JOHN Green OAM was named 2013 Tamworth Citizen of the Year during a huge, moving Australia Day awards ceremony yesterday.
More than 200 people crammed into the Tamworth Community Centre, including dignitaries, to see not only Tamworth’s Australia Day Awards given out but also to witness a naturalisation ceremony for 19 people.
Ryan Parker was named 2013 Tamworth Young Citizen of the Year, while the 2013 Mitchell Brady Award went to Kaleb Miller.
Mr Green said he was very proud to be named Citizen of the Year.
“I wasn’t born in Tamworth, I wasn’t raised in Tamworth but I just love this city,” Mr Green said.
He was also awarded the George Nethery Medal.
A Tamworth City councillor from 1975 until 2004, Mr Green has volunteered his time to a variety of cultural, educational and sporting organisations.
He was the driving force of the Tamworth Sister City Committee since its inception in 1994 until November last year when he stepped down because of ill-health.
He has also been a longstanding member and supporter of the Tamworth Regional Tidy Towns Committee and Oxley High School community.
Mr Green is also a life member of Tamworth Hockey Association and Tamworth Softball Association.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said Mr Green had spent many years putting service to the community before himself.
“Anyone who knows John knows how much he values his community,” he said.
Ryan, a Peel High student, has a range of academic, musical and sporting achievements to his credit.
He is an active member of the school representative council and its peer support program, a member of the Royal Life Saving Association of Australia and was awarded the Derek Emery Trophy in 2012.
He has also received a Minister’s Award for Excellence in Achievement.
Kaleb, a Tamworth High student, has been involved in a range of activities in the school and wider community.
He has organised various fundraising events as vice-president of the school’s Interact Club and worked with the Rotary Club of Tamworth for its Festival of Flight last year.
Ryan was modest in accepting the award.
“I’m just one person trying to make a difference ... one person can make a difference but, as a community, we can make a difference as a whole.”