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Local legends celebrated at Gunnedah’s 2019 Australia Day Awards

29 January 2019

A Gunnedah Show and Pony Club stalwart; young agricultural achiever; and a strong advocate for community services have taken out the Citizen of the Year category honours in the Gunnedah Australia Day Awards 2019.

Some of Gunnedah Shire’s most dedicated and community-minded citizens were honoured at a special ceremony at the Gunnedah Town Hall on Friday night.

Australia Day Committee Chair and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Rob Hooke said the Awards are an opportunity to celebrate those who have made a significant contribution to the local community.

“The recipients and nominees of this year’s Australia Day Awards deserve to be recognised for their excellence, dedication and tireless efforts to make the Gunnedah Shire a better place,” Cr Hooke said.

“I often remind myself how lucky we are to live in the Gunnedah Shire. Woven throughout all facets of this community one can find a helping hand, a kind word, a feeling of safety and above all a sense of belonging and this can be seen from the diversity and number of nominees we have received.

“Our wonderful volunteers define who we are and help make this such a vibrant, progressive and caring society and lay down the fabric for us all to grow and prosper.

“Congratulations to this year’s successful recipients and thank you for your dedication to our community.”

This year’s award winners are:

  • Young Citizen of the Year Award: Haylee Murrell
  • Citizen of the Year Award – 21-40 years: Kate McGrath
  • Citizen of the Year Award – 40+ years: George Avard
  • Ossie & Beryl Campbell Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award: Michael Broekman
  • Cultural Award: Ronald McLean
  • Community Organisation Achievement Award: Gunnedah Show Society
  • Community Event Achievement Award: Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards
  • Max & Mikie Maas Good Neighbour Award: Ron Rickard
  • Junior Male Sportsperson of the Year Award: Adam McGuirk
  • Junior Female Sportsperson of the Year Award: Zoe Flemming
  • Junior Sports Team of the Year Award: St Mary’s College Boys Tennis Team

Special guests included Gunnedah’s Australia Day Ambassador, two-time world superbike champion Warwick Nowland; The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC, Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Assistant Minister for Education, Mayor Jamie Chaffey and Councillors.

Guests enjoyed performances from the Gunnedah Youth Choir and Jac Dalton.

The Australia Day Awards are held each year and the community is encouraged to think about a “local legend”, service or organisation they would like to see recognised ahead of next year’s event.

Biographies on all nominees can be found on Council’s website at

Photo Caption: Photo 1: Australia Day Award Nominees – Photo by Hayley Hausefeld. Photo 2: Citizen of the Year George Avard – Photo by Hayley Hausfeld. Photo 3: Australia Day Dinner Official Cake Cutting – Photo by Marie Hobson.

More photos available on request.


Media Contact: Ashley Gardner 6740 2100.