The contribution made to the Richmond Valley community by its citizens was recognised on 26 January through a range of awards and most particularly through the award of Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year.
However, there has been a COVID-19 alert for the event with at least one attendee testing positive.
‘The local state member Chris Gulaptis and his wife were there as well as a number of councillors and staff, and of course the public,’ an attendee told The Echo.
They noted that very few folks were wearing masks and that ‘while it was an outdoor event thus reducing risk of spread, there were a lot of people in attendance.’
Citizen of the Year
Citizen of the Year was given to two deserving recipients this year Michael Pontefract and Patrick Power while the Young Citizen of the Year went to Isabella Ennever.
Michael Pontefract was recognised for his significant contribution to the Richmond Valley community through his work of 40 years as a lifesaver, a Rescue Jet Ski workplace trainer and assessor, Coordinator and Treasurer of the Charcoal Inn Charity Club, and nine years as the Carnival and Competition Coordinator for Casino Swimming Club and prior seven years as treasurer.
‘Michael gives unselfishly to the community through many organisations in the Richmond Valley. He is someone who embodies community values, spirit and civic pride, said Richmond Valley Mayor Robert Mustow.
‘This award is to recognise Michael’s long-term and sustained commitment to the communities he has lived in over the past 40 years and, in particular, the communities of Casino and Evans Head for the past 15 years.’
Local teacher Patrick Power received the second Citizen of the Year for serving as a medical officer for Casino Rugby for 43 years, acting as a mentor for young players, supporting the Casino Women’s Rugby team, and being a fundraiser for the Heart Foundation, St Vincent’s De Paul and the Red Shield Appeal.
‘This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community. Your can-do attitude, professionalism and commitment to the people of the Richmond Valley makes you a worthy recipient of the Richmond Valley Citizen of the Year,’ said Mayor Mustow.
Young Citizen of the Year
Isabella Ennever was awarded the Young Citizen of the Year award.
‘Although young, has shown leadership and commitment to our country,’ said Mayor Mustoe.
‘Their achievements are outstanding and beyond their years. This person is an amazing representative for our youth in rural NSW and looks to have an amazing career ahead of them.’
As an outstanding young volunteer in all aspects of the Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club Jacob Yourell was awarded the Young Volunteer of the Year.
‘Jacob has been a member of Evans Head Casino Surf Club since 2007,’ said Mayor Mustow.
‘He began as a Nipper, and then continued to gain his Surf Rescue Certificate and Bronze Medallion and became a patrolling member of the club. He is an active patrol member, provides water safety at Nippers and carnivals and helps with fundraising.’
Dorothy Sullivan was recognised for her volunteer work in the community that has spanned more than 50 years. He work has included volunteering at the Casino Historical Society, P&C committees, school canteens, Casino Show Society, as well as being a a life member, of the Anglican Op Show for more than 30 years, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter for 10 years, Casino Beef Week for more than 30 years and Friends of Windara for more than 20 years.
‘Dorothy is a long standing and highly motivated local volunteer with a drive and capacity to help and support other organisations and local formal and informal groups,’ said Mayor Mustow.
Sportsperson of the Year
The Young Sportsperson of the Year Award went to Abbie Yourell for her dedication to the sport Open Water Swimming.
‘Abbie is a dedicated young lady who trains hard, swims hard and gives everything to the sport of Open Water Swimming. She loves competing and representing the sport at a local, State and National level,’ said Mayor Mustow.
Abbie is amember of the Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club and has been the Evans Head Casino Niperette of the Year for the past three years
For his dedicated playon over the last three years Noah King of the Casino Cougars was recognised as Sportsperson of the Year.
‘Noah was selected in the Northern Rivers Titan Opens Representative Side and was rewarded with a train and trial contract with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs,’ said Mayor Mustow.
‘Noah is a dedicated and good role model for the Casino RSM Cougars Juniors and is respected by his teammates and opposition. Richmond Valley Council congratulates you. This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.’