Musicians Grace and Hugh Murray get a hand moving their piano from Nymboida fire captain Paul Johnston to play at the Nymboida RFS Christmas Party last December..
Musicians Grace and Hugh Murray get a hand moving their piano from Nymboida fire captain Paul Johnston to play at the Nymboida RFS Christmas Party last December..

Reward for bringing hope and joy to Clarence community

FROM the best of times, to the worst of times, the staff of Clarence Valley Council have been recognised for their work in the community this year.

Council was highly commended in two categories at the NSW Local Government Professionals Awards, recognised for their work on the Jacaranda Park redevelopment, and its communications during the 2019 bushfires.

>>> A DAY IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGET: The Nymboida fires

“The bushfire season stretched our resources over a long period of time. This award recognises not only our communications but the teamwork that was so critical in assisting our communities through the initial stages of the recovery process,” Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay said.

Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay speaks at a community meeting at Nymboida Canoe Centre, which became a hub for the fire-ravaged community of Nymboida.
Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay speaks at a community meeting at Nymboida Canoe Centre, which became a hub for the fire-ravaged community of Nymboida.

“From the roads teams to the finance team, the whole organisation pitched in and got the job done.”

Their entry told of a change in approach for council communications in helping fire affected communities in the area start the recovery process.

>>> RELATED: Community comes together to begin recovery

“We understood that communications in recovery should go beyond merely sending information, to actually forming a dialogue with the community,” the entry read.

“We understood that communities are the obvious leaders of recovery from the moment of the emergency event.”

On a happier note, the Jacaranda Park redevelopment was also highly commended, and Mr Lindsay said it was one of the highlights of last year’s capital works.

Fanfare including a ribbon cutting and cake celebrated the official opening of the upgraded Jacaranda Park.
Fanfare including a ribbon cutting and cake celebrated the official opening of the upgraded Jacaranda Park.

“The new park incorporates accessible and inclusive play elements so everyone can play together, regardless of their abilities,” he said.

>> RELATED: Jacaranda Park gets the ribbon cutting treatment

In January deputy mayor Jason Kingsley said the opening of the $1.2 million park was a special occasion, and marked the culmination of years of work to make Jacaranda Park an all-abilities regional playground.

Mr Kingsley headed the working group to create a playground that could be accessible for all children, and said he was excited to see the park open and children having fun.

“Parents won’t be forced to watch their kids miss out on playing with their friends just because a park wasn’t accessible for children with disabilities,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Jason Kingsley at the redeveloped Jacaranda Park.
Deputy Mayor Jason Kingsley at the redeveloped Jacaranda Park.

Council was also nominated for its Road to PCYC project, and for its Emus and Koalas in the Clarence program.

The NSW Local Government Excellence Awards included 182 nominations from more than half of the councils in the state.



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