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Celebrate our proud Australia Day award winners

The five Australia Day award recipients were:
Citizen of the Year – Leone Roberts
For more than 40 years Leone has been saving the Clarence Valley through her volunteer work, making a significant contribution to many community events. A saying of her late father was, to be a good citizen you need to work for your community. Leone has certainly achieved this by the long list of organisations she has contributed too including, 42 years at Copmanhurst Public School P&C Committee, four years at Copmanhurst Saddlery Museum, 12 years on the Copmanhurst Hall Committee, 30 years as coordinator for the Cathedral Festival of Flowers, seven years at the Cathedral Op Shop, 27 years volunteer at Copmanhurst Rural Fire Service, eight years on the Heritage Committee and a couple of years for the historical society. Leone has truly made an extraordinary contribution to the Clarence Valley.
Young Citizen of the Year – Brendan Wren
Brendan is an excellent young role model for our community. From a young age Brendan has always been willing to role up his sleeves, lend a hand and volunteer his services to local organisations such as
Yamba State Emergency Service, Gulmarrad Rural Fire Service and the Maclean Show Society. He is a humble, yet dedicated young man who represented the Clarence Valley at the Region North Exercise (Rural Fire Service) and helped with the Newcastle floods/storms. At 18 years of age he became a Certificate 3 Rescue Operator (Road Crash Rescue) where he helps numerous land, road and community call outs.
Community Achievement – Grafton Jacaranda Committee
The Jacaranda Festival Committee work tirelessly all year, year after year, to bring the festival to our community. The event is integral to local tourism economy and attracts thousands of visitors to the Clarence Valley from around Australia and internationally. This extraordinary group of dedicated people have given their time to sustain this event for more than 80 years. Committee volunteers coordinate activities such as; the Jacaranda Queens and Juniors, entertainment schedules for the Venetian Carnival and Picnic in the Park, and organise events including the Fun Run, the Jacaranda Ball, Parade of Youth, Children’s Party, Baby Show, Float Procession, Crowning night, Open Gardens as well as various Clarence Valley annual fundraisers.
Community Achievement – Lower Clarence Scottish Association
The Lower Clarence Scottish Association (LCSA) brings the Scottish town in Australia, Maclean, alive to the sounds of bagpipes and drums for the annual Highland Gathering. The event is a two-day festival of music, dancing and competitive Scottish sport. For 111 years the committee has organised the annual Highland Gathering in Maclean and has become known as “the Scottish Town”. The event has grown to be one of the biggest attractions in the Clarence Valley bringing tourists and competitors alike to experience top class pipers, drummers, dancers, judges and sportspersons, this enormous task is all undertaken by LCSA committee and its volunteers.
Local Hero – Marea Buist
Under Marea’s leadership the Yamba Museum has been turned around from a tired and crowded space into an interactive learning experience that is a true and inspirational reflection of our history and culture for the community and visitors. Since 1999, Marea has volunteered at the Port of Yamba Historical Society where she is the museum manager and curator. She dedicates about 40 hours each week to ensure the continuous improvement of the museum’s displays and activities. Marea has, or still is, serving on the following local community consultation groups and organisations; Clarence Valley Heritage Committee, participated in the Cultural Plan and Clarence Valley Way project, subcommittee of Yamba Chamber of Commerce, Member of U3A, Museums Australia chapter coordinator, member of the Clarence Valley Library Local Studies Network, participant in the Relay for Life and Mother’s Day Classic raising funds for cancer research.
Check out the full list of fantastic Australia Day nominees