It is a diverse group of nominees in line for recognition at the 2017 Clarence Valley Australia Day awards.
It is a diverse group of nominees in line for recognition at the 2017 Clarence Valley Australia Day awards. Bill North

Clarence Valley celebrates its local legends

The 2017 Clarence Valley Australia Day Awards winners will be unveiled at a Local Legends ceremony dinner to be held at South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club.

At the ceremony from 6pm to 9pm, the Clarence Valley Citizen of the Year, Community Achievement, Local Hero and Young Citizen of the Year awards will be announced.

 

Here is the full list of nominees for the 2017 Clarence Valley Australia Day Awards.

Citizen of the Year

Florence Indianna Lee, Townsend

'Dianne', as she is known, is one of the most senior welfare officers for the RSL. She volunteers at the Maclean Hospital and is president of the Laurel Club, Maclean.

Jan Johnson, Maclean

Jan has worked tirelessly, advocating for people with a disability in Maclean. Her efforts are helping to improve facilities for the disabled in the Clarence Valley.

John Hagger, Waterview Heights

John is responsible for conceptualising The Clarence Forum. This forum is helping residents understand the roles and responsibilities of local government in the Clarence Valley.

 

John Hagger, candidate for Clarence Valley Council.
John Hagger, candidate for Clarence Valley Council. contributed

Peter John Curtis, Wooli

Peter has organised the Anzac service at Wooli for the past 10 years. The task includes managing volunteers, logistics and promotion.

Kerry Skinner, South Grafton

Uncle Kerry has worked for over a decade in Aboriginal education at South Grafton High School, mentoring thousands of indigenous and non-indigenous students.

 

KERRY SKINNER, South Grafton: \
KERRY SKINNER, South Grafton: \"At the core of it, I think it's a genuine community welfare issue. We need to go back to the basics of respect and looking out for one another.\" Photo Clair Morton / Daily Examiner Clair Morton

Lorraine Lloyd, South Grafton

A legend of the arts in the Clarence Valley, Lorraine has been involved in the Big River Rockers club for over 14 years, and is choreographer at amateur theatre company CRANES. Lorraine also volunteers with Meals on Wheels.

Patrick Connelly, Grafton

Pat is a passionate, inspirational and humble volunteer working with disadvantaged youth in the Clarence Valley. He advocates without judgment, and will never give up on a young person.

Sally Rogers, Eatonsville

Sally has devoted her life to rescuing abandoned, abused and neglected dogs and cats, and has set up the Happy Paws shelter. Sally also educates volunteers and students at schools and TAFE.

 

Sally Rogers, of Happy Paws Haven at Eatonsville, with the new galvanised fencing she has around the property. Photo JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner
Sally Rogers, of Happy Paws Haven at Eatonsville, with the new galvanised fencing she has around the property. Photo JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner JoJo Newby

Shirley Drum, Yamba

Shirley excels at organising events and connecting Yamba seniors. She has been president of Yamba Seniors Inc for 14 years and is a life member of the Yamba Women's Bowling Club.

 

Shirley Drum receives her Local Hero nomination at the Australia Day awards at Yamba Golf Club.
Shirley Drum receives her Local Hero nomination at the Australia Day awards at Yamba Golf Club. Adam Hourigan

Trevor Plymin, James Creek

Trevor assists many people in Maclean with their pensions, and has been involved with the Maclean RSL for over 10 years, where he currently serves as secretary. Trevor also volunteers at the Men's Shed and with Australia Peacekeepers as well as with the Red Cross.

Local Hero

Amanda Eggins, Westlawn

Amanda has created a network of support for parents of children with special needs. She seeks out, matches and shares information and programs relevant to the needs of her network members.

 

AMANDA EGGINS, Lawrence: \
AMANDA EGGINS, Lawrence: \"We do everything and anything. The power bills are so big these days we'll unplug everything from the walls every night.\"Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

Dennis Milne, Minnie Water

Dennis volunteers his time to Landcare, specifically in the area of coastal management. His efforts include: protecting threatened species, weed control, revegetation, seed collection and growing local native plants for the Minnie Water, Diggers Camp, Wooli and Sandon coastal areas.

Judith Hall, Grafton

Judith runs Judy's Jellybeans Family Day Care for children. She goes above and beyond in her role as carer in attending to the needs of both, child and families.

Marie Clark, Grafton

Marie regularly volunteers her time with the Tartan Brushy Day Club, Ferry Park Information Centre, and Ulmarra Craft and Collectables. She is also a volunteer driver for people needing transport, as well as much more.

