Bellingen Shire’s 2019 Australia Day Nominees Unveiled

Bellingen Shire Australia Day Community Awards will be presented at the Australia Day Ceremony in Dorrigo 6.30pm January 25th 2019.

The Australia Day Committee has released a detailed list of nominees for the 2019 Australia Day Community Awards. The committee will be hosting the awards ceremony at the Dorrigo Community Hall in Hickory Street at 6.30pm on Friday 25 January 2019.

Council is also supporting the community event being run in Urunga on Saturday 27 January starting at 8:00am. The Mayor will welcome 5 new citizens as part of the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at Urunga at 9:00am.

The Award Categories for 2019 are:

  •   Citizen of the Year
  •   Young Citizen of the Year
  •   Sportsperson of the Year
  •   Junior Sportsperson of the Year
  •   Community Service Citizen
  •   Community Group
  •   Community Event
  •   Creative Arts Award (21 years and under)Donny Galella, our Australia Day Ambassador, will present these awards. Community members are invited to arrive at 5.30pm for light refreshments and entertainment before the awards ceremony at 6.30pm.

Here are the details of all 17 nominees:

Graeme Adams

Graeme has been a volunteer and leader in the 1st Bellingen Scout Group for 26 years commencing as Joey leader in 1992, moving to scout leader in 2003 and continues today. Graeme is an active participant each Thursday night and also for work around the scout hall and at scout camps. Many in Bellingen Shire have had their lives enriched by Graeme’s patience and self-dedication.

Peter Allison

Since first moving to Bellingen in 1952, Peter has represented the district in soccer, cricket, rugby league, swimming, athletics and surf lifesaving with an emphasis on participation, enjoyment and good sportsmanship. He has been involved in administration, coaching and mentoring.

Since joining the Bellinger Valley North Beach Surf Life Saving club in 1960, Peter has maintained continuous active service within the organisation. Peter was a foundation member of the Bellingen Diggers Swimming Club in 1996 and has won the club’s highest overall point score on seven separate occasions, champion at both zone and inter zone carnivals. He is also currently the club’s vice caption.

Peter has won 70 medals at Surf Life Saving State, National, and World Titles. In 2018 he was awarded the Bellingen Diggers swimming club trophy for the highest overall point score for the season 2017-18.

Peter won five Life Saving award medals (Including three gold) at state surf lifesaving in the 70 years plus section and four in pool rescue in the 60 years plus category. At National Titles in the 70 years plus division he picked up three medals in Surf Lifesaving and four gold in pool rescue.

At the National pool rescue meet, Peter set a new Australian record in the 100m mannequin-carry and bettered the record by 15.53 seconds at the World Lifesaving Championships. At the recent World Lifesaving Championships (rescue 2018) in Adelaide, Peter won three medals in pool and beach completion achieving a top 10 placing in all eleven events.

Shanlee Duckett

Shanlee’s leadership and mentoring qualities and riding ability have inspired the younger Pony Club riders to achieve higher levels. Shanlee has willingly volunteered at the Dorrigo Show, is running Pony Club events, and is volunteering for legacy collections. She is well respected by her peers and teachers alike. In 2018 she was awarded the Coffs Coast Legacy Rainey McDonald Award for Outstanding Citizenship and Community work.

William Gibson (Bill)

Bill is the manager of Dorrigo Lodge providing accommodation options for visitors to Dorrigo and is an enthusiastic supporter of tourism on the Dorrigo Plateau, sharing his knowledge and stories of the local history and events. In this role, he contributes to the stimulation of the area’s economy.

Born and raised on the Dorrigo Plateau, Bill runs a successful angus beef stud, with 60 years’ association with Dorrigo Show in various positions such as Beef Steward, Chief Ring Steward, Horse Steward and Art Union Steward. Bill has been a supporter and player of football and boxing and has also been a boxing judge. He has been connected to the Freemasons for more than 60 years, is a life member of Dorrigo Show Society and has made a significant contribution to the successful continuation of this organisation.

Izabelle Hansen

At 17 years of age, Izabelle is an outstanding artist placing first in her HSC art class in both the theoretical and practical components. She was awarded $1000 YEA prize offered by the Bellingen Community Arts Council. Her artwork was an integral part of the Year 12 Visual Arts body of works exhibition hosted by Dr Sheila Guymer at the Waterfall Way Gallery, which also features on the 2019 Dorrigo High School diary.

