Congratulations to the Australia Day 2021 Award Recipients!

Published on 27 January 2021


There were 28 awards handed out at Australia Day celebrations across the Cabonne shire yesterday. For a full listing of award recipients and their profiles, see below. Congratulations to everyone who was recognised. 














































Cabonne Youth Ambassador – Beau McKenzie

Beau is a quiet achiever who goes about the business of learning in a diligent manner. He takes charge of his individual learning journey and is intrinsically motivated to achieve his personal best at all times.

Beau is a talented sportsman, with a passion for rugby union. He was part of the trialling Central West rugby team and was well on the way to becoming a member of the team until COVID-19 stalled the trials. He was also part of a touring squad to New Zealand.

Beau has regularly represented Yeoval Central School as part of the show team in 2019 and 2020. He has embraced the opportunity to showcase the school goats and poultry.

Although Beau is only in Year 10, he is an outstanding role model for his peers and younger students. His quiet demeanour and respectful interactions with all members of the school community is highly valued.

Beau sets and excellent example for all members of the community by his involvement in extra-curricular activities and in his approach to his sport.

Strong role models are essential to inspire, lead and motivate others in a small community. Beau inspires his peers to be better people each day.

Citizens of the Year – Melissa Campbell and Kylie Toberty

Mrs Melissa Campbell and Mrs Kylie Toberty and their respective staff of the Borenore and Nashdale Public Schools have guided the 2020 school students and their families through a most difficult 2020. From the start of the year as smoke and dust filled the air to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption to the school year.

Mrs Campbell and Mrs Toberty have led with care, thought, innovation and inspiration to keep the students engaged with their learning and development.

The team of staff at the schools are also to be congratulated for their dedication to maintaining the excellent standards associated with both small schools.

We are incredibly fortunate to have these leaders and teachers in our community caring for and looking after our children and families, guiding them to bright futures.




Citizen of the Year – Thomas Jeffs

Thomas is always there to lend a helping hand. During COVID, Thomas has made and delivered dozens of meals for the elderly or the sick and to Dr Ryan at this busy time. He also makes morning tea for the girls at the local pharmacy in appreciation for the hard work they do.

Over the past six years he has raised over $120,000 for the community. He organised a fundraiser and helped raise around $20,000 for the Canowindra Bowling Club. After Canowindra High School was vandalised, he once again helped raise funds that went towards a new kitchen. Canowindra preschool was not left out when he helped raise around $25,000 for them.

Tommy helps encourage the shop displays in the main street to join in the Christmas in July. It was a real hit and many of the store fronts looked amazing. On any given day you can see Tommy buzzing about planting and watering the barrels in the street. If anyone is in need you can be assured that Tommy would be there to help.

Community Group of the Year – Orana House Trust Committee

The Orana House Trust Committee work as volunteers under Cabonne Council in management of Orana House. It is a s355 community building. The presence of Orana House provides essential, affordable facilities to the community especially for vulnerable people.

Current groups include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon supporting family members affected by alcohol or drugs, Canowindra Creative Centre Inc providing activities for people from 18 to 100, for example craft, mosaic, writers support. Other periodic groups and activities also occur. The venue provides a safe, welcoming and accessible environment. Orana Committee work closely with Cabonne Council to develop Orana House as an inclusive facility open to the community. The Committee work as a team discussing ways of making things better for everyone.

Orana House has a long history with Canowindra, with many emotional and life changing connections to the building and the role it has played in the betterment of lives. Maintaining that relevance is very important. Orana House is a significant part of Canowindra's history. The goal is to grow it into the future with the welfare of the community the primary focus.




Community Group of the Year – Cargo Common Committee

The Cargo Common is an integral part of the Cargo Village. Almost all residents of Cargo use the Common in some way, either as a place to graze their cattle or horses, as a recreational space or just as an open area to escape to.

The Cargo Common Committee is one of Cargo’s longest established community groups and has served the users of the Common for many decades. Under the leadership of Alan Cain, the Committee undertakes all the many administrative tasks required to manage the Cargo Common. This includes untold hours managing all the maintenance work and stock management that ‘magically’ just happens and that most Common users simply would be unaware of. Not to mention the completion of all the administrative work with Department of Crown Lands that allows the Cargo Common to be retained as an asset to our community.

