Australia Day Award Winners 2020

Sunday, 26 Jan 2020

Australia Day Award Winners 2020

Citizen of the Year

Anne Thompson

Anne is known as 'The Drought Relief Lady' and has been collecting and distributing cattle feed, hampers, toys and Christmas gifts to farmers since 1994. It all began when Anne learnt that recently-burnt cane tops made good cattle feed and organised weekly distribution of the tops to farmers. Every year Anne collaborates with local businesses and service providers to send food and Christmas hampers to farmers. Last year, Anne and her team distributed over 1,000 hampers to drought affected communities. Anne’s efforts help lift the spirits of our farmers and let them know they are valued and not forgotten.


Sports Award (two awards)

Hayley Oakes

Hayley is an outstanding young woman who is a multiple Australian Mountain Bike Champion. Hayley competes across Australia and is a stand out rider in Olympic events. Hayley has been riding mountain bikes since 2015, and racing since 2016 and she has achieved outstanding results in this short time. Hayley is the current Under 17 Australian Champion across three disciplines XCC (cross country criterium), XCO (cross country Olympic), and XCM (cross country marathon). One of Hayley’s goals is to inspire people of all ages to get out and ride their bikes.

Ben Roche

Lennox Head local, Ben Roche was born with cerebral palsy and started playing football at age six. He enjoyed playing, despite being left on the bench much of the time. He joined a development squad for the Pararoos, Australia’s Paralympic football team made up of athletes with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury and those overcoming a stroke. As a junior Pararoo, Ben was inspired by athletes just like him who were achieving great results both on the field and in their personal lives. He was appointed National Teams Coordinator for Football Federation Australia in 2018. In 2019 Ben was the Pararoos’ Vice-Captain at the World Championships in Spain. He was Ballina Shire Council’s 2019 ‘Get Active Day’ Ambassador where the theme of the day was ‘Anyone Can Play’. With 53 games in the green and gold, Ben continues to inspire others with and without disabilities.

The other nominees for the Sports Award were: Angus Smyth, Lindsay Vaughan, Cooper Ulrick and Bec Washington.


Arts/Cultural Award

Sprung!! Integrated Dance Theatre

Sprung!! a Ballina-based not for profit community organisation, provides dance and theatre workshops for people with a disability. Sprung!! focuses on integrating dance and physical theatre to develop works that inspire mainstream audiences and promote a more inclusive society. Since 2014, Sprung!! has been led by artistic director Michael Hennessy, who danced with the Sydney Dance Company. In 2017 and 2018 Sprung!! was a finalist in the Australian Dance Awards. In 2019 they collaborated with the Northern Rivers Community Gallery and Andrew Christie to produce the first virtual reality installation at the gallery.

The other nominees for the Arts/Cultural Award were: Ballina Shire Concert Band and Little Dragons Integrated Community Group.


Young Citizen of the Year (two awards)

Amelia Farrant

Amelia is an outstanding ambassador for Ballina Coast High School and her community. Consistently giving her best since year seven, Amelia has been a driving force behind the Ballina Junior Chamber of Commerce, Leo Club and an energetic member of the Student Representative Council. Amelia has received many school academic awards and represented her school and Ballina community in netball, touch football, debating and swimming. Elected school captain of Ballina Coast High School in 2019, Amelia has been an exceptional student and goes above and beyond to achieve her very best for herself and community.

Zarah Knight

Zarah is an enthusiastic and caring role model, passionately serving her school, church and community. Zarah was 2019 Richmond Christian College School Captain and C3 Church Youth Group Leader. She is a founding member of a weekly bible study group where girls can chat with their peers and feel supported in a loving and caring environment. She also volunteers with the Ballina SES. Zarah will undertake tertiary studies at Southern Cross University in Primary Teaching – a natural fit for a young lady who has a gift of encouraging others to reach their full potential.


Senior Citizen of the Year

Barry and Janice Saxby

Raising five children and realising the need for a local athletics club, the Saxbys together with a few other local athletes reformed the Ballina Athletics Club in 1980. Since then they have inspired and encouraged generations of athletes of all abilities. The Club, under Barry and Janice’s guidance, strongly emphasises family values and good sportsmanship. The style of competition offers hope for all budding athletes, regardless of age and ability, to improve their health and fitness. The Club also provides a social outlet, and healthy activity for members to enjoy the beautiful Ballina environment. After 40-years Barry and Janice are the soul and heart of the Ballina Athletics Club as they continue to nurture and care for all Club members.

