Ballina honours its community heroes

Libby Zulpo is seen here with her two disabled daughters Belinda (left) and Amanda (right). Libby was named Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year for providing a safe, warm and loving home for her three disabled adult children.

Im just a mum, said Libby Zulpo as she accepted her award as Ballina Shire Citizen of the year on Australia Day. Libby is the full-time carer for her three disabled children two are unable to speak and are completely dependent on her, requiring assistance with every aspect of their daily lives.

Im a full-time carer with lots and lots of help, she said. Their dad helps out and we have home care. All the workers coming into the house all the time puts smiles on their faces and makes my job 100 times easier.

Anyone would do it. If you are a mum you would do it. After I hear what all these other people have done, all these wonderful things I feel a bit funny about gettting the award, because Im just a mum.

Other winners on the day were Gerry Burnage who was named Volunteer of the Year for his 20 years work with the Ballina Shire State Emergency Service where he holds the job of controller.

Ballina SES is the primary road crash rescue team for the shire and is the busiest rural unit in the state. Gerry has been part of the team since its inception and attended over 90 per cent of all crashes in the area.

It does take a team effort, he said as he accepted his award. I couldnt do it without the rest of the guys and girls.

Former Ballina High School captain Sally Hunt was named Young Citizen of the Year while APEX Alstonville took out the gong for community event of the year with its organisation of the family New Years Eve celebration at Alstonville Showgrounds.

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