The Committee’s ongoing oversight of the Cargo Common ensures this much-loved part of the Cargo Village landscape remains well maintained and viable for everyone’s enjoyment.


Young Citizen of the Year – Marnie Adams

Marnie Adams is a kind, caring and selfless young woman. Growing up in Cudal she attended Cudal Public School from Kindergarten to Year 6, where she was involved in peer support, she enjoyed guiding and assisting the younger students. She was also elected as Vice Captain.

She loves her sport and was a keen member of Cudal Swimming Club, participating and encouraging her fellow swimmers at all carnivals, time trials and club training events.

The family moved to Orange when Marnie was in High School, attending Kinross Wolaroi since Year 7 - Marnie will commence Year 12 next term. She is a hard-working student, focusing most of her time on her studies and trying to achieve good results.

She still loves her sport being an enthusiastic soccer and basketball player, she is a team player and is just as encouraging on the field as off.

Marnie, along with other Kinross students did the World’s Greatest Shave on 16th March 2020. Marnie raised $2,500 for this very worthy cause. She didn't personally know anyone with leukaemia but being the selfless person that she is, thought it was a cool way to raise money for such a good cause, without any thought of losing her beautiful long hair.

She is currently working part-time after school at Central West Neurology & Neurosurgery as the filing and archiving clerk. The family have recently moved back to Cudal much to Marnie’s delight. She has a beautiful soul and wears her heart on her sleeve, she is a willing help and ready to assist anyone that needs it.

Citizen of the Year – Helen Colman

Helen Colman came to live in Cudal following her appointment at Molong Central School as a teacher of agriculture in 1982. She was an enthusiastic and committed teacher, spending much time outside of school hours promoting agriculture and instilling a love of the subject in her students. Under Helen’s guidance, her students achieved numerous awards for their work in the field of agriculture.

Following her retirement in 2013, Helen devoted even more of her time to various community groups. In 2014, she was elected President of the Cabonne Food, Wine and Cultural Centre and has continued in this role as an energetic volunteer and an advocate for the local craftspeople who support the work of the Cultural Centre. Helen organises community functions at the Cultural Centre as well as doing much of the cooking, food preparation and presentation for these functions.

Helen is a very active member of the Cudal-Cargo Lions Club. The Club regularly participates in community and local events and Helen works tirelessly in the Lions Club food catering caravan. She was recognised as Lions Club “Volunteer of the Year” in 2019.

Helen has been on the Committee of the Cudal Agricultural and Pastoral Society for more than 20 years. Her expertise and interest in the area of dairy goats saw Helen accept the role of Goat Steward. Her organisational skills and knowledge of the various Central West goat-breeder individuals and groups ensured that Cudal Show would always have high quality goat entries and well-respected judges to judge those entries. Helen has now accepted additional, crucial, and time-consuming roles of Schedule Secretary and Chief Pavilion Stewart at the show. Due to COVID-19 Helen organised a “Virtual Show” which allowed the works of the pupils of Cudal Public School and the Cudal Community Pre-school to be presented and displayed in the windows at Corden’s Store. She judged some of the entries herself and sought other local residents to judge the remainder. Entries were received in the art, photography, craft and Lego sections of the virtual show. Music is one of Helen’s great passion, she plays the oboe and has been involved with the Orange Conservatorium of Music for many years. Her involvement also includes membership of the Conservatorium’s Come Together Choir.

Helen is a caring, respected and much appreciated member of the Cudal Community.

Community Group of the Year – Cudal Central Incorporated

Cudal Central Incorporated was formed on 23 January 2019 with Jock Hough as inaugural President. This new group aimed to be a representative body for the people, clubs and organisations of Cudal - a place to apply for funding through the many grants programs available and drive for improvements for the town.

Just twenty months later and Cudal Central has more than delivered.