The other nominees for the Senior Citizen of the Year Award were: Anne Thompson, Patrick Carney and George Young.


Volunteers of the Year

Alan and Jenny Tunks

On hearing the cystic fibrosis diagnosis of their son Glen, Alan and Jenny Tunks set out to tackle the disease head on. From their first successful fundraising lamington drive, community minded Alan and Jenny aimed high and secured the rights to be the charity of choice at the Byron Bay Blues Festival. Each year, Alan and Jenny along with their team of volunteers, raffle three guitars signed by artists performing at Bluesfest. There is no government funding for cystic fibrosis, so it is a huge achievement that over 23-years the Tunks have returned over $650,000 to the Cystic Fibrosis Australian Federation.

The other nominees for the Volunteer of the Year Award were: Maxene McVie, Noel and Kate Doyle, Noel Toneguzzi, Ruth Campbell, Robert Wilson, Elizabeth Hill, Kerrie Gray, Ian Hale, Darren Bailey, Colleen Wills, Joanne Irwin, Kevin Nicol and Julie Lee.


Community Event of the Year

Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club

The annual two-day Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Regatta is unique in Ballina Shire. It caters for sports clubs and community teams showcasing Ballina as a tourist destination. Clubs from the Mid-North Coast, New England and South East Queensland participate. The club promotes community involvement, with community teams vying for the Ultimate Community Challenge to donate $250 in prize money to their preferred charity. Planning for the 2020 regatta is well underway. Dragon Boating is a fun form of physical activity with health benefits especially for breast cancer survivors.

The other nominees for the Community Event of the Year Award were: North Coast Street Machines Inc, Christmas Gift Wrapping (Scope Club Ballina Inc), Quota Alstonville Craft & Garden Fair, Melbourne Cup Fundraiser (Tracey Everingham-Armstrong), Ballina Says NO to Domestic Violence (Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond), Dementia Café (Ballina Dementia Friendly Community Alliance), Ballina Food & Wine Festival (Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond), Keep in Contact and Stay Connected (Ballina Dementia Friendly Community Alliance), and Melbourne Cup High Tea (Ballina Shire Meals on Wheels).


Environmental Award

Malcolm Milner

Malcolm has been serving the Lennox Head community for over twenty years, applying his vision and leadership for a better natural environment. The Lennox Head village and surrounding areas are in an environmentally healthier state thanks to his commitment and ability to encourage and teach others the importance and beauty of natural ecosystems. Landcare Lennox Head was initiated by Malcolm and Hilary Wilson in 1999. He extended his volunteering, holding multiple leadership roles with Landcare, FOLA, Heritage Committee and Residents’ Association. Malcolm continues to proactively monitor local issues; raising community awareness of environmental concerns and looking to potential solutions.

The other nominees for the Environmental Award were: Lisa Donohoe, Alstonville Maguires Creek Landcare, Maria Mathes and East Ballina Lions Club.


Local Service Heroes

Special recognition was given to the following local Rural Fire Services for their efforts in fighting fires across NSW and interstate:

  • Alstonville/Wollongbar Brigade
  • Lennox Head Brigade
  • Meerschaum Vale Brigade
  • Newrybar Brigade
  • Wardell Brigade
  • Ballina Brigade.

New Australian Citizens

During the Australia Day ceremony thirty new Australian Citizens were warmly welcomed from across the globe including the United Kingdom, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Africa, Argentina, Colombia, Ireland, Italy, Bulgaria, France, New Zealand and United States.

Mar 2020
Ballina Business Connect

Ballina Business Connect

Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020

To facilitate social distancing for our residents, Council is coordinating Ballina Business Connect, a service to enable residents to obtain staple household items without having to leave home.

CORONAVIRUS: Council updates and resources

CORONAVIRUS: Council updates and resources

Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020

We encourage the community to stay up to date and follow accurate information from health authorities. Details on Council's operations and services, plus links to the relevant authorities are included in this post.

Ballina Business Support Package

Ballina Business Support Package

Friday, 27 Mar 2020

Ballina Council has announced a relief package to help support local business and job during the COVID-19 crisis.

Temporary detour of Byron Bay Road - Hutley Drive Northern extension

Temporary detour of Byron Bay Road - Hutley Drive Northern extension

Thursday, 26 Mar 2020

Temporary detour in place on 5 April 2020 at Byron Bay Road and the North Creek roundabout.

