Wagga Wagga Australia Day Award winners announced

Published: 30 May 2018 10:58am

Wagga Wagga Australia Day Award winners announced - 24 January 2015

The Australia Day Awards Ceremony and Concert was held this evening, with a number of residents honoured for their outstanding contributions to the community.

A list of award winners and nominees is below.


2015 Citizen of the Year – Kerry Geale:

Kerry has been heavily involved in the Wagga Prostate Cancer Support Group as its President, working to have a support nurse located in the city. The Group has developed a scholarship program, the Biggest Ever Blokes lunch, and other fund-raising activities. Kerry has also volunteered an hour-and-a-half of his time every Wednesday morning for more than 20 years to deliver a gardening show on ABC Radio Riverina. During his time with ABC Radio, Kerry also participated in community events and speaking engagements about the gardening show.

Citizen of the Year nominees:

Helen Mundy

Helen is a tireless volunteer, leader, worker, wife, mother and daughter.

During 2014 Helen has spent a large proportion of her time in a volunteer capacity, giving back to our local community. Her tireless leadership in the role of President of the Wagga Women’s Health Centre – a non-government organisation whose committee are all volunteers – has resulted in many significant achievements for the Centre including the purchase of a new building, thus securing the long-term tenure of the centre after years of considerable uncertainty. Helen also volunteers her time as Treasurer on the South Wagga Public School Parents and Citizen’s Council and was one of a team of key drivers of the November school fete, which resulted in significant fund-raising achievements.

Marie Wilson

Marie has been a volunteer for the Ladysmith Red Cross for more than 50 years. Along with volunteering for the Red Cross, Marie has dedicated much of her time to the Ladysmith Memorial Hall. Her commitment and dedication has led to upgrades and maintenance work. Marie is also a life member for the P&C Community of Ladysmith Public School, contributing to many successful fund-raising activities.

Marie Cecile-Henderson

Marie is the Head of Voice at the Riverina Conservatorium of Music. She is a strong ambassador for music in Wagga Wagga and utilises her fervent leadership skills to develop performance and education opportunities for the local community, schools and Conservatorium students. She has dedicated her skills, time and expertise to numerous community events and activities including adjudicating the Catholic Schools Music Festival, accompanying students to auditions as part of the QLD Guild of Accompanists, performing at the Prime 7 Community Achievement Awards, Women’s Health Centre Charity auctions and many more.

Narelle Potts

Narelle is the Charity Coordinator of the Wagga Wagga It Takes Two events, which have raised a huge amount for local charities. Narelle has also dedicated a significant amount of her time to many charitable events and activities including the Cancer Council Relay for Life, volunteering and sewing costumes for local school musicals (even after her children had completed school) and various other fund-raising and volunteering roles.

Sister Carmel Wallis

Sister Carmel is a well-known and respected member of the Wagga Wagga community through her involvement with ErinEarth and has been a valuable community resource for nearly a decade. Sister Carmel educates residents and school children in the wonder of our universe and our place in it. She embraces all members of the community to become part of the ErinEarth story, mentors and comforts those undergoing hardship and inspires all who meed her to work harder for the protection and conservation of the natural environment.

Stanley Wilson

Stanley has been a volunteer for the Ladysmith Red Cross for more than 30 years. It doesn’t matter if it is 40 degrees or raining, Stanley would be the first to assist with any function, big or small, and the last to leave. Stanley has also dedicated much of his time to the Ladysmith Memorial Hall where he has previously held the roles of President and Trustee.

2015 Young Citizen of the Year – Sally Tanner:

Sally sets an example to the youth of the community. She is actively involved in the cultural, sporting and social fabric of the community and displays and enthusiasm that is contagious.

Sally is a regular blood donor, has represented her school on ANZAC Day and at the Centenary of World War I ceremony and she was a representative of the Diocese of Wagga Wagga at the 2013 Inaugural Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Melbourne. Sally has managed to juggle rigorous demands of study and leadership at school, along with sporting and dancing commitments and giving her time to be involved on and contribute to the Sister City Committee.