A master plan was formed with projects for Cudal in conjunction with Cabonne Council. Town meetings have been well attended and lots of positive ideas were welcomed. 2020, whilst a hard year to meet in person due to COVID-19, has been a very productive year. Below is a list of some of the projects funded:

  • Cudal Tennis Club - outstanding improvements - new amenities, upgrade of surface to synthetic including multi-sports surface
  • Cudal Showground - upgrade of single to three phase power, replacement of old water pipes and new amenities
  • Cudal Music and Dramatic Society - new sound system
  • Dean Park - A massive improvement - this is being managed in stages. Stage one has been completed and stage two is a working progress
  • Landauer Memorial Park - new fencing to make the park safer for children
  • Corden Store - new air conditioning has been a life changer for those volunteering in the heat of summer and the cold winters
  • Cudal Community Centre - upgrade of kitchen and hopefully new air conditioning
  • Cudal Swimming Pool - has new BBQ, shade area, starter equipment
  • Cudal Camp Draft - new amenities

Cudal Central have formed an Australia Day Committee. There have been a lot of brain storming ideas such as Boree Creek restoration, caravan park improvements, cycle/walking tracks, clean up cemetery pests and Main Street beautification. Cudal Central Incorporated has succeeded in streamlining the process of applying for grants for the benefits of all citizens of Cudal.


Young Citizen of the Year – Zali Armstrong

Zali has been a member of Cumnock Public School community since she commenced kindergarten in 2014 and this year she has been leading the school as an outstanding and exceptional School Captain. Zali has represented the school at many sporting, cultural and community events and has been a supportive, enthusiastic and dedicated member of many organisations she has represented over the years. She is a responsible, mature and enthusiastic student who has accepted leadership opportunities during sport, library, peer mediation and through her work with the Cumnock Show Society, the Cumnock Swimming Club, the Cumnock Markets and other local organisations and events.

In her sporting pursuits, Zali has achieved an outstanding level of representation at school; regional and state level in athletics, swimming, cross country and hockey, she has been selected to represent the school in the Country Women’s Association Public Speaking competition at regional level.

Zali has been highly valued for her work within the school and community and has been awarded for the following achievements:

  • School captain, peer leader and mentor 2020
  • Academic achievements awards consistently throughout her years at Cumnock Public School
  • Marellan trophy for conscientiousness 2019
  • Regional, district and state representative in swimming, athletics and cross country.
  • Hockey representative team and member of the Molong Hockey Club.
  • Youth representative at the Cumnock Show and Cumnock CWA International Day
  • Valued supported of CPS at the Cumnock Markets.
  • Sportsperson of the Year award 2018

Zali is a conscientious, empathetic and creative student who continually makes a difference to the students, staff and members of the wider community of Cumnock. Her creative talents are highly valued and her effort in the visual arts area designing posters and creative works has been exemplary.

Zali has been an outstanding mentor and role model to her younger peers and has developed excellent leadership skills in her final years at Cumnock Public School. Her work ethic commitment to her studies and the pride she shows in the presentation of her work is of the highest standard. Her voluntary efforts and determined spirit for the greater good of the school and for the wider Cumnock community has been exceptional.


Citizen of the Year – Bron Flick

In 2008, Bron Flick arrived to the Cumnock community from Sydney after her marriage to James. Bron quickly immersed herself in supporting the community she called home. With James and their two children, Rose and Ollie, she has excelled in her voluntary work and commitments, and is highly valued for her empathetic and calm attitude, and enthusiastic belief in what can be achieved with a determined effort. The many local organisations that she has supported are a testament to her selfless work ethic and caring nature.

During her time in Cumnock, Bron has been an outstanding and dedicated volunteer who has given selflessly and consistently to the wider community in the following areas:

  • Secretary and Assistant Secretary to the Cumnock Show Society for 10 years
  • Cumnock Village Preschool Secretary and Executive member for five years
  • Long White Lunch committee member for three years
  • Cumnock Christmas Tree Committee member
  • Cumnock Public School reading mum for five years
  • Cumnock Public School P&C committee member and canteen volunteer for five years
  • Cumnock Swimming Club Committee member
  • AusSwim-trained swimming volunteer and teacher for the school and community
  • Molong Central School Scripture Teacher 2009-2015
  • Scripture teacher at Cumnock Public School since 2016
  • Committee member for Central West Christian Women’s Conference for two years
  • Central West Missionary Expo for four years
  • Cumnock Progress Review Editor and contributing reporter and graphic designer
  • Currently Deacon and Secretary of Molong District Baptist Church.

