Council celebrates 2018 Australia Day award recipients

Media release - 25 January 2018

Outstanding citizens and groups have been recognised for their contributions to the community at the 2018 Australia Day Eve Awards ceremony.

Mayor Liz Campbell together with our Australia Day Ambassador, Joel Pilgrim, announced the four recipients of this year’s awards at a ceremony at the Slim Dusty Centre on Thursday night.

“I’d like to congratulate all of the nominees and recipients of the main awards. Our community benefits greatly from their tireless efforts and these awards are a chance for us to formally acknowledge them and say thankyou.”

The 2018 winners are:

Citizen of the Year - Elizabeth (Betty) Green

Betty has been a part of the Macleay Valley community since 1987 and ever since has been involved with volunteering efforts for various causes. Such include volunteering with the St Vincent de Paul Society welfare workers for over 20 years and as a member of the Kempsey Singers for over 15 years.

Betty served as a Kempsey councillor for 12 years and as mayor. She is outspoken without being self-promoting and works very hard for others without seeking reward.

Young Citizen of the Year - Abigael Baker

Abigael is a talented and dedicated young woman having received numerous awards in various sports and for her academic achievements in school. She has represented the Macleay Valley in sport at Mid North Coast, North Coast and NSW levels and has coached both junior and senior soccer teams.

Abigael has a bright future ahead of her having received a result in the 94th percentile for her Undergraduate Medical Admission Test to gain medical admission interviews at Newcastle University and the University of Western Sydney.

Volunteer of the Year - Richard Collins

Richard is the founding president and a driving force behind the South West Rocks Maritime Precinct Group. The volunteer organisation has restored and preserved the historic Boatman’s Cottages and Pilot House and enabled the use of these heritage listed buildings for local non-profit groups such as the maritime museum.

Richard has worked tirelessly to raise funds for the restoration and preservation work on the buildings and has spent countless hours filling out paperwork.

Community Group of the Year - Baylin’s Gift Charity

Baylin’s Gift is committed to educating young people and their support networks on depression, anxiety, gender/sexual identification and suicide awareness. It aims to encourage a peer support network that gives each member a platform to freely express themselves without fear of judgement.

The charity was founded by Kempsey woman, Hayley Hoskins, who has made it her mission to raise awareness and support for young people after losing her son Baylin to suicide in 2016.

Mayor Liz Campbell with the 2018 Australia Day Award recipientsThe 2018 Australia Day Award recipients are; Community Group of the Year Baylin’s Gift Charity, Young Citizen of the Year Abigael Baker, Citizen of the Year Elizabeth (Betty) Green with Kempsey’s Australia Day Ambassador Joel Pilgrim, Mayor Liz Campbell and Volunteer of the Year Richard Collins
Elizabeth (Betty) GreenThe 2018 Kempsey Shire Citizen of the Year Elizabeth (Betty) Green