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Byron Shire
May 31, 2023

Sporting stars recognised at Australia Day Awards

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Senior Citizen of the Year Margaret Fisher.

Over-85s tennis star Margaret Fisher was a local Australia Day Award winner along with Ben Dickens and Anthea Warne.

At a ceremony in Ocean Shores on Australia Day the mayor announced the Shire’s Senior Citizen of the Year was awarded to Margaret Fisher. 

This vivacious 87-year-old became the over-85s World Tennis Champion in mixed doubles and women’s doubles, receiving two gold medals.

She is a motivator to many in the Byron Shire community who’ve been inspired by Margaret’s conviction that physical strength gives you the courage to go out in the community, to participate and to engage with a wide range of people, it was announced.

The Byron Shire did not award a specific sportsperson of the year because there were no nominations, a spokesperson said.

In the Ballina Shire Sports Person of the Year was awarded to Ben Dickens, who won the double at the 2017 Australian Surf Festival, taking out the Over-40s Logger and Longboard National Titles.

Ben is only the second person to ever win the double in the same year.

‘Ben uses his passion for surfing to engage troubled youth, the elderly and people with disabilities. He is a member of the NSW Surf Life Saving Association and the Lennox Longboard Club. Ben combines his love of sport to make a difference in our community,’ a Ballina Shire spokesperson said.

The Tweed Shire Australia Day Award for Sporting Achievement went to Anthea Warne (16), a young athlete who has represented the area nationally and internationally in two different sports. 

Anthea represented Australia in surf life saving at the Commonwealth Life Saving Championships in South Africa and in canoeing at the Olympic Hopes International in the Czech Republic.

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