Bron is a quiet achiever who continually makes a difference to the students, staff and members of the wider community of Cumnock. Her creative talents and outstanding graphic design skills are recognised by the many organisations she has supported in her time at Cumnock.

Bron designed the Little Athletics logo, The Cumnock Village Preschool logo and Cumnock Soldiers War Memorial website and is currently working on the Cumnock Public School new signage across the entire school site. Bron has been an outstanding contributing reporter and editor of the Cumnock Progress review. Presently Bron is leading and managing the Cumnock P & C’s vision for the Cumnock Multipurpose Precinct which will realise an amazing BMX bike trail and billy cart track incorporating a bike safety complex and artificial turf for the use of the school and wider community of the Cumnock region.

Bron has been an individual who is constantly prepared to support the many initiatives and programs that benefit the village. Her selfless voluntary work has been an inspiration to the many people who have worked alongside her in the countless organisations in the region.

Community Group of the Year – Cumnock Long White Lunch

The Cumnock Long White lunch committee are a group of young women who have joined together to create the most talked about and well-run event in the Cumnock Community. These women have achieved the highest standard for this event. They have created an atmosphere where up to 500 visitors and locals enjoy a beautiful long lunch on the grounds of the Cumnock Showground. This event generates enormous fundraising for the village which is distributed throughout the community to improve areas and help committees improve their facilities. This group have already donated $50,000 to the Cumnock Show Society to help with improvement of the grounds. This is an incredible donation, which is so gratefully received, and it will go a long way in improvements for the grounds.

The eye for detail at the Long White Lunch is beyond anything Cumnock has ever had before. The thought and idea to gather city and local people together in one event is outstanding. Everyone dresses in white and the day is always well-run and stunning.

Cabonne Sportsperson of the Year – Zali Armstrong

Zali Armstrong has been an outstanding student and leader of the Cumnock Public School. She displays excellent qualities in sportsmanship and has been a dedicated and committed member of many sporting organisations in the school and wider region. She is a mature and responsible student with an extremely capable understanding of fair play. She has been involved in supporting her peers and younger students in developing sportsmanship qualities in a wide range of games and sports as school leader and mentor. The restrictions of COVID-19 have impacted her dreams and aspirations which she has taken in her stride. The potential sporting successes in her final year at primary school level cannot be underestimated.

From Year 1 to Year 6 Zali was involved in many sports. Some of those sports include soccer, cross country, hockey, tennis, swimming and gymnastics to name a few.

Zali's most recent achievements include qualifying for Senior Girls Individual 50m breaststroke State Level for PSSA Swimming at Homebush. Zali and her two sisters Macey and Abby qualified at State Level for PSSA Swimming at Homebush in the Small Schools Relay and qualified fastest at Western Region Level.


Young Citizen of the Year – Laura Harvey

Laura volunteers every month helping the Eugowra gardening group to weed and maintain the gardens in the centre of Eugowra.

Laura helped cook at the Lions Club BBQ for the Carols by Candle Light. At the Eugowra show Laura helps with the ute barrel racing.

If Laura knows something needs to be done she will volunteer by her own initiative. Laura is a cheerful and happy person who is always willing to assist any group in Eugowra.

Citizen of the Year – Frances Anderson

Frances has been a continually active member of the Eugowra Community since she moved to Eugowra in the 1970's when she married Patrick Anderson. Frances has been a staunch member of her church, and she can be seen working in the church garden on many occasions. Frances was a highly active supporter of natural family planning, working with doctors, and talking to married couples in the Forbes and Eugowra area for over 10 years.

Frances joined the Eugowra Branch of the Country Women’s Association in 2006. She became Treasurer in 2007, a position she retains to this day. In 2018 Frances also became Secretary, sharing the position with President Margaret Swift. Frances is also the Secretary of the Canowindra Branch of NSW Farmers, arranging guest speakers and organising venues for dinner meetings.

Frances has given above and beyond for the branch. She has made a wreath for ANZAC day since joining. Frances is an avid gardener, and she has raised funds by selling her plants at the Murals weekends and various other stalls, as well as cooking.

