Richmond Valley Council’s Citizen of the Year Bill Evans.
Richmond Valley Council’s Citizen of the Year Bill Evans.

A day for the best to shine

After much work by the Hall Committee and other volunteers, Ellangowan played host to Richmond Valley Council’s Australia Day celebrations on Tuesday.

Mayor Col Sullivan said he was “very proud to be Australian”.

“There were those who thought Ellangowan was too small to hold the function and that we should keep it in Casino, Evans Head or Coraki so I’m really proud to come out here today and see such a big gathering,” Mayor Sullivan said.

Australia Day ambassador and author Libby Hathorn said she was moved by the words of Betty Bolton, a Bundjalung woman from Ellangowan who gave the Welcome to Country.

“I love the idea of singing the country into existence,” Libby said. “I want to talk about singing up our country.

“Beauty rich and rare is a line we sing but something we don’t talk about.

“Poetry helps make you smart... If you don’t share poetry with your kids you’re walking past the best.

“On this Australia Day all Australians should celebrate our ancient past and our recent past.”

Ms Hathorn finished her address by inviting the audience to join her in a recital of Dorothea Mackellar’s My Country.

Bill Evans was named Richmond Valley’s Citizen of the Year.

Bill has been involved with the Casino Rescue Squad for the last 30 years and has given his skills and time to Beef Week and the Casino Show Society.

At Ballina’s Australia Day awards Roslyn Mayberry was named Citizen of the Year (over 21); Kylie Izzard Young Citizen of the Year; Trudi Nash Volunteer of the Year; and Jay Meaney Sportsperson of the Year. Quota International Alstonville/Wollongbar were given Community Event of the Year for their Arts and Crafts Community Fair and special mention was also made to Ballina Shire State Emergency Service for their efforts in the May storm, along with their long history of providing service to the community.

Kyogle’s Citizen of the year was Mary Gibson; Junior Citizen Billy Bevan; Sportsperson of the Year Christopher Duley; Junior Sportsperson Daniel Parry and the Community Achievement Award was given to Kathryn Kermode.


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