Young Citizen of the Year nominees:

Sharna Solomon

Sharna has participated in the Cutti Cutti Program, which is based around Aboriginal culture and has aired in Alaska, Canada and Japan. She was a participant in the Aboriginal Dance Program, allowing her to perform as part of the Bangarra Dance Studio, including a performance to the Rotary International Conference, which saw more than 15,000 delegates from across the world attend. Sharna has been involved in many other performances and has donated her time to events such as the NAIDOC Community Day, School Performances, PaCE Family Fun day and more. She is a bright and talented person and a role model to all her peers. She believes in her culture to keep it thriving.

2015 Ted Ryder Sports Memorial Award – Steven Kimball:

In his current role as the President of the Wagga Rugby League, Steven has overseen the upgrades to McDonald’s Park where he has been the driving influence in the additions of the spectator hills and upgraded grandstand. In addition to the countless hours on administrative tasks, Steve has also spent many hours on manual labour. Steven has also been the previous President of Wagga Junior Rugby League and Wagga Brothers Rugby League Club. Steven has not only contributed greatly to his own club, but has extended his volunteer roles and commitments to benefit junior and senior Wagga based League clubs along with the Rugby League and Wagga Wagga communities as a whole.

Ted Ryder Sports Memorial Award Nominees:

Julie McLean

Julie co-founded the Riverina Lions Women’s Australian Football Club in 2003 and since then has worked tirelessly to ensure the longevity of the club. In the years she has not held an executive role such as Treasurer or Vice President, she has served as a hardworking committee member. Julie has also performed a number of committee roles with the ACT Women’s AFL. Her efforts were recognised in 2008 with Life Membership to both the Riverina Lions WAFC and AFL Canberra. Julie has played a vital role in the day-to-day management of the club over many years. The most significant contribution that Julie has made, however, has been through her role as Captain. She has been a fantastic role model on the field and her positive and encouraging approach has resulted in the increased skill development of many new players to the game.

Kylie Cowell

Kylie has been involved with the Royals Hockey Club since 1976 as a player, committee member, board member, coach, umpire and as part of team management (including the incorporation of the club). Kylie is a dedicated worker in assisting with the ongoing running and promotion of the sport in the city. Kylie was made a Life Member of the Royals in 2010. Kylie has also served on the Board for the Wagga Combined Hockey Association.

Peter Lloyd

Peter joined the Wagga Wagga Croquet Club in 2000 and during this time has been President, Vice President, Secretary and Captain. He has always been keen to see the Club develop and has been instrumental in encouraging local Secondary schools to utilise Croquet in their sport/movement curriculums and promote the club facilities to the wider community. Peter has organised and conducted Association Carnivals, which have brought many visitors to the City. He has also introduced a coaching program for the Club. He has liaised with Wagga Council to renew the Club’s lease and licence agreement and has been successful with numerous grants. In 2009, Peter was awarded the Bess Webster Memorial Award for contribution to the Club. In 2013 he was made a Life Member for his outstanding devotion to the Club.

Rodney Parsons

Rodney Parsons OAM has made an invaluable contribution to racing in the Riverina over the past three decades. A retired chartered accountant, Mr Parsons was first elected to the Murrumbidgee Turf Club (MTC) Board of Directors in 1989. His 25-year involvement as an MTC Director has included 19 years as voluntary treasurer. Mr Parsons has also served on the Southern District Racing Association (SDRA) committee. Mr Parsons, who has been a racehorse owner and breeder, remains in both his MTC and SDRA roles in an honorary capacity. He has been involved in a number of major projects during his tenure with the MTC, including the construction of a new track, grandstand and big screen. In 2006 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his services to the Wagga community and accountancy. Mr Parsons continues to serve the community, holding the position of Chairman of the Wagga Base Hospital auxiliary.