Flight scheduled changes at Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Flight scheduled changes at Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Friday, 20 Mar 2020

Jetstar has temporarily removed their Melbourne service and reduced their Sydney service to seven flights per week. The new Qantaslink service has also been postponed until further notice. Council has not received any changes to the Virgin Australia schedule. Passengers should check with their airline regarding flight updates and rescheduling.

Burns Point Ferry - Return to Service

Burns Point Ferry - Return to Service

Thursday, 19 Mar 2020

The Burns Point Ferry will return to service 5.30am Sunday 22 March 2020.

Libraries to close for two-weeks from Tuesday 17 March 2020

Libraries to close for two-weeks from Tuesday 17 March 2020

Monday, 16 Mar 2020

The network of Richmond Tweed Regional Libraries will close for two weeks from Tuesday 17 March as a measure to reduce the potential spread of Coronavirus to vulnerable community members.

Act local, shop local

Act local, shop local

Monday, 16 Mar 2020

Shopping local is not just about buying products and gifts unique to your area, it also results in investment in the local economy by keeping money in the community you love.

Burns Point Ferry - Return to Service Delayed

Burns Point Ferry - Return to Service Delayed

Friday, 13 Mar 2020

The return of the Burns Point Ferry to service after annual maintenance is delayed. Also upcoming weather forecasts and predicted river heights will delay the towing of the ferry from the slip in Swan Bay back to Ballina.

Consultation - Commemoration Park Fitness Equipment

Consultation - Commemoration Park Fitness Equipment

Friday, 06 Mar 2020

Council is seeking community feedback to help determine the type and style of fitness equipment to be installed at Commemoration Park, Ballina.

Salt Water Over Roads - King Tides

Salt Water Over Roads - King Tides

Friday, 06 Mar 2020

Ballina Shire Council is encouraging motorists to drive safely over the coming days with king tides leading to minor flooding of some local roads in the coming days.

Invitation to attend Presentation - Lennox Village Vision - Phase 2 Concept Design

Invitation to attend Presentation - Lennox Village Vision - Phase 2 Concept Design

Tuesday, 03 Mar 2020

Attend a presentation by Steven Burgess of Complete Streets as part of the Lennox Village Vision on Friday 13 March at the Lennox Community Centre.

Feb 2020
Water has now been restored to Skennars Head

Water has now been restored to Skennars Head

Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020

The main break causing the prolonged water outage has been found and normal water supply has been restored.

Fish deaths following rain event

Fish deaths following rain event

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020

Department of Planning Industry, Fisheries information about death kills in Richmond River.

Water restrictions lifted across Ballina Shire

Water restrictions lifted across Ballina Shire

Thursday, 13 Feb 2020

The Rocky Creek Dam has hit 100% and water restrictions have been lifted across Ballina Shire.

Jan 2020
Get active this Seniors Week 2020

Get active this Seniors Week 2020

Friday, 31 Jan 2020

The Ballina Indoor Sports Centre (BISC) and Ballina and Alstonville Swimming Pools will be havens of activity during Seniors Week 17 to 21 February 2020. NSW Seniors Week is about looking after for our senior citizens, getting out of the house, getting active and enjoying our time. Playing sport and joining fitness groups are not just limited to young people or elite athletes.

Get Active Expo 2020

Get Active Expo 2020

Friday, 31 Jan 2020

The Get Active Expo & Registration Day is back for 2020 in the new Ballina Indoor Sports Centre (BISC)! This FREE community event gives sporting clubs the chance to connect with local families and help kids find out what sports are on offer in Ballina Shire - all in one place.

Evening painting class to ignite your inner painter

Evening painting class to ignite your inner painter

Thursday, 30 Jan 2020

Make 2020 the year you unleash your artistic self with likeminded creatives! Commencing in February Ignite Studios in Ballina is offering a new adult evening art course, Introduction to Abstraction, with local artist Imbi Davidson.

Australia Day Award Winners 2020

Australia Day Award Winners 2020

Sunday, 26 Jan 2020

Australia Day 2020 Award Winners rewards community service at a local level and is administered through a nomination program, which is assessed by a local selection committee and/or Councillors, and Awards in the form or certificates and prizes are awarded at official Australia Day functions.

Qantas lands at Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Qantas lands at Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Friday, 17 Jan 2020

Qantas has announced a new service to the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Introducing Ballina Shire's Australia Day Ambassador

Introducing Ballina Shire's Australia Day Ambassador

Thursday, 09 Jan 2020

Ballina Shire Council is excited to announce our 2020 Australia Day Ambassador, Netball champion and Ballina local, Liz Ellis.

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Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

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