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March 2, 2021

Australia Day nominees and speakers for Ballina

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Last year’s winners of the Ballina Shire Australia Day Awards. Photo supplied.

This year’s Australia Day celebrations for Ballina Shire will be held at Lennox Head Cultural Centre on Tuesday 26 January, starting at 9am.

The 2021 event will include the citizenship ceremony, Australia Day awards, and performances by opera singer Katie Rutledge and 12-year-old singer/songwriter Lennox Broadley.

Ballina Council say they are delighted to have James Bracey as special guest speaker this year, along with Liz Ellis as Master of Ceremonies.

Special guests

James Bracey. Photo supplied.

James Bracey is the host of Channel Nine’s National Rugby League and Australian Open tennis coverage, plus Sports Sunday and 100% Footy programs.

Mr Bracey was a sports reporter with Sky News for almost thirteen years, covering many Olympic events. With Channel Nine he also hosts the State of Origin series, NRL Grand Final, and the Australian Open tennis coverage.

MC Liz Ellis is regarded as Australia’s most successful netballer, with an eighteen-year career at a national and international level.

Ms Ellis was captain of the Australian Diamonds Netball Team and the Sydney Swifts.

Her string of successes includes playing a record 122 times for her country, winning three World Championships and two Commonwealth Games gold medals.


This year there are 35 nominations across multiple categories.

The nominees for Sports Achievement are:

  • Clare Southwell
  • Finnigan Robinson
  • Kalani Franklin

Arts and Cultural Award nominees are:

  • Caitlyn Seamer
  • Alstonville Public School’s ‘Cool Blue Primary School Debating Team’
  • Jemima Grigor
  • Lachlan Mumford

The nominees for Young Citizen of the Year are:

  • Alex Chapman
  • Clara Tolman
  • Eva Jones
  • Hamish Walker
  • Lily Murphy
  • Mauleen Santibanez
  • Ricki-Lee Petrie
  • Ryan Webb

Senior Citizen of the Year nominees are:

  • Barbara Swain
  • John Beasley
  • Pat Kennedy (Posthumous Award)
  • Ron Creber
  • Warren Lusted
  • Geoffrey Harris

Volunteer of the Year nominees are:

  • David and Robyn Harmon
  • Mark Puglisi
  • Garry Meredith
  • Jodie Shelley

Community Event of the Year nominations are:

  • COVID safe meal delivery (Ballina Shire Meals on Wheels)
  • Dementia friendly community status (Dementia Friendly Community Alliance)
  • Live broadcast for ANZAC day (Paradise FM)
  • Christmas tree event (Quota Alstonville)
  • Staying connected during COVID (Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club)
  • Meals for the needy (The Cove Restaurant)

The nominees for Environmental Award are:

  • Maria Mathes
  • Australian Seabird Rescue
  • Struan Robertson
  • Graeme Fraser

The awards ceremony will conclude with the announcement of the 2021 Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year.

How to see the event in 2021

As this is a COVID-safe function, there will be limited tickets available, but the Australia Day ceremony will also be livestreamed.

You can register for tickets here. For information about the livestream, please visit Ballina Shire Council’s website.

Transportation is available for community members unable to drive to the venue. For details contact Council’s Communications Team on 1300 864 444.

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