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Australia Day is the official national day of Australia and is celebrated across the Tweed on 26 January.

Australia Day is for all Australians, no matter where our personal stories began. Reflect on being Australian, celebrate contemporary Australia and recognise our history. For more on "What Australia Day is about" visit www.australiaday.org.au.

Australia Day 2019

Australia Day Main Event and Citizenship

Australia Day Award Recipients 2019Australia Day Award Recipients 2019

Congratulations to our eight Tweed Australia Day award recipients and our 49 newest citizens.

Sam Ford and Meredith Dennis have both been named 2019 Tweed Shire Citizen of the Year for their outstanding inspirational work in the community.

Sam survived horrific injuries as a result of a ‘coward’s punch’ in October 2009, leaving him with severe and permanent disabilities. Since his injury, Sam has achieved many milestones and has become a beacon of hope and inspiration to others who have suffered a brain injury. Sam is involved in many local fundraising efforts and participated in the inaugural Tweed Coast Charity Walk to raise funds for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

Meredith has been a palliative care innovator for nearly two decades. Trained as a nurse, and volunteering at the Wedgetail Retreat community hospice since 1998, Meredith oversees the operation of volunteer palliative care training, home-hospice support services, the community hospice, educational courses, Sunshine ‘Pamper’ Days, the loan of medical equipment to clients and the Tweed Palliative Support Hospice Op shops. Meredith also takes care of many rescue dogs and horses at her Limpinwood property.

The Volunteer of the Year Award has also been shared between two recipients, Team Koala Inc. President, Jenny Hayes, and Agape Outreach founder, Reverend Theresa Mitchell.

Jenny has dedicated the past decade to raising awareness about the endangered status of Tweed Coast koalas. In 2018, she was influential in obtaining a grant from the NSW Government Parks and Wildlife Service to produce a koala information booklet that provides details about koalas, their habitat, how to deal with sick or injured koalas and a 24/7 emergency contact number. This booklet is freely distributed at the Pottsville Market and to local schools.

Theresa founded Agape Outreach Inc, which provides meals to over 190 homeless people, as well as food hampers, shower facilities, free laundry facilities and low priced clothing. Through Agape Outreach, Theresa also provides life coaching and emotion and relationship classes, as well as nutrition and budgeting classes.

The Young Achiever in Community Service Award (under 25 years) has been awarded to Jaime Coetzee for her dedication to community service. Jaime is Deputy Mayor of the Tweed Youth Council and also undertakes volunteer work with numerous organisations including her regular Sunday commitment to helping homeless people through the You Have a Friend charity.

The Australia Day Award for Sporting Achievement goes to Perth Glory goal keeper, Eliza Campbell, who has represented her country in football. Eliza has made a successful career from her passion for football and is helping to show other young players the pathway to achieving sporting success.

The Community Event of the Year Award has gone to the Charity Cup Touch Football Tournament for the second consecutive year. The Charity Cup is in its seventh year and involves a large scale touch football competition where every cent raised goes directly to assist local individuals or families suffering hardship. The tournament has raised a total of more than $100,000 that has been distributed to over 40 local individuals and groups. It now attracts some 300 people from all age groups and backgrounds who come together to promote healthy living and support those in need.

The Arts and Culture Award was awarded to the 2018 Murwillumbah Arts Trail, which provided a forum for musicians, indigenous artists, circus and theatre performers, dancers and fashion designers to come together and share their talents in a fun, festive atmosphere for the community.

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