You're invited to the 2022 Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony presented at the Slim Dusty Centre on 26 January 2022. There will be free breakfast from 9am and entertainment to celebrate the people who made 2021 better.
Here's a bit about the amazing people nominated for the Local Hero awards and the Citizen of the Year award.
Kevin was nominated for his assistance during the 2021 Floods. He delivered emergency fodder and hay using his own vehicles and gathering an army of people to make this happen. While there was considerable stock lost in the events, there were also many stock saved by his actions. Kevin did this for the community at no cost saving many people's livelihoods and sparing them the severe mental anguish that they were under. The enormous hours on the ground organising loads, phone calls and sourcing fodder from across three states was inspirational.
After being told to terminate her unborn child with Down Syndrome (T21), Claire Martin became an advocate for Down Syndrome Australia contributing to positive change locally and nationally, helping to organise the NSW Step Up for Down Syndrome event. Claire's work has inspired many with a Port Macquarie pediatrician teaching a component of T21 in his training. Her advocacy has started the conversation for acceptance and diversity in communities, inspiring people to speak up for the rights of others.
You may have seen Adam keeping the Kempsey Shire community up to date on river levels when the Macleay Catchment receives substantial rainfall. Many people rely on Adam's prompt and informative updates, especially during natural disasters such as the 2021 March Flood event. His details and the consistency of his updates allow people to be better prepared. Adam keeps the Kempsey Shire community front of mind, taking this time out of his days and expecting nothing in return.
Jo-Anne Kelly is an inspiration to many in the community through the work she does with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal services, working to provide an understanding of the rich culture of Dunghutti/Thungghutti people and contributing to Kempsey's diverse community. Jo-Anne's role with Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation sees her working with survivors to help them heal and tell firsthand accounts from the Stolen Generations. As well as this, Jo-Anne has co-designed with local Elders meaningful, educational workshops to ensure non-Aboriginal services know how to be culturally safe and work in a sensitive manner.
At a young age, Taylah has demonstrated what can be achieved by volunteering in a small community. In 2021, Taylah Moffitt was awarded NSW Junior Life Saver of the Year. This award recognises the achievements and contributions of the state's most outstanding under 14 years members. Since joining Kempsey-Crescent Head Surf Life Saving Club's Nippers in Under 7's, Taylah has enjoyed participating each year and is involved in all areas of lifesaving- patrolling. Her dedication has seen her awarded Nipper of the Year, Club Carnival Champion, Mid North Coast Branch Female Champion Competitor, and Club Highest Point Score winner for the past 4 years.
Reuben has been an inspiration to the youth of our community, encouraging positive attitudes and future pathways, particularly for those involved in Rugby League in Kempsey. Reuben dedicates many hours to giving back to the community, providing transport to and from football matches. Reuben encourages all players to grow their abilities and to lead healthy lives. Having Reuben believe in their talents and accomplishments has formed great rapport and trust with community members, which has also resulted in Reuben being a great role model for many.
For over 40 years, Sue has been passionate about families being able to maintain employment by having access to quality childcare. She has enabled many families that are essential workers to continue working throughout the pandemic, even though this may put her at risk of exposure. This includes providing before and after school, day and weekend care when needed.
As manager of Kempsey PCYC, Anika has been instrumental in bringing the community together and making a difference in the lives of the shire's youth, increasing participation in PCYC programs by 234%. In 2021, she organised food drives to assist over 125 disadvantaged local families. On top of this, she continued to build resilience in the community through programs such as Fit for Life which picks kids up from their homes, brings them to the PCYC for an exercise program. Following this, the children are provided with a healthy breakfast then dropped at school. Anika has an unwavering passion for empowering young people of the Macleay and ensuring they have a safe environment to escape to.
Moira's has been running iCare from MyChurch Kempsey for 15 years, working tirelessly every week to reach struggling people and families in the shire with food and love. Moira's love in action has inspired people to help others, with many individuals donating food, toys and gifts to iCare. Moira and her incredible team are consistently helping people within our community that are struggling to cope because of hardship.
For the past 38 years, Barry has been part of every SES flood response in the Macleay assisting with river and storm rescues as well as removing trees and patching roofs. As a flood boat captain and trainer, Barry has been crucial in training the next generations on his extensive knowledge of the Macleay River and how it reacts during a flood. He still today travels away from the shire to aid other regions in their flood and storm responses.
As a teacher, sportsperson, historian, author, volunteer and Rotarian, Garry has played a positive role in the lives of many in the shire since he took up residency here in 1977. He has been involved with many local sporting clubs including Kempsey Cannonballs and Mid North Coast Rugby Union where he has life memberships at both and still inspires school children and sportspersons in the Macleay Valley. Garry retired from teaching in 1999 and from here, he followed an interest in the Macleay Valley's history volunteering for the Macleay Valley Historical Society where he is currently the Vice President. He has produced many journals documenting past events that shaped the Macleay today.
Bob inspires others through his energy, commitment and reliability to get things done. His volunteer role in the successful running of the Trial Bay Triathlon and South West Rock Running Festival is substantial, organising logistics such as road closures, merchandise and event set up. He has been a volunteer in the NSW Rural Fire Brigade for 25 years with of these 12 years spent with South West Rocks Rural Fire Brigade. Bob has trained and volunteered for Lifeline to assist people reaching out for support. Bob as a volunteer has dedicated his time, energy and community spirit to help ensure Macleay Valley continues to thrive.
Hailing from Arakoon, Lisa brings joy and inspires people across the globe through her charity Team Golden Oldies, dedicated to raising awareness of senior dogs in pounds and encouraging people to consider rescuing them. Senior dogs are often in pounds for the longest amount of time. Through Team Golden Oldies, Lisa and these loveable senior dogs visit nursing homes, hospitals and schools spreading love to those that need it. When these senior dogs pass, Lisa writes a book featuring inspiring messages and photos of that dog with profits from this book injected back into the charity. The Team Golden Oldies charity helps pay vet bills for life saving surgeries for local dogs whose owners otherwise could not afford it. Lisa says, " I've always wanted to make a difference and saving a dog might not change the world, but for that one dog, the world is changed forever".
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