Australia Day 2017 Award Winners

Thursday 26 January 2017

Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre

Photo of Alisa Camplin taken James Braund

Australia’s first female Winter Olympic Gold Medallist, Alisa Camplin, was our guest speaker this Australia Day and delivered an inspiring and heartfelt address to the 600-strong audience.

The full program included Welcome to Country, Citizenship Ceremony, music performances by Katie Rutledge and SING Australia, and the announcement of the highly anticipated Australia Day Awards. 

The following category award winners were:






YOUNG CITIZEN - Emily Somerville

SENIOR CITIZEN - Beatrice Gray

COMMUNITY EVENT OF THE YEAR - Tintenbar Up Front Music Nights 



Meet last year's Australia Day Award recipients 

Citizen of the Year 2016 - Dawn Sword

Since arriving in Ballina, Dawn has been extremely generous with her time, spending endless hours in various roles and fundraising initiatives for community groups such as the East Ballina Lions Club, Meals on Wheels and the Lennox Head View Club. Dawn is always supporting and encouraging other volunteers and assisting those less fortunate. Dawn is a wonderful ambassador for the Ballina Shire community and demonstrates true Australian spirit and tenacity.


Senior Citizen of the Year - Harold ‘Bernie’ Scanlan

At 92 years of age, Harold has spent a lifetime helping others, especially veterans and the aged. Bernie is a lifetime member of both Legacy and the Alstonville RSL Club and has been an active member of the Alstonville RSL Sub-Branch for almost 65 years. A Legacy volunteer for the past 38 years, Bernie has been supporting local families suffering the injury or death of a serving family member. With his wife Patricia, Bernie has played an active role in the Ballina and Alstonville Catholic communities; running 'Housie' to bring the elderly together for regular social gatherings. Bernie is notably a person who will give anything he has to help someone in need.


Young Citizen of the Year - Jasmine Crethar

Jasmine is always striving to perform her best in a wide variety of disciplines including sports, the arts and academia. School Captain of Empire Vale Primary in 2015, Jasmin represented her school in debating, public speaking, spelling bee and on the general knowledge champion team. Jasmine was chosen for the Science and Engineering Team, representing the small schools network at the Southern Cross University Science Challenge. Jasmine showed great leadership in the preparation of the ‘Sweet As’ art exhibition held at The Northern Rivers Community Gallery, and has artwork chosen for the DET Arts Unit’s ‘Operation Art’ Program. Jasmine embraces the positive qualities that should be celebrated in our young people.


Volunteer of the Year - Garry Meredith

Garry started as a Surf Lifesaver in the early 1980's as a teenager at the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Lifesaving Club. Garry also became a volunteer for the Rescue Helicopter in 1980; now known as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. In 1985 Garry commenced volunteering for Ballina Jetboat Rescue as a driver and crewman and is currently the Duty Officer. This role is responsible for emergency response management for surf based incidents, and involves call outs at all hours of the day or night. Garry has received over 50 awards for his service and for his tireless volunteer work.


Community Event of the Year - Alstonville's Sesquicentenary Celebrations

Congratulations to the hardworking committee for organising a year-long program to celebrate Alstonville’s 150th Anniversary. The community celebrated this significant milestone with numerous events including the Alstonville Bowling Club Competition, a croquet event, Rotary Club change over dinner, combined church service and performances at the Astonville Leisure and Entertainment Centre. The sesquicentenary also saw the publication of three history books and the refurbishment of the memorial gardens by Tuckombil Landcare. Celebrations culminated with the 150th Anniversary Dinner and a 4,000 strong crowd at the Street Parade and Showground Celebrations in September.


Arts Cultural Award - Jamaika Smith

A student of Southern Cross K-12 School, Jamaika is gifted with a beautiful singing voice. Jamaika shares her talent by entertaining residents at nursing homes, performing the national anthem at the Ballina RSL, performing at the 2014 School Summer Fair and participating in drama performances. Jamaika is a member of the Ballina Players and the Ballina Shire Amateur Dramatic Society and has appeared in numerous stage shows including The Sound of Music, High Society, Alice in Wonderland and Big River. Jamaika is congratulated for sharing her gift with the Ballina Shire community.


Sports Award - Riki Wood and Marc Bagatan

Riki and Marc have competed at the highest levels of Taekwondo nationally. They founded Ballina Taekwondo in 2011 and since that time have grown the club’s membership from 10 to over 70 students. The club now boasts 12 black belts, seven of which were trained by Riki and Marc from total novice. Riki and Marc regularly run after school programs and offer demonstrations at community events. They give countless hours of their own time to train eager students as well as their regular scheduled classes.

Vale: Max Walker - Special Guest 2016 Australia Day 

Max Walker, our special guest for Australia Day 2016, sadly passed away 28 September 2016.

We feel very honoured to have celebrated Australia Day with Max in Ballina Shire. 

We extend our warmest condolences to his family.


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