2015 Walk of Honour – Henry Arthur Nixon:

Arthur served in World War II in both PNG and Borneo and often speaks with young recruits in training at Kapooka. He has served 10 years on the TAFE Board and has worked in many service and community clubs including Apex and the High School P&C. Arthur has been a member of Rotary for 40 years and has obtained a Paul Harris Fellow. During his time with Rotary he has been involved with many community projects. He was a member of the Wagga Base Hospital board for 10 years, is a member of the Probus Club (and has been a previous President) and has been an active legacy member. Arthur worked for family business, Nixon Engineering which has been operating in Wagga Wagga since 1960

Walk of Honour Nominees:

Yvonne O’Connor

Yvonne O’Connor has taught dance in the Wagga Wagga community for more than 45 years with 2014 marking her 47th annual concert. Yvonne choreographs dances, designs costumes and prepares the students (some as young as three) for the concert’s two performances and donates the proceeds to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Yvonne’s commitment to the local community is outstanding; assisting the St Andrew’s Fete Committee by attending with her dancers and also performs in nursing homes and aged care facilities with her dancers. Her commitment to the City of Wagga Eisteddfod is legendary. Miss O’Connor was awarded Life Membership of the Royal Academy of Dance in 2004. She continues to be an active member of the Wagga community.

2015 Sporting Hall of Fame Local Legend – Barry O’Hagan:

Barry was an outstanding cyclist and excellent rugby league player and coach.

He competed internationally as a cyclist and represented Riverina as a rugby league player.

Barry rode his whole career as a professional cyclist, often earning big prize money in the days when the sport attracted huge crowds and sponsorships. For example in 1960 he won the 3000-metre Latrobe Wheel race in Tasmania. The race featured the best Australian cyclists and the prize money was the equivalent of three years wages.

After the Wagga cycling club closed between 1965 and 1975, Barry was part of a new committee who re-established the club in 1975. They raffled two cars to raise funds to reseal the velodrome at Wagga cycling track, which is still in use today.

Barry is a long term President of the Wagga and Tolland cycling clubs and a life member of both. He is still a senior state official with the NSW Cycling Federation.

Apart from his work at a local level, Barry contributes to the sport these days as an assistant handicapper at state level, where his role is to make a judgement about handicaps to apply to cyclists depending on their ability. Since 1998 he has also been a State Commissar (formerly known as referees).

2015 Sporting Hall of Fame Inductee – Sally Shipard:

Sally Shipard is Wagga Wagga’s only home grown football player to have represented their country. Sally was born in Tumut, along with her three brothers. The family moved to Wagga when Sally was three years old and this is where she played all her junior football.

In 1993 Sally joined her first club, PCYC at five years of age and she mixed it comfortably with the boys. In her early teenage years she moved clubs to Wagga United, to continue playing both with boys and the Women’s teams up to 2004.

Sally showed great skill across multiple sports competing at state level in football and cricket, 1999 (PSSA), 2003, 2004 (CHS). Sally’s first national selection came when she was selected in the Australian Schoolgirls’ team in 2003.

In 2005, Sally moved to Sydney and attended a sporting high school on a NSWIS (NSW Institute of Sport) Scholarship.

Sally represented Australia in the Under 20s national team on 21 occasions, debuting early in 2004. She was selected in the national women’s football squad the Matildas.  Over the next 10 years she made 57 appearances, scored four goals and had the major highlight of being crowned Asian Champions in 2010. During this time she also represented Australia at the FIFA World Cup in 2007 and 2011.

From 2009 to 2014 Sally represented Canberra United in the W-League. She played 30 games and scored 4 goals.  She was named the W-League Player of the Year in 2011/2012.

In 2012 Sally also played 10 games for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga (German premier Women’s division). She was asked to go over for the remaining part of the season and help the team avoid relegation, which they did.

Sally retired from the Matildas in 2014 due to ongoing degenerative issues with her knees.