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A very humble Clarence Electorate Local Woman of the Year Gwendolyn Gray with Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis & Richmond Valley Mayor Robert Mustow. Image: contributed.

Gulaptis officially declares local children’s author and bushfire hero ‘Clarence Electorate Local Woman of the Year’

Richmond Valley children’s storyteller and bushfire hero Gwendolyn Gray has been officially named Clarence Electorate Local Woman of the Year by Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis at a small ceremony hosted by the MP at Casino Library attended by Richmond Valley Mayor Robert Mustow and the author’s much-loved family and friends.

“Gwendolyn believes a big part of art is giving back to the community and she does that in spades, particularly by donating the profits from her latest book to Casino Rotary, with proceeds going to the local bushfire appeal,” Mr Gulaptis said.

The title of that book is, appropriately, Bucket the Naughty Duckling and the Large Bushfire but Mr Gulaptis said his interest was picqued by the second book in the series, Bucket the Naughty Duckling’s First Day at School.

The Naughty Duckling’s First Day at School beautifully illustrates the tools children can use to adjust to new situations and deal with bullies, such as learning to face them with self-confidence and self-acceptance,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“I certainly could have used that advice on my first day in Parliament a decade ago and it should be required reading for anyone planning a career in politics.”

Mr Gulaptis noted that Gwendolyn had also donated artwork for auction for fundraising events, including the local bushfire appeal, and donates her time to schools and the community with teaching and lecturing of art.

He said she was a founding member of the Casino Art Group and had for many years worked in the health services sector.

“You are a popular choice for this modest award because you are so widely respected in the local community and beyond for your graciousness, your generosity, your kindness and your many talents,” Mr Gulaptis told her.

 “With International Women’s Day approaching on Monday March 8, I salute you, your friends at Rotary and indeed all the women who make the Clarence and Richmond Valleys happier and safer places to live,” Mr Gulaptis concluded.

All books in Gwendolyn Gray’s Naughty Duckling series can be bought online for $18 each at

Gwendolyn will travel to Sydney on March 10 with her daughter to attend the NSW Women of the Year Awards ceremony at the International Convention Centre. Mr Gulaptis will also attend this special occasion.