Australia Day Award winners

The calibre of all nominees in each of the four categories was very strong.  The Australia Day Awards dinner is an opportunity for both Council and the community to shine a light on the amazing people we have living and contributing to our beautiful Clarence Valley.

Diane LeeCitizen of the Year - Florence (Diane) Lee

The Clarence Valley Citizen of the Year was awarded to Florence (Diane) Lee. Diane served as a nurse in World War Two, and now as a welfare officer, she assists veterans and their families of all eras. Diane also organises the annual Legacy Church Service, has been president of the Laurel Club for 15 years supporting War Widows, she volunteers her time with Suicide Prevention Group, the Maclean Hospital and nursing homes in the area.

Young Citizen of the Year - Bennett Mitchelhill  and Hannah Smith

Bennett Mitchehill and Hannah SmithBennett was worried when his friend Kane hadn’t turned up to school for a few weeks. Bennett went looking for answers and he discovered his friend had cancer. Not one to sit and wallow, Bennett set a goal of raising $5000 to assist his friend. Bennett applied and won a grant with McDonalds and started a fund raiser selling raffle tickets. He also volunteers at Camp Quality; helps promote the ‘Love your sister’ campaign, volunteers with Clean up Australia Day and Surfing with the Disabled. Bennett also just happens to excel at school as well.

Hannah was the 2015/16 Clarence Lifeguard of the Year and is known for maintaining a strong connection with beach-goers through her professional conduct. From assisting in life-threatening events, through to simply advising people when they look sunburnt, moving a forgotten towel up the beach or picking up rubbish, Hannah is a role model to young people in the Clarence Valley and a deserved winner of this award.

Midnight basketballCommunity Achievement – Grafton Midnight Basketball

The Clarence Valley Community Achievement award was presented to Grafton Midnight Basketball (GMB).  GMB forms part of a national social inclusion program to help at-risk local youth build skills and confidence and identify and embrace positive opportunities in their community. Over 60 young people participated in 2016 with their motto ‘no workshop, no jump-shot’ meaning that participants must attend the life-skill workshops before playing a few games and receiving a nutritious dinner on a Friday night.

Roger GreenLocal Hero - Roger Green

The Clarence Valley Local Hero award was presented to Roger Green, You might have seen Roger busking around town, but I bet you didn’t know that he donates everything he makes to patients with cancer. Over $64,000 in 12 years, every cent handed to cancer patients.

Thanks to the Daily Examiner for helping us out with some photos.

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