In 2015 her artwork featured on garbage bins in the centre of Dorrigo. And in 2016 her artwork was used to advertise the school musical. Izabelle also came first in Year 10 Art and Year 10 Photography courses. Her artwork has contributed to making the CBD of Dorrigo more attractive, and has featured in local exhibitions and at the Made in Dorrigo Market Day. She is also a regular contributor to the Dorrigo High School display at the Dorrigo Show.

Alan Jarrett

Born and raised in Dorrigo, Alan has been in the Dorrigo Lions Club on the executive and a member since 1977. He is also one of the original founding member and driving force behind the Dorrigo Men’s Shed. Alan offers himself for a wide range of community services from Santa Claus, to standing for hours turning sausages at community events.

A keen participant in the Dorrigo Plateau Landcare Group from the early 1950’s when they started planting wind breaks, to undertaking a variety of activities including cementing the dairy lane-ways, privet, weed clearing and revegetation of the Rocky Creek Reserve.

Anouk Laverty

Anouk has excelled in school sport throughout 2018 representing Bellingen Primary School at State level three times. Anouk was successful at Swimming, winning a gold medal at NSW State Championship in the Junior girls Butterfly, (8 – 10 years for AWD, Athlete With a Disability).

In Cross Country, all students with a disability run the same race for all ages at State level. This year Anouk was the first girl to finish the race, going on to claim gold for junior girls (8 – 10 years).

Anouk had another successful carnival at the NSW Athletics All Schools event in Sydney. She won first place in both 100m & 200m, the silver in 800m and Long Jump, 4th in Discus and 6th in Shot Put. Anouk is a positive role model for all students as she strives for personal best in everything she does.

Willow Neal

Willow is a great role model with her positive attitude to training and performance in any of the sports in which she participates. Younger and older students see the skill, teamwork and sportsmanship she displays and aspire to do the same. Willow willingly assists with training of younger players and athletes and is always giving tips and encouragement to others.

Willow has been acknowledged for her involvement in the following:

In athletics Willow was the Bellingen High School and Mid North Coast age champion as well as being part of the North Coast 4x400m team that came second at the NSW State Championships. Similarly, willow was age champion at Bellingen High, Mid North Coast and North Coast in cross country. In both these areas Willow has represented the region at the state titles in multiple years.

Willow is part of the Bellingen High School’s Open Girls Football team and Futsal 16 Year Girls teams that were the North Coast champions. She is also a part of the Northern NSW women stems, which was undefeated in 2018.

Yvette Payne

Yvette is in charge of the management of the Urunga Hall and Senior Citizens Centre and has done so for the past couple of decades, continuing the support the community into her 80’s. Through her careful and considered management the hall has been financially viable over a long period of time and she always goes above and beyond to help people with hall hiring.

Hayley Pitkin

Hayley is a year 5 student at Mt St John’s Primary School, Dorrigo representing Mt St John’s School in High Jump at the local Zone and Diocesan Athletics carnivals. She also represented the Lismore Diocese at the Polding Athletics Carnival in Newcastle, achieving a personal best jump at this event. She also represented the school at Zone level in Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics (Long Jump, 100m Sprint, 400m, 800m, discus and shot put).

Hayley is a member of the Dorrigo swimming club and recently participated in a swim-a-thon for the local swimming pool, swimming a total of 78 laps to raise money towards the club’s purchase of a shelter and barbeques. Hayley is also a member of Urunga & Bellingen Little Athletics Association.

Hayley has always been a keen sportsperson and in 2017 she was a member of the Urunga Nippers Club. Every year she participates in the Dorrigo Show Fun Run and plays with the Dorrigo Highlanders soccer club.

Hayley’s is very encouraging to the younger students in the school and does her best to ensure that they participate in school sports to the best of their ability.

Denise Ryan

Denise was the driving force in raising over $24 000 in 2018 for various groups of Australians in dire need of support who were effected by bushfires and drought. Early in 2018 she arranged a fundraiser, which was

organised in 5 days and raised in excess of $10,000 to support the people of Tathra. In September, working with the Urunga Lions Club, Denise again organised a fund raiser, collecting over $10,000 for Australian farmers impacted by the ongoing drought.

Recently Denise has turned to promoting the sale of calendars for the Beach to Bush Foundation, which was started by twelve farming wives to raise money for drought relief.

