Songs, speeches, citizenship oaths and splashing around marked Australia Day in the Upper Hunter Shire.
Ceremonies were held in Scone, Merriwa, Murrurundi and Aberdeen where outstanding Upper Hunter citizens were recognised with Australia Day awards.
Upper Hunter Citizen of the Year was awarded to Beryl Bates.
Beryl is a gem in the community, working voluntarily in many areas to support different organisations. For the past 15 years, with her husband Errol, she has organised and trained the Debutantes and their partners for the St Lukes Deb Ball. Together they sponsor the Upper Hunter Shire Young Citizens Awards for each District and the overall Shire Young Citizen Award.
Beryl is President and Catering Secretary of St Luke’s Women’s Guild and serves as a committee member with the Upper Hunter Shire Youth Council. She has been Booking Officer for 27 years and Secretary for 24 years for the Bunnan Memorial Hall Committee and has helped in the canteen for the Bunnan Campdraft for 35 years.
Beryl has been the Communications Officer for the Bunnan Rural Fire Services and is currently the assistant Secretary and Publicity Officer for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Scone Support Groups and can often be seen in her red shirt with a bucket collecting money for this worthy cause.
Upper Hunter Young Citizen of the year was awarded to Tyler Austin.
Tyler is a well rounded individual who has excelled in all facets of his life. Tyler completed his HSC in 2013 and has gained entry into Charles Sturt University, Wagga to study Agricultural Science. In 2013, Tyler instigated the reintroduction of the poultry section at the Merriwa Show after a 33 year absence. This involved forming working committees, building cages, sourcing sponsorship and running the event on the day.
Over the years Tyler has participated in many extra-curricular and community programs such as Peer Support Program, Schools Steers Program, Beef Bonanza, Little Sprouts, Young Endeavour, Festival of the Fleeces, Rotary Exchange and Relay for Life.
Tyler is an accomplished sportsperson particularly football. In recent years Tyler has been selected for the Greater Northern Academy Team, Group 21 Representative Team and to compete in the NSW Country Championships. Tyler has been chosen as the Player of the Series and Most Consistent Player multiple times.
The full list of Australia Day awards follows.
Australia Day Ambassadors – performer Darren Coggan in Scone and Aberdeen, pilot Matt Hall in Merriwa and Olympian boxer Rick Timperi in Murrurundi – shared their inspiring stories.
After the ceremonies there was free entry and fun activities at pools in Murrrurundi, Scone and Merriwa.
2014 AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS
Citizen of the Year Brian Hunt
Young Citizen of the Year Jake Speck
Sportstar of the Year Blandford Public School “All Stars”
Young Sportstar of the Year Jake Chapple
Community Group of the Year Murrurundi Lions Club and
Murrurundi Hospital Auxillary – (Joint award)
Special Award for Excellence – above and beyond Zina Daniel