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May 18, 2022

Ballina’s Citizen of the Year announcement to be livestreamed

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Barbara Swain, founder of the Mental Health Support Group, was Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year in 2021. Photo supplied.

As COVID 19 continues to make life complicated for people on the Northern Rivers and beyond, Ballina Shire Council has decided to livestream its Australia Day event, including the Citizen of the Year announcement, from 9am on Wednesday.

Council says the day will begin with a Welcome to Country and Citizenship Ceremony, then a performance of The Seekers classic ‘I am Australian’ by locals Katie Rutledge, Dean Doyle and Narelle Harris, followed by the announcement of the Australia Day Awards.

Liz Ellis. Photo Inspire.

The event will be co-hosted by Liz Ellis and Sandy Jackson.

Liz Ellis is one of Australia’s elite athletes and former captain of the Australian Diamonds and Sydney Swifts netball teams. She is also a sports and current affairs commentator, author and mother.

Sandy Jackson is a long-term MC of the Australia Day ceremony. Ballina Council says it is delighted to have her reprising her role as co-host.

More than thirty nominations for awards will be recognised and celebrated. Categories include Young Citizen, Senior Citizen, Volunteering, Sports, Arts/Cultural, Community Event, and Environment. Here are the shortlisted contenders:

Young Citizen of the Year

  • Alex Chapman
  • Eli Carr
  • Kim Coupe

Senior Citizen of the Year

  • Barry Fiedler
  • Frank Hughes
  • Helen Lockton
  • Patrick Braz
  • Tracey Everingham-Armstrong

Volunteer of the Year

  • Allan Noble
  • Jo Parker
  • Maria Matthes

Sports Achievement

  • Bec Washington
  • Tyler Dogan
  • Veronica Silver

Arts and Cultural Award

  • Ali Chigwidden
  • Ballina and District Historical Society
  • Cathy Gordon
  • Screenworks
  • Sue Belsham

Community Event of the Year

  • 10- Year Anniversary of Gift Wrapping (Scope Club of Ballina
  • COVID Crisis Meal Service (Cherry Street Sports Club)
  • COVID Crisis Meal Service (Ballina Hot Meal Centre, Cherry Street Sports Club, Rotary Club of Ballina-on Richmond, and Ballina Masonic Centre)
  • Social Support Program for the Elderly (Ballina Meals on Wheels)
  • Digital Literacy Skills Program (Dementia Inclusive Ballina Alliance)
  • The Battle of the Concert Bands (Resonator Music)
  • Starlight Super Swim Challenge (Rhian Slapp and The Boaty Boys)

Environmental Award

  • Ballina Kerbside Bin Collectors
  • Empire Vale Public School
  • Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond
  • Revive the Northern Rivers

The awards ceremony will conclude with the announcement of the 2022 Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year.

This event will be livestreamed on Council’s website and Facebook page from 9am on Wednesday 26 January. To watch the livestream and for more information visit ballina.nsw.gov.au/australiaday.

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