Clarence Valley Australia Day Award Winners.
Clarence Valley Australia Day Award Winners.

WINNERS: Our Australia Day local legends

AT this year’s Clarence Valley Australia Day awards, there were so many worthwhile winners, they awarded the top prize to two people.

The selection committee could not split two nominees for the Citizen of the Year award, giving the prize to Bob Carnaby and Patrick Connelly.

Bob’s citation says he always assisted people in need and learnt new skills to help them out.

He established a branch of “The Lab” – a technology club for young people with autism/Aspergers, which he runs on weekends.

He is a volunteer ambassador for The Stroke Foundation and travels between towns delivering presentations on stroke prevention and is the only volunteer of this kind within a 400km radius.

Bob provides support for cancer survivors through the Cancer Council’s Survivorship Enrichment Program and is an active member of the Ngerrie Land Council and Aboriginal Men’s Group.

For the past 50 years Patrick Connelly has been helping the community of the Grafton/Clarence/Coffs area with his charity work including a Red Rock and Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving volunteer, Grafton Hockey Assoc, Youth Off the Streets mentor, Youth Suicide Prevention program mentor, Jacaranda Festival volunteer and “Dame Edna” impersonator, Aboriginal Youth mentor and Grafton U3A member.

Patrick is a “larger than life” identity throughout the Clarence Valley and was awarded an OAM in 2019.

Norma Jenkins is living proof that you’re never too old to make a difference to people’s lives.

At 89 years old, she visits the Mareeba Aged Care facility weekly, and has done so for the past nine years.

She was rewarded by being presented the Clarence Valley Local Hero Award at the Clarence Valley Australia Day awards held at the Yamba Golf Club last night.

According to her citation, Norma distributes chocolates, fruit, lollies and magazines to different groups and converses with as many residents as time allows.

She used to drive her car to Mareeba, experiencing difficulty in walking to the entrance but she solved the problem by purchasing a motorised scooter so she could continue her weekly visits.

Norma is a very generous person who always puts her family and the Mareeba Aged Care residents’ comfort before her own.

The Yamba Lions Club was awarded the Clarence Valley Community Group Achievement Award.

Dedicated to serving their community, they continually support the local community by way of fundraising such as bingo and raffles at various clubs in Yamba, food vans, street markets, food festivals, preparing and serving over 170 meals for Yamba Seniors Week and they provide train sets and merry-go-rounds when requested.

Eden Annesley was awarded the Young Citizen of the year.