[author]Story Chris Dobney Photos Jeff Dawson[/author]
In Tweed, the main awards ceremony at flooded-in Tyalgum was cancelled – and a planned alternative ceremony at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre was also called off due to local emergencies in the shire.
Lismore’s Australia Day Ceremony went ahead at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre but the weather forced the postponement of the Aussie Battlers Survival Day event.
Ballina’s official ceremony at Lennox Head Community Centre went ahead but outdoor celebrations in adjacent Williams Reserve were cancelled.
In Byron Shire, the ceremony went ahead at the Mullumbimby Civic Centre, witnessed by around 100 people. All of the planned outdoor events were cancelled.
Despite reports that the main activity of some young people in Byron Bay yesterday was drinking, Tweed-Byron Local Area Command reported no serious incidents and said the wet weather had meant beaches and riverside areas where people normally congregated were quiet.
At the Byron Bay award ceremony, Paul Irwin was named citizen of the year. He was recognised for his outstanding contribution to Byron Bay Surf Life Saving and his dedication to the improvement of sports facilities in the shire.
Last year Mr Irwin was primary trainer for all board sessions and numerous ski sessions at the Byron Bay Surf Club. For the past eight years he has also been instrumental in the upgrade of the Byron Recreation Ground and the construction of the Suffolk Park Sports Field.
Other recipients (also pictured above) included: Justin Fenwick (Young Citizen of the Year), Noel McAviney (Volunteer of the Year, SES), Suffolk Park Dune Care (Environmental Volunteer Project of the Year), and Byron Bay Winter Whales Ocean Swim Classic (Community Event of the Year).