Australia Day
26 January 2017

Australia Day logo

Australia Day is a community celebration!

January 26th 2017 is a day for acknowledging community and national spirit in NSW, where the nation came together to celebrate what’s great about Australia.

One way of celebrating is acknowledging the contributions made by those in our community.

The 2017 Australia Day award winners are:

Citizen of the Year - Sonya Murphy

Sonya is a quiet achiever who has worked tirelessly over many years volunteering for several local sporting clubs such as 32 years in administrative and leading roles with the Macleay Netball Association. Sonya has also held positions supporting Smithtown Junior League Club, Lower Macleay Magpies Rugby League Club, Kempsey Little Athletics and the Macleay Valley Diabetes Group.

Young Citizen of the Year - Drew Walsh

Drew has proven to be a true role model for the youth of the Macleay Valley through his leadership at school, within agriculture, sport, and scouting. He has led workshops on safe driving and passenger behaviour for both high school and primary school students and was awarded a John Lincoln Youth Community Service Award by the Order of Australia Association in 2016.

Volunteer of the Year - Frank Oakes

Every week for the past seven years Mr Oakes has volunteered his time, playing piano to entertain residents at Vincent Court, Booroongen Djugun Aged Care Facility, Parklands Cottage, the Kempsey Carers Group at the Catholic Hall and the Kempsey Pensioners Hall.

Community Group of the Year - Riding for the Disabled Kempsey-Macleay

Since its inception in 2005, Riding for the Disabled Kempsey-Macleay has been enriching the lives of people living with a disability. Each week, a group of dedicated volunteers teach students from four local schools, pre-school children, and adults how to ride, as well as other horse related activities at the Kempsey Showground.

2017 Australia Day Awards recipients: Drew Walsh, Sonya Murphy, Frank Oakes The Macleay’s 2017 Young Citizen of the Year Drew Walsh, Citizen of the Year Sonya Murphy, and Volunteer of the Year Frank Oakes.