Through her business Denise has supported a range of community groups during her 21 years of serving local people and visitors to the shire.

Michelle Stockton

Michelle has always been there help young people, particularly young women. She has made her calm, kind presence felt imp any areas of the community, be it as part of the Nursing Mothers Association, Bellingen Preschool, playgroup or girl guides. Michelle started the group ‘Stitched Up’ ten years ago to teach teenagers to sew and has continued to co-ordinate the group ever since. Through this group many young women have gained access to mentors and camaraderie as well as gaining valuable skills.

Michelle’s involvement at Bellingen Primary School touched many in the community. She was involved in the school council and volunteered as a classroom assistant on many occasions. In her role at the administration office she also offered support to many a parent and child through the highs and lows of daily school life.

Between 1998 and 1995 Michelle was instrumental in reinvigorating the Boggy Creek Bush Fire Brigade and during this time founded the Bellingen Netball Club. Taking on the role of Vice Presidents Michelle’s hard work, dedication and drive was instrumental in the opening of the Bellingen Men’s Shed in 2016.

Together with her husband Bob, Michelle has successfully coordinated Camp Creative for four years, an event that caters for 900 people. Michelle has been involved in the event since 2002 as a part of the organising committee.

Ellie Thornhill

Ellie has been nominated for her achievements in sport. She has had a successful year that has seen her winning Division 2 at the Coffs Harbour “One Day Challenge” and Division 3 of the “One Day Enduro”. Adding to this she came 7th at the NSW State Junior Titles 2018 and represented the region at the NSW Combined High Schools Squash tournament.

Ellie has also shown a commitment to her community, which has been recognised by her having been made the Mt St Johns school captain in 2015 and her recognition as a Mt St Johns School “Leader of Learning”.

Ellie shows commitment, enthusiasm and leadership and has been involved with the Dorrigo High Landers Soccer Club for 9 years as well as helping to cater for senior citizens Christmas party in the Community centre and volunteering to support the 2018 Mental Health Awareness Day.

Open Girls Football Team

The Bellingen High School open girls football team made the State Quarter Finals of the Combined High School Open Girls competition. In 2017 the Open Girls were runners up. This team has raised the profile of women’s football and sport in general in the community. The team includes Paloma Birch, Sophie Boyd, Mia Craggs, Arkie Daro, Jordan Healy, Liz Hoy, Gaia Malcisi, Willow Neal, Shelby Osland, Lauren Rigney, Emily Ruming, Sophie Russell, Ashley Sticker, Hannah Watt and Kelsey Williamson-Leslie.

16 Years Girls Futsal Team

The Bellingen High School’s 16 years girl’s Futsal team are on their way to being North Coast Champions and Northern NSW Champions. This team was undefeated and had scored 54 goals and only conceded nine against. At the Australasian Titles they were undefeated in the preliminary rounds and finished on top

of the table. They lead the way for younger players assisting with coaching and skill development. They are role models both on and off the court. The team includes Willow Berry, Paloma Birch, Sophie Boyd, Brynne Couper, Mia Craggs, Tallara Doye, Willow Neal, Shellby Osland, Emelie Ruming and Ashley Sticker.

Mt St John’s Mini Vinnies Group

Mt St John’s Mini Vinnies craft group consists of children aged between 6 and 12 years of age who share a common desire to help others through their love of making things to sell at the local Made in Dorrigo markets to raise funds for charities. The children have spent many voluntary hours during their lunchtimes at school learning to knit and creating craft items. They have raised funds to purchase four backpack beds after investigating the best way that they could support the homeless.

They have supported the plight of the homeless with many collection drives. Other causes this group has supported include the drought appeal for farmers, and helping families in the local area who are doing it tough at Christmas, by organising a giving tree and hamper.

NSW State Pony Club Sporting, Campdraft & Team Penning

This group has successfully run zone sporting & draft events for the past 6 years and was also instrumental in running the State Sporting, Draft & Team Penning in 2018 – a particularly huge year for them. The focus was not only to successfully run this event, but to encourage tourism into the community by showcasing the Dorrigo region.

They also secured a grant from Bellingen Shire Council. This enabled them to purchase 90 yard Panels for the grounds to fence the dressage arena, to allow a safe and secure riding area and to have mobile panels to use for team penning and other disciplines.

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