The official Tweed Australia Day ceremony was held on Sunday with the achievements of locals honoured and new citizens welcomed at the newly-refurbished Tweed Heads Civic and Cultural Centre.
Forty-eight people from 16 countries became new Australian citizens during the ceremony which saw Kingscliff woman Rebecca Hogan named the Citizen of the Year at the ceremony.
The award recognises Rebecca’s outstanding contribution to the community and to the young people of our region by creating the BASE Youth Leadership for year 11 and 12 students of the area and the 2019 BASE Leadership Awards Program.
The goal of BASE is to identify and celebrate Year 11 and Year 12 students in their respective areas of excellence and to support them in their future endeavours, including scholarships from Southern Cross University.
‘BASE aims to empower young women and men to strive for excellence and become socially conscious leaders who can make a real contribution to society,’ said Ms Hogan.
The awards were presented by Tweed Shire Councillors and Tweed Shire Australia Day Ambassador, Meredith Dennis OAM, who was one of Tweed Shire’s 2018 Citizens of the Year.
Other awards on the day went to the Murwillumbah Rural Fire Brigade who dedicate their time, abilities and risk their lives to help the community and Craig McNiven from Men of Business – they shared the Volunteer of the Year Award.
As volunteers, the Murwillumbah Rural Fire Brigade members risk their lives to help the community when they are called on to attend all types of emergencies and disasters, including fires, bush fires, motor vehicle accidents, and floods.
Standing ovation for firies
It was a popular win, with the representatives from the brigade received a standing ovation from the 300-strong crowd at Sunday’s event.
In the last two years, Craig McNiven of Men of Business has mentored over 100 teenagers who were all selected by their Tweed schools as being ‘at-risk youth’. Men of Business runs an eight-week program that covers goal setting, communication, trust, emotions, attitude and family and friends. The program runs for two hours a week and has a fitness program as its core focus.
Young Achiever in Community Service (under 25 years) was awarded to Holly Clements, for her volunteering at Salt Surf Life Saving Club and the wider community.
The Sporting Achievement Award went to 11-year-old Olympia Pope, for her achievements in swimming and surf lifesaving and the Community Event of the Year Award was shared between Parkrun Kingscliff and Team Koala.
The Arts and Culture Award was presented to the Murwillumbah Theatre Company.