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2020 Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony

Congratulations to our eight 2020 Tweed Shire Australia Day award recipients and our 48 newest citizens.

Tweed Shire Citizen of the Year

Rebecca Hogan has been named 2019 Tweed Shire Citizen of the Year for her outstanding contribution to the community and for the creation of BASE Youth Leadership for year 11 and 12 students of the region, and the 2019 BASE Leadership Awards Program.

Rebecca had a dream to build a movement allowing young men and women to be recognised, guided and mentored to strive for excellence in their local communities of the Tweed and Byron Shires by encouraging and empowering young women and young men to become socially conscious leaders who can make a real contribution to society.

Troy Green (General Manager), Meredith Dennis (2018 Tweed Shire Australia Day Citizen of the Year), Rebecca Hogan (2019 Tweed Shire Australia Day Citizen of the Year)

Troy Green (General Manager), Meredith Dennis (2018 Tweed Shire Australia Day Citizen of the Year), Rebecca Hogan (2019 Tweed Shire Australia Day Citizen of the Year)

Rebecca spent considerable time and drew on her own resources, approaching speakers, preparing interview panels, visiting schools, and speaking to community groups about BASE, recruited and prepared ten judging panels comprising local business representatives, sporting, civic and professional leaders within the community and organised separate male and female breakfasts to announce the award winners.

Volunteer of the Year Award

The Volunteer of the Year Award has been shared by two recipients, The Murwillumbah Rural Fire Brigade and Craig McNiven.

Joint winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award, The Murwillumbah Rural Fire Brigade is a group of volunteer women and men who dedicate their time, and their considerable skills, while risking their lives when they are called upon to attend emergencies and disasters, including fires, bush fires, motor vehicle accidents, and floods.

Members of the Brigade stop what they are doing when called to an emergency, sacrificing time with their families, businesses and day jobs, coming to the aid of our community in the pursuit of their volunteer service while protecting property and lives.

Joint winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award, Craig Mc Niven has volunteered with Men of Business for nearly four years, working with Tweed River High School, Banora Point High School, and five Gold Coast schools as a mentor to teenage youth who were selected by their schools as being ‘at risk youth’.

Craig also organised the Clean-up Australia Day, cleaning up the Tweed River bed which saw the removal of 2,500kg of rubbish. The event was so successful that it was repeated a second time.

Craig is a volunteer with Cudgen Surf Lifesaving Club, is volunteer Treasurer for the Tweed Gold Coast Free Divers club, and is the volunteer Treasurer for the Piggabeen Cobaki Progress Association who are the caretakers for the Historic Piggabeen Hall.

Young Achiever in Community Service Award

The Young Achiever in Community Service was awarded to 17 year old, Holly Clements a volunteer at Salt Surf Lifesaving Club, a role she started when she was nine years old. Holly implemented a Youth Committee, of which she is the President; helping to formulate new ways to retain young members within the club.

Holly won Junior Lifesaver of the Year at the Far North Coast Branch Awards of Excellence and was nominated for Youth Surf Lifesaver of the Year at the NSW State Awards, and was selected as the representative from the Far North Coast Branch at the Youth Opportunity Makers Workshop; a state-wide event working on youth retention in Surf Life Saving.

Sporting Achievement Award

Olympia Pope, winner of the Sporting Achievement Award is an 11 year-old, year six, school student attending St Anthony's Catholic Primary School, and competes competitively in Swimming, Surf Life Saving, Netball and Athletics.

In 2019 Olympia won Age Champion at School, and competed at the Polding Swimming Championships, winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Olympia also competed at the 2019 NSW Primary Schools Sports Association Swimming Championships; was named Kingscliff Surf Club Junior Club Swimmer of the year and represented Kingscliff Surf Club at the Swimming NSW Long Course Championships, finishing with a Bronze Medal in 50m Breaststroke and breaking the Swimming North Coast record.

Olympia competed at the 2019 QLD Short Course Swimming Championships breaking three Swimming North Coast Records, and was awarded Gold in the Australian Junior Excellence Program from Swimming Australia.

Arts and Culture Award

Murwillumbah Theatre Company ‘not for profit’ community theatre group which has been operating for over 30 years was the winner of the Arts and Culture Award. They provide cultural opportunities for the Tweed community through live theatre, and training opportunities for young people seeking a career in theatre. The Company presents three to four productions each year at several locations throughout the Shire and is also responsible for bringing some of the best touring shows and productions to the Tweed.

Volunteers often take time from their day jobs to assist with children’s shows as they see the value and importance of bringing theatre to children of the region. Murwillumbah Theatre Company prides itself as a community theatre, striving to achieve professional standards.

Community Event Award

The joint winners for the Community Event were Team Koala for Community Koala Fun Day and Parkrun Kingscliff.

The Community Koala Fun Day organised by Team Koala attracted an estimated 700 people plus the representing organisations, Friends of Koala, Tweed Shire Council, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and many local schools.

Visitors to the Community Koala Fun Day engaged in fun Koala activities, including Koala road safety, Koala rescue and care, Koala locations within the Shire and information on what is impacting our Koalas and what can be done to help the Koalas in the Tweed region.

Parkrun Kingscliff is a free 5km run or walk put on by local volunteers every Saturday morning. Started by Dawn and Phil Courage in 2012 with help from family and friends, Parkrun Kingscliff now works with seven volunteer teams who share the organisation of the weekly event on a roster basis.

Parkrun Kingscliff creates a welcoming environment for everyone, is totally inclusive for men, women and children, as it’s free, so cost is not a barrier to participating. Parkrun Kingscliff is also suitable for competitors using wheelchairs, parents with prams and families wanting to bring their friendly dogs on leads. As at 2019, Parkrun Kingscliff had recorded 24,972 runs.

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