Frances is particularly good at applying for grants, she has achieved grants for the Branch for the addition of a baby change room and disabled toilet, also refurbishing the kitchen plus crockery. Frances has seen the rooms comply with WHS regulations. She has also helped other clubs and organisations with their grant applications. Frances has been a regular representative for the branch at State Annual General Meetings, Central Western Group Annual meetings, and State International days. This involves a lot of travel and days away from the farm. Frances has also participated in the International days involving both Eugowra Schools, finding judges and delivering prizes.

During the drought Frances worked tirelessly to deliver drought aid to many families in the area travelling many miles to deliver donations.


Community Group of the Year – Eugowra Community Children’s Centre

Over 2020 Eugowra Community Children's Centre has seen many exciting changes. From the physical environment to the program.

Some of these changes include:

  • Fresh coat of paint to the service inside and out
  • More natural environments for children
  • The service is at full capacity for enrolments, with a growing waitlist.
  • An increase in educators due to capacity and the employment of an Office Administrator and Handyman
  • New resources for the children to explore
  • The creation of a holistic curriculum that has allowed the centre to provide a comprehensive and inclusive program
  • Cultural practices have become embedded in the daily practices
  • Successfully secured the licence for the second room to expand the service
  • Several grants have been applied for and approved and will see more improvements happening over the next 6 months
  • The Centre successfully meets the requirements of the National Quality Standard through the Assessment and Rating process; and
  • Have seen the addition of the beloved centre pets which the children nurture and care for.

A Special Mention to Andy Langfield for giving so much of her time and expertise at the start of the year running the centre. Sean Haynes, Lyn Ellis and Cathy Eppelstun for volunteering to help run and prepare the interview process and a massive thank you to Jamie Jones who has been a constant source of information and checked in frequently with the Committee.


Young Citizen of the Year – Joanne Wright

Joanne Wright is an inspirational role model to any youth of the district.

Joanne attended primary school at Manildra Public School and then went on to high school at Orange High School. During the past 12 months, whilst studying for her Higher School Certificate, which has had its own difficulties due to COVID-19, Joanne also undertook the task of running and teaching dance classes to pre-school and early school age girls in Manildra. She has held these classes for a couple of years and the young girls absolutely adore her. The children all love Miss Jo's classes and she is an inspiration for her generation. She has shown strong community spirit and love for her town through these dance classes. She has committed many hours and is very professional in all her dealings with parents and children.

Earlier this year, during the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions when no classes could be held, Joanne uploaded video lessons and emailed them to each of the girls so they could continue with their lessons. After the restrictions were lifted and with only a few weeks until she had to give up the lessons in order to undertake her HSC she put on a little concert so the girls could show off their dancing skills. The rapport Joanne has with these little dancers is amazing. Joanne has participated in the Duke of Edinburgh program and is a leader for the Wiradjuri Group. Joanne has obtained her Bronze Medallion during the year and is a Lifeguard at Manildra Swimming Pool. Joanne has participated in the School Spectacular in 2019. She also competed in Indigenous Dance Rights which was to be held at the Sydney Opera House but due to COVID-19 it was held at Borenore Caves. Manildra is lucky to have a talented young lady like Joanne to call their own.

Citizen of the Year – Joan Brooks

Joan Brooks is a lifelong resident of Manildra and has been an active member of many organisations over the years. Joan was a particularly good and keen sportsperson in her younger years playing tennis, golf and bowls. She was the first lady to 'hole in one' at the Manildra Golf Club back in 1964. Joan won the Bowls Club singles for the first time in 1989, and in total has won the title seven times, along with district singles twice and No. 2 pennants three times. Joan has been a member of Anglican Women's Association and enjoyed the AWA card nights. She has been the Meals on Wheels treasurer for 20 years, ‘Market Night lady' for 30 years - this position required a great deal of dedication and commitment – and the Treasurer of Scouts, Ladies Golf and Women's Bowls.

Joan was also organiser of the Women's Bowls for eight years. The Royal Far West is another organisation that Joan supports greatly, having worked tirelessly in Manildra for Royal Far West and also attending RFW conferences in Manly each year. For her dedication to Royal Far West, Joan was awarded life membership last year.

