A list of nominees for the annual Clarence Valley Australia Day awards has been released and, according to Mayor, Richie Williamson, it shows the region has a lot to be proud of. Cr Williamson said the list contained nominees from creators to carers, potters and performers. “This is a list of people who contribute to the community, showcase their talents and help others,” he said. “These committed locals deserve to be put in the spotlight for their outstanding achievements and contributions. This is the community’s opportunity to thank and acknowledge them for their commitment to the Clarence Valley.” Cr Williamson said the awards were the foundation of the Australia Day celebrations and provided encouragement, motivation and inspiration for the community to contribute in the same manner. The Australia Day awards dinner next year will be held at the Yamba Golf and Country Club. Tickets are available from the club for $35 a head. Cr Williamson said it was always a great night where attendees could honour nominees, be entertained and enjoy a three-course meal. The annual Clarence Valley Australia Day awards will be held on Monday January 25, 2016 from 5:30pm, at Yamba Golf & Country Club (6646 2104). Cost is $35 per head. And the nominees are: Nikita Avery – Nikita has just completed her HSC with tremendous success in her academic studies, whilst continuing to balance employment, volunteer work, sport with social engagements. She maintains a smile on her face and gratitude in her heart. Gary Brisbane – Gary’s hands on involvement in cultural, environmental and community activities has long been a significant and positive part of the Clarence Valley. His quiet and unassuming approach with his volunteer work represents well the work of all volunteers. Stacey Brown – Stacey Brown demonstrates what commitment, determination, dedication and love of a sport can bring to such a young life. Stacey’s achievements at a both NSW and Australian levels clearly demonstrate how hard Stacey works at all aspects of her sport to achieve these outstanding results and representing the Clarence Valley. Marea Buist – Under Marea’s leadership, the Yamba Museum has been turned around from a tired and crowded space into an interactive learning experience which is a true and inspirational reflection of our history and culture for the community and visitors. Darrell Couch – Darrell Couch is an outstanding volunteer for Grafton Meals on Wheels and is our local hero. He would be a valuable asset in any organisation and is a great ambassador for Grafton and the Clarence Valley. Brandon Disson – Brandon is a young man with a big heart full of compassion and empathy. He is determined to make the world a better place and leads by example as a role model to the youth of the Clarence Valley. Shirley Drum – Hard working 84 year old who has a heart of gold. Loves all she does and her activities keep her mentally and physically mobile. She is truly devoted to the senior community in the Clarence Valley. Grafton Jacaranda Committee – The Jacaranda Festival Committee work tirelessly all year, year after year, to bring the festival to our community which is integral to local tourism and economy. There is an unprecedented amount of hard work and dedication given by this extraordinary group of people. David Griffiths – David Griffiths is a proud Aussie who contributes to his community without being noticed. He is untiring in his work for our community to have our flag raised every day. Happy Paws Haven – Happy Paws volunteers are unpaid, dedicated and compassionate people who work tirelessly to give animals a clean, safe environment. Their strength, courage and commitment provide an amazing safe haven for over a hundred of animals at one time. Ian James – Ian brings happiness to others with his outgoing personality and always offers to help. He never looks for accolades or thanks for what he does. Ian knows many local people in the Clarence Valley and that makes him a great volunteer asset as he can make a conversation about a range of topics with anyone. Kellie Jones – Kellie Jones is a valued and capable radio presenter in the Clarence. Her popularity gives a strong country music following. She is sight impaired but she shines as broadcasting volunteer. She is also an accomplished Clarence Valley potter. Lower Clarence Scottish Association – The Lower Clarence Scottish Association brings the Scottish town in Australia alive to the sounds of bag pipes and drums for the annual Maclean Highland Gathering in a 2 day festival of music, dancing and competitive Scottish sport for the community. Patricia McDonald – Patty illustrates the real ‘power of one’ by doing instead of talking. She’s a neighbourhood angel and tireless community worker. Debrah Novak – Debrah is a local identity. Her work in the creative and media industries helps promote everything wonderful that the Clarence has to offer. Morgen Parkin – Morgen is an ex-Nipper and junior patrol member at the Minnie Water- Wooli Surf Life Saving Club. Morgen continues to compete at surf life saving carnivals and is at the Club every Nipper day to undertake water safety duties. Port of Yamba Historical Society – Yamba Museum chronicles the history and culture of the area through photographs and stories about the people and events that have made Yamba unique. Showcasing special, topical exhibitions and visual arts displays, Yamba Museum has become the cultural hub of the Lower Clarence. Leonie Roberts – For over 40 years Leonie 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. Leonie has certainly achieved this. Sally Rogers – Sally is a symbol to many people in our Valley that following building and growing their dreams is possible. Sally is a beacon of inspiration. Janette Seymour – Janette is an active devoted community worker. She shows compassion to her neighbours and community with her pastoral care and work in local schools. She has a drive to keep her local neighbourhood clean and tidy with her daily collection of roadside rubbish. John Shearer – John is a recognised Australian master of Mindfulness who is passionate about his purpose which is to help people with mental suffering. His objective is to lobby for mindfulness in schools to reduce bullying, antisocial behaviour, depression and anxiety. Elaine Stephenson – The inner strength and power of a consummate supervisor or co-ordinator is evident from a vast bank of communications sensitivities and skills. Elaine’s commitment to fundraise and volunteer in her community is exceptional and that of a true local hero. Joelle Webber – Joelle is an intelligent, inward and outwardly beautiful young woman with a passion for a kinder future. She advocates for the health and wellbeing of women and children by campaigning for white ribbon warriors and teal wings of hope. Brendan Wren – Brendan is an excellent young role model for our community, from a young age Brendan has always been willing to roll up his sleeve and lend a hand. He is dedicated to his community. Yamba Lions Club – Yamba Lions Club has been working in the community for over 40 years and has donated approximately $400,000 to local charities and individuals. The Lions Club has a very dedicated group of Lions who spend hours for their Club and deserve any recognition that they receive.