Residents celebrated on Australia Day for community contribution
Some of the Tweed’s leading contributors were recognised when the 2015 Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards were presented as part of the main celebration and citizenship ceremony at Kingscliff High School.
Photo caption: From left: Sporting Achievement Award winner Max Bryant, Betty Metcalf (15 Minutes of Fame – Arts and Cultural Achievement Award), Quota club representatives Sue Wickham and Barbara Lee (Community Event of the Year), David White (15 Minutes of Fame), Citizen of the Year Fay Gleave, Volunteer of the Year Kenneth ‘Mark’ Eglington, Australia Day Ambassador George Ellis, Young Achiever in Community Service Award winner Elizabeth Kirk, and far right; 15 Minutes of Fame representatives Jenny Clarke, Marilyn White and Jenny Unwin (Arts and Cultural Achievement Award).
The highest honour, Citizen of the Year, was awarded to Tweed resident Fay Gleave, who has been sharing her knowledge on saving lives for 41 years. Ms Gleave first became involved with St John Ambulance in 1958, gaining a number of certificates along the way and becoming a lecturer and examiner on first aid in 1974.
In 2015 alone, she taught the finer points of first aid to more than 2000 students in northern NSW as part of the St John First Aid School program. Through the program, students were introduced to techniques such as checking airways, dressing cuts and phoning for help.
Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Kirk received the Young Achiever in Community Service Award for juggling an ongoing commitment to community service, volunteer work, high academic achievement at school and two part-time jobs.
Elizabeth will be undertaking her Year 12 HSC at Murwillumbah High School this year but continues to mentor students through the Student Representative Council, maintains the rank of Leading Seaman in the Naval Cadets and also achieved the highest Scouts award, the Australian Scout Medallion.
She has also completed the MAX potential program, a Rural Fire Service cadetship, assisted with the Cool Heads program for youth in the region and volunteered at the Murwillumbah Show.
The monthly ’15 Minutes of Fame’ event at Stokers Siding/Dunbible Memorial Hall won the Arts and Cultural Achievement Award. It is completely staffed by volunteers and has attracted a wide variety of professional and amateur performers of all ages.
Kingscliff resident Max Bryant took out the Sporting Achievement Award for his outstanding accomplishments in cricket and rugby league. At just 16 years of age, Max was selected in cricket for an Open North Coast Cricket Team, the Gold Coast Dolphins 2nd grade team, the Queensland Under 17 team to play in the Australian Championships and the Gold Coast Titans Under 16 rugby league team, among many others.
A service project for Remembrance Day, organised by Quota International of Tweed Heads/Coolangatta, was the Community Event of the Year. The service group knitted and crocheted 1327 red poppies that went on display and opened the doors of conversation for locals, visitors, Quota members and returned soldiers.
Kenneth ‘Mark’ Eglington was celebrated as Volunteer of the Year for more than 25 years of service with the NSW Rural Fire Service. Mr Eglington rose through the ranks from fire fighter to Captain of the Cudgen Brigade, receiving the Rural Fire Service National Medal along the way.
As a well-respected member of the local community and self-employed small crop farmer, Mr Eglington advises land owners on fire permits and laws controlling pile burns. He received the Rural Fire Service National Medal, a testament to thousands of voluntary hours.
Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne, said: “One of the loveliest things I find about the Tweed community is that we not only care for each other but we are also passionate about this environment, and care for the other residents of this Shire, the wildlife, too.
“Like the First Australians, the traditional Custodians of these lands, we all need to be custodians to care for this country. Each one of us needs to do our part to give back to this country that gives so much to us.”