Community Group of the Year – Manildra First Responders

Manildra First Responders are a group of trained volunteer Ambulance Officers who attend call outs in the Manildra and district area. This group has been functional since 1996 and has seen many volunteers over the years complete their training and spend many, many hours attending call outs at any time of the day or night. This service is invaluable to Manildra and these volunteers have made a big difference in many people’s lives by administering first aid and offering reassurance to their patients. They have the ability to gather in additional services, if required, so therefore extra help is available to the patients quickly. These volunteers also spend hours doing training online and then monthly training face to face, with a yearly assessment of their skills. Manildra is lucky to have this group of volunteers to help them out in their time of need. 


Young Citizen of the Year – Hannah Betts

Hannah completed Year 12 at Molong Central School in 2020. She has attended Molong Central School since Kindergarten and was born and raised in Molong. She is a keen sportsperson playing hockey, touch footy and league tag as main sports and keen to help others with baby sitting and volunteering at the Molong Pony Club. She is Secretary of the Cabonne Junior Roos to help the players and the club so that it would not fold; this has given her extra skills that will be useful in life. She helps her grandmother most days and helps her do shopping and drives her if she needs to go somewhere. She was on the School Representative Council. Hannah has received offers for university to study Early Childhood and Primary School Teaching.

Hannah is a popular young woman, well-mannered and respected by all and is a fine example of "it takes a community to raise a child".

Citizen of the Year – Robert Sullivan

Bob (Robert) was born and lived in Molong for a large part of his life. He now resides in Orange but is still vitally interested and very proactive in Molong and its community. He is President of the Molong Historical Museum and Society, keeping the committee and members involved and motivated. He helps at the Molong Pony Club and helps with the horses at the Molong Show. He is a past Cabonne Council member.

As Bob has family living in the district his heart is very much still in Molong and its people. For the last 50 or more years Bob has been an ardent supporter, player and president of the Molong Rugby Union and on the committee of Central West Rugby Union. Bob's commitment and love of Molong is reflected in everything he does.

Community Group of the Year – Molong’s Pantry

Molong's Pantry is a new community service that was established by a group of community spirited people to help residents and district people to access food during the pandemic shutdowns earlier in 2020 - to support people during and after the long drought, those who had lost their jobs, farming families, business owners and their staff during the shutdown period, and those battling to make ends meet in general.

Sourcing foods from suppliers, Molong's Pantry continues to operate from the Baptist Centre in Molong, under the management of Julie Spencer and her team of volunteers, St. Vinnies and other spirited community groups and church groups. The volunteers work extremely hard, Julie Spencer has introduced a number of new initiatives in town to help people in need and in overseas countries through the Baptist Church, all supported by the same groups who are involved in Molong's Pantry.

Cabonne Environmental Champion of the Year – Cameron Wild

Cameron Wild is a retired Wool Broker and Wool Classer. Although these days he prefers to call himself a Biophile.

Cameron lives with his wife Sue on a small farm west of Molong. The farm is run using holistic principles, using time-controlled grazing with the objective of maintaining 100% ground cover 100% of the time.

On the farm two conservation areas have been fenced off to exclude stock to allow natural biodiversity to develop.

Cameron, with help from Sue, has planted thousands of trees, shrubs and ground cover plants on their property. These provide shelter for the stock and an environment for native animals. Their ephemeral creek has been fenced off completely to exclude stock so as to improve the ground cover to disperse the occasional flood event and not cause any erosion or damage. A rocky outcrop project is being set up on the farm to protect vital habitat for the many native animals, including micro bats and reptiles.

Cameron has participated in several projects with Central Tablelands Landcare of which he is Treasurer.

One project was a dung beetle breeding program at Molong Central School. A seed production area has been set up in conjunction with Central Tablelands Landcare. In this area four species of local native plants are grown for the specific purpose of seed production for other land care projects.

Cameron has also worked with the now defunct Green Army, teaching young unemployed people how to build nesting boxes and plant trees. He has also helped the Molong Community Garden group build a wicking bed garden.

