stalwart Helen Lesley, Australian country music and Tamworth festival co-founder Max Ellis, koala carer Nancy Small, Wallabadah arts advocate Tania Hartigan, firefighter Rod Burns and master chef Ben Davies.

Organisers say the cover star search has begun even before most users have digested the current telephone book but will take about six months to complete, including sifting through entries, research and screening before finalising a shortlist and undertaking judging by a panel.

They get a wide variety of nominees, including some “very interesting” entries, but love the whole process of coming up with the next biggest covergirl or coverboy.

Nominations will close on July 14 and can be lodged via a number of White Pages or Sensis contact channels, including www.whitepagescommunity.com.au

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