Find out who's up for an Australia Day award
EACH year, Clarence Valley Council recognises those in the community who do that little bit extra with Australia Day awards.
They are awarded in four categories, Community Achievement for groups within the valley, Local Hero for those in the community who help out, and young citizen, and citizen of the year.
There are 19 nominated across the categories this year, including seven for citizen of the year.
The awards will be presented at a now sold-out dinner on Thursday, January 24 at the Grafton Golf Club.
Here are the nominees for this year:
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
Gary is an advocate for community support for those at risk of self-harm. A dedicated counselling volunteer, Gary has worked for Lifeline, Standby and the New School of Arts supporting suicide prevention programs and those affected by suicide. Gary is on the committee for Our Healthy Clarence and Grafton Midnight Basketball.
Empowering young women to be active and set goals is what Hayley does. Through her volunteer programs Yuraygir National Park walk and Wooloweyah Hall group, she inspires young women to learn, share and be strong. In 2017 Hayley was the first person to solo kayak the Clarence River.
Jeff is affectionately known as the King of the Jacarandas. From dedicated supporter Jeff became Grafton Jacaranda Festival President in 2018 taking things to the next level. Under Jeff's leadership there were over 45 events at this year's festival seeing it grow into an international event for local and visitor audiences.
SISTER MAUREEN CAWLEY
Sister Maureen has always gone above and beyond her role within the Sisters of Mercy. She works tirelessly to support the elderly, sick, bereaved, and anyone forgotten by community, family and friends. She delivers everything she does with great empathy and kindness never seeking any recognition.
Patrick is an avid supporter of programs that target youth including Midnight Basketball, ASSIST, Youth Off The Street, Youth Counselling; U3A and Catholic Church LAP programs. He is a person of honour, thoughtfulness and the care he shows for the youth in our community makes him a living treasure.
Over the past 40 years Warren has committed hundreds of volunteer hours to better the Clarence Valley community. He has devoted himself to community groups such as Apex, Tidy Towns and the Maclean Highland Gathering. Warren lends his time and knowledge to help the community.
Susan's leadership, dedication and life-long commitment to improving mental health services and empowering women in the Clarence Valley has been extraordinary. For decades Susan has worked tirelessly, generally quietly behind the scenes, to make the Clarence Valley a better place to live.
The Pelican Playhouse is a volunteer run and not-for-profit community theatre. Its goal is to deliver a diverse range of activities and performances from local upcoming acts and well-known travelling entertainers. It is a cultural destination offering the community an inclusive theatre experience built on a reputation for quality.
ROTARY CLUB OF YAMBA
The Rotary Club of Yamba is dedicated to serving their community. They run events to raise funds for the benefit of the Yamba community. Their ongoing project Operation Heart Start has seen the provision and installation of 6 defibrillators in Yamba for public use, available 24 hours a day.
YAMBA LIONS CLUB
Yamba Lions have raised $40,000 over the last 12 months for the local community. Members work 4 nights a week to coordinate their fund-raising efforts which include monthly markets and catering for events. They also have merry-go-rounds and train sets which they take to special events at schools and kindergartens.
YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
Recently, Brad trekked the Kokoda Trail under a scholarship from the RSL & Services Clubs Association. He dedicated himself to educating his peers of the sacrifices our Diggers made. Brad is 2019 School Captain at McAuley Catholic College and has represented the Clarence Valley in numerous sporting and community clubs.
Caitlin has achieved more than most young women her age. At only 17, she is a qualified beauty therapist running her own business. In 2017 she competed in the World Skills Regional Competition where she was awarded a silver medal.
Cindy is a dedicated team player. Always going above and beyond in her role, Cindy is willing to provide support to clients at any time they are in need. Well known as a mentor and advocate for her clients, she consistently displays professionalism.
Don has been a key member of the Copmanhurst Saddlery Museum since it re-opened in 2015. Always generous in sharing his time and resources, Don's efforts have ensured the Copmanhurst community has a valuable resource for those wishing to learn history of Copmanhurst and its surrounding districts.
Faron used his first aid training to come to the assistance of staff and a sick patron whilst attending the Treelands Drive Community Centre. Quick to assess the medical emergency, Faron stayed focused and worked with emergency services to assist the sick patron whilst also keeping everyone calm and composed.
On his walks George can be found collecting recycling and donating any profits to the Maclean Lions Club; a club he is an active member of. One of George's most important community achievements is working to keep the Cowper Bus Memorial Park in pristine condition out of respect to the families.
Sally is the Manager of Happy Paws, a no kill animal shelter in the Clarence Valley where hundreds of dogs and cats have been rehomed. Sally is passionate about responsible pet care ownership and continues to guide volunteers, carers and the community on animal welfare.
For many years Sandra has been an active member and contributor to the Senior Citizen's Club. It never ceases to amaze other members the long hours and dedication she shows towards the club. Sandra has a natural affinity for charity work and her kindness and generosity has no bounds.
When things need doing people look to Wendy. A calm and organised leader who is a role model always willing to do anything to get things done. Wendy is a key organiser of the Jacaranda Ball, Jacaranda buses, Bent Bridge Film Festival, Motorfest and Grafton Vintage Car Club.