Cameron, with the help of Sally Kirby (another recipient of this award) instigated the setting up of the Orange Beekeepers Group. The group was set up to promote amateur beekeeping in a sustainable and productive manner. Cameron is currently president.

He has gained an Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness in 1998, a Permaculture Consultants Design Certificate in 2010 and a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management in 2014.


Young Citizen of the Year – Arthur Morrison

Arthur Morrison has demonstrated the values of the community; care, courtesy and consideration.

As a 2020 school leader he willingly took on a range of leadership roles, including Technology Minister supporting staff and students with ITC in and around the school. He continually supported the other school leaders and staff with their leadership roles including helping with organising equipment ready for sports, games and activities, helping with hot lunches, flag duty, buddying and mentoring other students, and running weekly and special assemblies. As part of the SRC he was involved in initiatives to raise funds and awareness of the needs of the wider community including Cancer Research. As part of the student leadership Arthur was often called on to represent and speak on behalf of the student body which he always did with confidence while ensuring his comments were well thought through and considered when responding to media and community questions.

During the Learning from Home period, Arthur became a support and role model for many of the students who continued to attend school during this time.

His sense of inclusivity ensured that all students were welcome in games, teams, and extracurricular activities in the school and wider community. His strong sense of fairness saw everyone in his games valued and with sense of belonging. His sense of fairness did not stop at the school gate he continues to demonstrate these values through the wider community in the teams he plays in, Orange’s softball and Rugby Union clubs.

Arthur’s strong sense of responsibility and reliability are part and parcel of this young man. It is young people like Arthur who will help to continue to build positive communities now and into the future.

Citizen of the Year – Stuart Brisbane

Stuart has been involved in the Rural Fire Service for approximately 25 years and has been the Captain of the Mullion Creek RFS for approximately 10 years.

As a volunteer Stuart has given outstanding service to the community in this role and continues to do so. He has undertaken numerous training and courses to be more effective in his role.

He has previously travelled away to fight the fires and assist other communities but chose to remain in Mullion Creek during the fires of last year, making Mullion Creek a priority due to the imminent danger.

As well as this, Stuart devotes a lot of time to coaching and mentoring young men in sport, being involved in the Emu’s Ruby Club for approximately 15 years and the Central West Representative Ruby team for three years.

In addition, he has devoted a lot of time to Mullion Creek School when his four children attended, he was always available to help and cook BBQs and he has been an active member of the Mullion Creek & District Progress Association since its inception.

Community Group of the Year – Staff of Mullion Creek Public School

2020 was an extraordinarily challenging year for the Mullion Creek School community because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a tragic bereavement. The entire staff of the school has risen to these challenges by putting in place additional safety and welfare measures for the education and well-being of students and the benefit of the school community. This has involved innovation in teaching methods, focus on student welfare, teamwork, professionalism and dedication.

Their “above and beyond” dedication has been exemplified by the many hours of preparation and work performed out-of-school hours and on out-of-term days by all staff – teaching, administration, support and maintenance. The physical and emotional well-being, and educational progress, of the diverse range of students reflect the way the school’s staff has stepped up to successfully confront the great difficulties of 2020.

The extra time and effort that they have all put in to helping all the students cope in these hard times have been greatly appreciated. They put their own grieving aside and made sure all the students had support where needed. All the community is very appreciative and believe all the staff need to be recognised. The Principal, Mrs Sally Beer, and all her staff deserve appreciation and special recognition by the community for what they have done for the children and their families.


Young Citizen of the Year – Boudicea Blatch

Despite the impact on COVID-19 on extracurricular activities, Boudicea has maximised her opportunities to make a contribution to her community and to excel in her academic endeavours.

Boudicea achieved outstanding academic results and ranked first in three of her five subjects. This is a testimony to her ability to work independently and her drive to succeed no matter what obstacles come her way.

Boudicea has an extremely strong social conscience. Not only was she elected as a prefect and sporting House Captain, but she was also the driving force behind her school charity fundraising committee in a team of three. Boudicea contributed to her local community by assisting with all ‘Rally Till It Rains’ functions and although these functions were curtailed as a result of the pandemic, is to be commended for her willingness to be involved and dedication to improving the outlook of our local agricultural community during the drought.

