Barry Duffus and his toy lion.
Barry Duffus and his toy lion. The Coffs Coast Advocate

Nambucca Shire praises its top Aussie citizens

BOWRAVILLE Theatre was packed to the rafters yesterday as family and friends flocked to support this year's Nambucca Shire Australia Day award recipients.

The event was colourful with Citizen of the Year Barry Duffus supplying most of it.

Resplendent in his waistcoat sporting every Australian brand name you can still remember and few you probably can't, Mr Duffus cheerfully accepted his award, which acknowledged years of community service, including 17 as a councillor.

“The thing that keeps me going is that I constantly see others who are worse off,” Mr Duffus said.

He then pressed the button on a toy lion, which played his motto: “Don't worry, be happy.”

His daughter, Noelene Murray, said the award was well deserved.

“I never realised growing up how much Dad actually did,” Noelene said.

“But he taught us his values of honesty, integrity and hard work.”

Young Citizen of the Year Aaron Burton found his community service niche at the Scotts Head Surf Lifesaving Club in 2007.

Since then the Year 11 student has churned through a long list of lifesaving certificates, including his rubber duckie rescue qualifications.

“That was a great one to get,” Aaron said.

“Only a few months ago I used it to save a boat off the headland in Scotts Head.”

His younger brothers Matt and John proudly stood by his side.

“I think this is super good,” John said.

Recently Aaron signed both up to the club and they say they are looking forward to training with him.

Senior Citizen of the Year John Mills dedicated his award to all senior citizens.

“There are so many people giving their time to the community through their clubs,” Mr Mills said.

“It's a wonderful way to meet people and give something back - I'd recommend it to everyone.”

Visiting ambassador for the ceremony was Broken Hill artist, Roxanne Minchin.

In her opinion 'balance' was the secret to Australia's greatness.

“It helps us respond creatively with a sense of proportion,” Ms Minchin told the audience.

“Our shared sense of values is our social cement.”

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