Shire’s 2015 Australia Day

Shire’s 2015 Australia Day TweetFacebookCommunity Service Citizen of the Year – Tim Leader

As a member and position holder in three community groups – Bellingen Lions Club, Bellingen SES and Bellingen Showground Trust, Tim has worked on a wide range of projects that have been a direct benefit to the Community over the past 30 years. Tim has held all the important positions in his Lions Club, and has been actively involved with work projects including the Showground, Cemetery and Bellorana Nursing Home.

His 16 years work with the Showground Trust has seen him President for three terms, and he has put in countless hours building, replacing, upgrading, maintaining and repairing the heritage buildings and grounds of the Showground. Tim has been involved with the SES for 22 years, many years as the Deputy Controller. Currently, he is acting Controller, responsible for SES members, liaison with SES HQ, co-ordinating SES rescues and training, flood alerts and monitoring and all thing related to natural disasters in the valley.

Sportsperson of the Year – Justin Alford

Justin is another young person we have seen before. Playing in his chosen sport of Hockey, Justin has had a very successful year playing in Division 1 men’s hockey who won gold at Coffs Harbour, the first time in 7 years. His team won the Premiership in Grafton Premier League, and Justin was named Players Player by his Club.

Justin was named in the NSW Open Men’s Country Team which went on to win Gold at the Nationals. From there, he was named in the Australian U21’s Country Team to tour Fiji in December to compete in the Oceania Pacific Cup. And so it goes on, a very busy year for Justin and an inspiration for many other young players and fostering a local interest in the sport of Hockey.

Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Jonty Neaves

Jonty is one of those all-round sportspeople that leave us mere mortals shaking our head in wonder. A student at Bellingen High School, Jonty’s sporting endeavours cover:-

Athletics; where he is the School 16 years Champion, Mid North coast CHS 16 years Champion and North Coast CHS 16 years Champion. In the NSW CHS Athletics he was 7th in the 800m

Cross country; where he is the Bellingen High School 16 years age Champion; runner-up Mid North Coast CHS 16 years age Champion; runner-up North coast CHS 16 years age Champion.

Cricket; where he was part of the Bellingen High School Zone Championship Team; he was selected for the Mid North Coast CHS Open Team as well as selected for the North Coast CHS Open Team.

Jonty’s favourite sport, however, is AFL Football, and to pursue this avenue he has to find opportunities outside the School environment, which he does. Jonty has assisted younger members of the school as a role model and helping to run sports events such as umpiring cricket and helping in primary school athletics carnivals.

Team of the Year – 19 Years Girls Futsal Team – Bellingen High School

The 19 Years Girls Futsal Team were undefeated through all their preliminary rounds and were the Northern NSW Champions. This qualified them for the Australian Championships and they were again undefeated during the preliminary rounds. In the Semi-finals the Team defeated Robina High School 8 – 2 and qualified for the finals against Harristown SHS (a football academy school).

The team won the Grand Final 6 – 3, and were announced the Australian Champions.

Community Event of the Year – Bellingen Agricultural Show

The Bellinger River Agricultural Show is an iconic regional event that has run for more than 140 years. The Show combines traditional agricultural activities and exhibitions, arts and crafts and top class local entertainment. In recent years the Show has grown significantly and the program is continually evolving to maintain its relevance within the local community.

The Vision Statement for the Show expresses not only what the Show means to the Society but also what it delivers to the community that supports it. The Society’s vision is for a “sustainable, inclusive community event which reflects the past, celebrates the present and looks to the future”. This year the gate numbers, entries in all sections, trade stalls and displays increased. A successful year again.

Creative Arts Youth Award – Abigail Hardinge

This year the Creative Arts Award goes to Abigail Hardinge, last year a year 6 student at St Mary’s School in Bellingen. Abigail submitted a poem in the nationally recognised ‘BOSTES Write On’ competition. BOSTES stands for Board of Studies Teaching and Education Standards, and is the peak educational organisation in NSW. Abigail competed against students from all over NSW, and won one of six gold Medals awarded in her age group.

Abigail’s poem will now be published in the ‘Write On Anthology’, a book published by BOSTES and sold to Schools across the country and internationally to inspire students in their writing. Abigail’s win reflects the high standards of education in rural Australia, and brings prestige to her School and the Bellinger Shire she lives in.

Wings, By Abigail Hardinge

Tears of grief, sadness and fear

I wish for her to hold me near

There’s an emptiness that swirls around

It fills every corner without a sound

I know she’s gone, through clouds and sky

She didn’t even say goodbye

I have a feeling, deep down inside

A pain, an ache it’s hard to describe

Then one day, she’s back

Blue, white and black

Wings spread wide, feathery head held high

I knew then, she never died

I followed her through green and brown

Through trunks and leaves, out of town

Rustling leaves whispered above

While twigs and sticks cracked, dry, unloved

She led me to a pond so clear

With snow-drops and lilies, the fear is not here

She looked into my heart with bright brown eyes

And whispered to me this is not goodbye

She then sang a song, pure and sweet

Her song, our song, our hearts meet

The song that previously healed all worry

Her eyes say the message, I am truly sorry

That song healed me, my thoughts, my heart

It stitched me up, where I had fallen apart

It reminded me, my job my duty

It reminded me of life’s true beauty

My mother, gave me wings, she made me fly

Now it’s no longer, me myself and I

She left, but I know she’ll always watch me

She’s there in the stars, the rivers, the trees

And so now I’m strong, I live, I love

Forever in my mind, my mother, my dove

I feel her warmth, her passion, her care

Everything I do because I know she’s there

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