FACES OF 2020: Who was making headlines this year
LOOK back on the faces that made the news - for all the right and wrong reasons - this year.
These stories were some of the most popular on our website in 2020 featuring some well known faces in the community:
Annette and Jean-Pierre Reifler - Powerful union recognised in Australia Day honours
WHEN an ex-alcoholic from Switzerland and a young goody-two-shoes met in a Coffs Harbour church in 1972 it was a match made in heaven.
The union would prosper to see the creation of the region's Sherwood Cliffs Christian Rehabilitation Centre at Glenreagh which has helped hundreds of people struggling with addiction.
And now the work of Annette and Jean-Pierre Reifler has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in this year's Australia Day honours.
The couple share a deep Christian faith. They can both recall the time they read the bible and something just clicked.
For Jean-Pierre it was after fleeing a life of crime and addiction in Switzerland, ending up in a group home in Kings Cross.
"I saw a short promotional video for Australia, a land flowing with milk and honey and it said there were three women for every man so I thought: they need me," Jean-Pierre recalls.
Still drinking heavily he had a near-death experience while swimming at Maroubra.
Professor Ned Abraham - Doctor lifts the lid on a health service in crisis
IN March this year a Professor put his job on the line to lift the lid on what he says is a second class health service.
Professor Ned Abraham is fed up with the culture of inaction, bullying and lack of transparency.
He says he's not the only senior clinician at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus to feel this way but he's one of the few willing to speak out.
"I am not scared, I am able to speak out but the majority of my colleagues are not because they know when it comes to 2023 and their contracts are up they might not be extended," Prof Abraham said.
"I am not scared because my priorities in life are a little bit utopian. If something is not right I will speak out and face the consequences."
Cr John Arkan - Cr to pay $40k for selling plants without licence
IN July a Coffs Harbour City Councillor was ordered to pay damages for selling blueberry plants he was not authorised to sell.
Cr John Arkan was found to have infringed the rights of Mountain Blue Orchards under the Plant Breeder's Rights Act, 1994 designed to protect the rights of breeders of certain new varieties of plants.
The case against Cr Arkan was filed by Mountain Blue Orchards in relation to their Ridley 1111 plant variety.
The Ridley 1111 is known for its higher quality fruit (medium and firm with a dark blue colour and small picking scar) and an earlier availability than other varieties.
The matter was heard in March before the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Brisbane.
Cr Arkan was ordered to pay $42,500 in damages to Mountain Blue Orchards - $20,000 by March 18, 2020 and $22,500 by April 18, 2020.
Cr Tegan Swan - Action lodged against councillor as DA heads to court
March 2020 - Plans for extensions to a local winery will now be dealt with through the NSW Land and Environment Court.
The development application to expand the restaurant dining areas at Two Tails Winery at Nana Glen has come before Coffs Harbour City Council on a number of occasions.
The matter was once again up for discussion at Thursday night's Council meeting and Deputy Mayor Tegan Swan 'reluctantly abstained' from the discussion, revealing that actions have been taken against her in relation to the matter.
In November last year Deputy Mayor Tegan Swan requested that the development application go directly before councillors.