Citizen of the Year Evelyn Gane helps Ash Benfield and Anthony Holmes demonstrate goanna pulling for the crowd.
Citizen of the Year Evelyn Gane helps Ash Benfield and Anthony Holmes demonstrate goanna pulling for the crowd.

Clarence awards presented

SHOCKED faces, gracious acceptance speeches and beaming smiles were seen throughout the morning yesterday as the Clarence Valley Council Australia Day Awards were presented.

More than 50 nominees were acknowledged in front of a crowd of 250, all suitably clad in Australiana-garb.

While Evelyn Gane received the top honour of Citizen of the Year, plenty of other people had a reason to smile as the presentations were made by Clarence Valley Council Australia Day ambassador Mary-Ruth Mendel.

The Young Citizen of the Year, Adam Bowes, never expected to receive the award and was very thankful for the recognition.

The 16-year-old double amputee is a NSW and Australian age and open para-swimming champion, a talented dramatic and musical performer, and a gifted photographer and filmmaker.

“It is so fantastic to get the award and a huge honour. I really didn’t expect this at all. To be recognised so publicly is amazing,” he said.

The Lawrence Rodeo Committee received the Community Organisation award.

Through the Maclean Twilight Rodeo the group has raised significant funds for community organisations, in the past three years alone donating more than $60,000 to different groups.

Cate McQuillen and Hewey Eustace received recognition for their television show dirtgirlworld in the form of the Creative, Visual and Performing Arts award, while the Young Creative, Visual and Performing Arts award was presented to gifted writer and musician Nicholas Peterson.

Sports Achievement was given to a committed group of Minnie Water-Wooli Surf Life Saving Club volunteers, while the Young Sports Achievement award was given to cricketer Kara Sutherland.

The Good Neighbour award went to Lyn Withey and the Cultural Contribution award was presented to the Glenreagh Timber Festival.

AWARD WINNERS

Clarence Valley Council Australia Day award winners:

 Citizen of the Year: EVELYN GANE

 Young Citizen of the Year: ADAM BOWES

 Community Organisation: LAWRENCE RODEO COMMITTEE

 Creative, Visual and Performing Arts: CATE McQUILLEN AND HEWEY EUSTACE

 Young Creative, Visual and Performing Arts: NICHOLAS PETERSON

 Sports Achievement: MINNIE WATER-WOOLI SLCS RESERVE GRADE BOAT CREW

 Young Sports Achievement: KARA SUTHERLAND

 Cultural Contribution: THE GLENREAGH TIMBER FESTIVAL

 Good Neighbour: LYN WITHEY



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