Boudicea understands the importance of life balance and played rugby in 2019 and netball in 2020. Boudicea has a keen interest in agriculture and this is reflected in her being elected as Captain of her school cattle team. Not only did she showcase her skills in the beef paraders’ arena but she also mentored younger students and encouraged them to improve their skills as well as engage more deeply with their wider education. Her prowess in this field was rewarded with selection to compete in the Beef Paraders’ state competition at the Royal Easter Show.

She also embraced the opportunity to work with a local beef cattle stud in their embryo transfer program and wants to ensure that the state of agriculture in the Central West continues to flourish under the next generation of farmers.

Citizen of the Year – Joanne Davis

Mrs Joanne Davis, better known as Jo, has lived all her life in the immediate Yeoval area. She was brought up on a rural property and attended the Yeoval Central School. Jo then went on to follow a career path in nursing. For the past 10 years she has worked for NSW Health as the Yeoval and District Nurse. This job means travelling around the greater area seeing to the sick, doing practical medical procedures, providing health advice, and arranging appointments for specialist health care. Jo also provides advice and directions for the needy to attend other specific government departments where the need arises.

Her passion and care of the sick and needy is outstanding. She is very well liked by patients and the general population alike. Her compassion has no boundary; she is very quiet in her work, very discreet and has everyone’s trust. Jo takes an active interest in her community and is a Progress Association member. Her general knowledge of the area and situations is very helpful in community discussion.

During the recent drought of the past few years, Jo received many pallets of foodstuffs and other household necessities. She set these out in the Yeoval Hall kitchen and without fanfare she discreetly made up food and help packages which she delivered to the sick, elderly, needy & those who slip through the net of the larger and much publicised town drought relief drives.

Community Group of the Year – Mulga Bill Festival Inc.

The Mulga Bill Festival has been active in Yeoval for the past 13 years. It commenced with the running of a very successful annual community festival in Yeoval every year. The purpose was to attract people to Yeoval, draw attention to the village association to Banjo Paterson and use funds raised to build up town improvements and attractions within the village. The family museum building was purchased and the loan from Cabonne Council repaid, the Banjo Paterson Bush Park secured and planted out and sculptures commissioned and erected.

It became apparent after five years that the group would serve the community better and attract visitors every day of the year if they open some sort of attraction to which visitors and passing traffic would call into and hopefully spend a few dollars in the main street assisting with the main street cash flow. Because of the village association with Banjo Paterson and the fact that he spent his childhood years here it was decided that a Banjo Paterson Museum showing the many achievements of this remarkable Australian could be developed. Hence the name it now bears “The Banjo Paterson …more than a Poet Museum”.

The museum is run and operated by volunteers with the small entry fee and the profits from the attached Clancy’s Café being used to cover the ongoing overheads such as rates and electricity. Now seven years on, the museum is attracting visitors to Yeoval every day. Its continually growing, and now priceless, attractions draws worldwide attention with many overseas tourists and scholars making appointments to call and spend time.

The Showground run caravan park stopover and the Hotel and Club are all benefiting as are the remaining few shops in the main street. Over the past two years the small committee of volunteers have sought out grants and donations to enable a large bronze sculpture of Major Banjo Paterson to be commissioned for erection at the front of the museum facing the roadway. Along with a bank loan to ensure completion, a total of $120,000 has been raised and the sculpture is now cast in bronze and waiting its final polish and staining. Standing three metres tall it is a very imposing structure which is expected to attract much publicity and in turn many more visitors, travellers and groups to Yeoval.

This sculpture will be lit at night and will join the nine other sculptures that are placed in the Banjo Paterson Bush Park, which will in themselves, continue to grow as a tourist attraction. The Mulga Bill Festival is very active in community activities especially using its very well-appointed kitchen and facilities to cater for community events at very reasonable prices using volunteer labour.

The Mulga Bill Festival Committee also provide the labour and time to keep the large Banjo Paterson Bush Park mowed and tidy as well as the same at the Yeoval Caravan stopover at the showground. The volunteers also clean and maintain the park toilets and the showground toilets. These volunteers are proud of their community and continue to play an active role in the promotion and community work needed to ensure a successful village.