Clarence Valley Australia Day Award winners named
THE winners of the 2019 Clarence Valley Australia Day Awards were announced last night at a special presentation at the Grafton District Golf Club.
The outstanding winners and wonderful nominees were celebrated for their enormous contributions to Clarence Valley life.
Clarence Valley Citizen of the Year was awarded to Susan Howland for her leadership, dedication and lifelong commitment to improving mental health services and empowering women in the Clarence Valley.
Ms Howland is a leader and voluntary member of Clarence Valley organisations such as Our Healthy Clarence, Northern NSW Local Health District, Mental Health Forum, Light Up the Darkness, Local Health District Community Engagement Council, Clarence Valley Women Incorporated and CWA Maclean.
For decades, Ms Howland has worked tirelessly, generally quietly behind the scenes, to make the Clarence Valley a better community, while also busily juggling family commitments.
She is a mother of five children, a stepmother, mother-in-law and a grandmother to her large extended family.
Clarence Valley Young Citizen of the Year was presented to Brad Chapman in recognition of his passion for Australian military history and his dedication to raising awareness of the sacrifices our past Diggers made.
Brad trekked Papua New Guinea's Kokoda Track last year as part of the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge and used that experience to educate young people to put their best self forward and support each other.
The calibre of nominees for the Clarence Valley Local Hero Award was so high the panel presented two awards this year.
One of them went to Don Frame of Copmanhurst for hiscommitment and contribution of time and resources to the Copmanhurst Saddlery Museum.
As well as playing a key role in setting up and running the museum since 2015, Don has done extensive research on local history and families.
Thanks to his efforts, the Copmanhurst community has a valuable resource for those wishing to learn about the history of the town and surrounding districts.
George Priddle also received the Local Hero Award. His most important achievement has been actively working to keep the Cowper Bus Memorial Park in top condition, as a way of showing respect to the families of that tragedy.
Mr Priddle is also an active member of the Maclean Lions Club. At 80, he goes for walks around the streets of Maclean collecting rubbish and drink containers to recycle.
He donates all of the money earned to the Lions Club.
The Clarence Valley Community Achievement Award was presented to the Pelican Playhouse.
The not-for-profit theatre nurtures and mentors local talent and provides the platform for up-and-coming actors and entertainers to begin their careers and gain much needed confidence.
The Clarence Valley community has been enriched, inspired and entertained by being on stage, and in the audience, at this local treasure.
The selection committee members were Justin James, Joy de Roos and Gina Lopez.
Cr Greg Clancy is the 2019 Australia Day advocate.
The awards were sponsored by Clarence Valley Council.