The South Grafton New School of Arts committee shows its appreciation as Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, right, presents Avery Brown with the NSW Premier's Community Service Award, with NSOA general manager Skye Sear.
The South Grafton New School of Arts committee shows its appreciation as Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, right, presents Avery Brown with the NSW Premier's Community Service Award, with NSOA general manager Skye Sear. Tim Howard

QUICK THINKING: How to spring a surprise on Avery Brown

IT'S hard to spring a surprise on veteran Aboriginal community worker Avery Brown.

After 28 years as a court liason officer with the Aboriginal Legal Services and nearly a decade on the committee at the New School of Arts in South Grafton, there is not much he hasn't seen or been part of.

But winning the NSW Premier's Community Service Award in the Clarence electorate was a pleasant shock to Mr Brown.

The NSOA general manager Skye Sear employed a subterfuge to make sure Mr Brown was at Friday's committee meeting to receive the award from Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis.

"I told him we needed him to be there because we needed his input and he just said, no he would do it, no worries," Ms Sear said.

There was no false modesty from the proud Bundjalung man widely regarded as a linchpin in the provision of services to his people.

"It's good to get these rewards," he said. "But the honours are not why we do this.

"It is good for our people and for all people, really, to see if you do the hard yards, the rewards can come for you."

Ms Sear said Mr Brown, who has been the committee president since 2015, was an outstanding example to everyone.

"He is a remarkable leader in keeping us grounded," she said.



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IN COURT: 69 people facing Grafton court today

premium_icon IN COURT: 69 people facing Grafton court today

Here's a list of everyone appearing in court today, August 19