Patrick Connelly, Grafton

(See Citizen of the Year listing)

Sally Rogers, Eatonsville

(See Citizen of the Year listing)

Roger Green, Grafton

You'll often see Roger busking in the streets. Did you know that every cent he raises goes towards supporting patients and kids with cancer? From Yamba to Grafton, Roger has been raising funds for this cause for over 12 years.

 

GENEROUS: Renowned Grafton busker Roger Green has donated $1000 to help support Dannielle Bower who is travelling to Sydney for cancer treatment.
GENEROUS: Renowned Grafton busker Roger Green has donated $1000 to help support Dannielle Bower who is travelling to Sydney for cancer treatment. Jarrard Potter

Young Citizen

Bennett Mitchelhill, Wooli

Bennett has accrued hours of selfless community service - fundraising for those in need. Specifically Bennett spent time fundraising for his friend Kane's cancer treatment, including seeking out grants, selling raffle tickets. He has also volunteered for Camp Quality, Clean up Australia Day, Surfing with the Disabled, and the Love your Sister organisations.

 

Bennett Mitchelhill who is running a fundraising raffle for his friend Kane.
Bennett Mitchelhill who is running a fundraising raffle for his friend Kane. Adam Hourigan

Emma Short, Maclean

Emma has made a significant contribution to the sphere of music and drama in the Clarence Valley. She has achieved the AMEB Certificate of Performance in the Field of Music Theatre, and was also heavily involved in the local production of the musical, Annie.

Hannah Smith, Yamba

Hannah's dedication to the Yamba SLSC has greatly benefited the community. She has been directly involved in saving two lives. Studying a double degree, Hannah was named as a finalist for the NSW Lifeguard of the Year, and has recently been awarded the 2015/16 Clarence Lifeguard of the Year.

 

The Clarence Lifeguard of the Year Hannah Smith.
The Clarence Lifeguard of the Year Hannah Smith. contributed

Jeames Young, Wooloweyah

Jeames has been exceeding expectations in surfing since first starting out as a three-year-old. He has consistently reached the podium in major competitions around Australia and the world, and was recently recognised by the High Performance Centre, Far North Coast.

Jordan Elabbasi, Yamba

Jordan has excelled at the Yamba SLSC, and was the first nipper from the club in eight years to make the Far North Coast Inter-Branch team. He has been recognised by Federal Member Kevin Hogan for his efforts.

Luke Mitchell, James Creek

Luke has excelled at Motorcycle Road Racing, regularly finishing on the podium at both State and National level. After an unfortunate injury, Luke's commitment to his recovery is a shining example for young Clarence Valley citizens.

 

Luke Mitchell waits on the starting grid at Phillip Island ahead of the ASBK Round 1 races.
AWARD NOMINEES: Among those nominated for Clarence Valley Australia Day awards are (from far left) John Hagger, Sally Rogers, Kerry Skinner, Shirley Drum, Amanda Eggins, Roger Green, Bennett Mitchelhill, Hannah Smith and Luke Mitchell. Sharon Mitchell

Community Achievement

Clarence Valley BMX Club, South Grafton

The club has made a huge contribution to Clarence Valley tourism, bringing hundreds of participants and visitors to their events, and providing a healthy, active pastime for young people.

Grafton Midnight Basketball, Grafton

Grafton Midnight Basketball is part of a nationwide social inclusion program to help 'at risk' local youth build skills and confidence, and embrace positive opportunities in their community. In 2016 the group ran programs for 60 people aged between 12-18.

Maclean District Pipe Band, Maclean

The Maclean District Pipe Band proudly represents Maclean both interstate and internationally, and has won multiple awards. Formed all the way back in 1898, Maclean District Pipe Band volunteers to perform at many events, and is critical in preserving the town's Scottish heritage.

Warm Touch, Mountain View

Warm Touch, founded in May 2015, raises funds to purchase material in order to make garments for patients at the Grafton Hospital in the oncology, renal and maternity wards. The types of garments include scarves, hats, socks, booties, knee rugs and much more.

Yamba Chamber of Commerce, Yamba

Combining with council and local business, the Yamba Chamber of Commerce continues to work on improving the attractiveness of Yamba to visitors and investors. Highlights in 2016 include: Entrance Signage, Interactive Boards, beautification of Chamber Park, Welcome Bags and more.

Yamba Lions Club, Yamba

The Yamba Lions Club has a long history of giving back to the community, and 2016 was no different, with over $15,000 raised and donated back to community groups and locals who are in need of help.