Wagga Wagga Australia Day Award nominees announced

Published: 22 Jan 2018 9:29am

Nominees for the 2018 Wagga Wagga Australia Day Awards have been announced ahead of the ceremony to be held on Thursday 25 January.

There are eight nominees for Citizen of the Year, one nominee for Young Citizen of the Year and two for the Ted Ryder Memorial Award.

Two athletes will be inducted into the Wagga Wagga Sporting Hall of Fame and one person will be inducted into the hall’s Local Legends category.

“It’s great to see so many outstanding members of our community recognised through the award nomination process,” Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said.

“The Australia Day Awards honour the hard work and dedication of people in our community who make the city a better place.

“The award nominees represent some of Wagga Wagga’s many unsung heroes, from tireless community advocates to long-serving volunteers, and I would like to congratulate them on behalf of our city.”

Unfortunately there were no nominations for the prestigious Walk of Honour that met the criteria

The Beyond Bank Australia Day Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 25 January from 7pm in the Victory Memorial Gardens. Along with the awards, there will be a concert by the Australian Army Band Kapooka who will be joined by the national anthem competition finalists.

All community members are invited to attend the awards, which will have food and drink available for purchase and a pop-up bar. The awards and Australia Day celebrations will be attended by Wagga Wagga’s Australia Day Ambassador, artist Yianni Johns.

Also on Thursday is a Picnic and Movie night at the Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre from 7pm to 9pm, with free entry.

Australia Day itself will begin with a free community breakfast courtesy of Kooringal Rotary and Triple M Riverina at the Victory Memorial Gardens from 7am. Hit 93.1 Riverina will be providing free activities, including a thong throwing competition, continuous cricket game, AFL skills competition and more.

At 9am, 28 people from nine countries will officially become Australians at the annual Australia Day citizenship ceremony to be held at the Civic Centre Forecourt.

Rounding out the weekend of celebrations will be the 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay at Bolton Park on Sunday 28 January. There will be a free breakfast courtesy of Sunrise Rotary and Wagga Wagga Marketplace Woolworths from 8am and the official ceremony from 9am.

“Along with some great free activities and events as part of Australia Day, the Queen’s Baton Relay will be an important moment in Wagga Wagga’s history as we are the first stop for the baton in NSW as the relay makes its way to the Gold Coast,” Cr Conkey said.

For more information, visit www.wagga.nsw.gov.au/australiaday or to find out what other events are in on Wagga over the Australia Day long weekend go to www.visitwagga.com.


Citizen of the Year Nominees

For outstanding service to the community

Phillip Sheather: Phillip is a member of Wagga Uniting Church worshipping at Wesley Church and over the past 20 years has been responsible for initiating many community programs. Phillip coordinates teams of volunteers to assist in the running these services, which include a food hamper ministry, Good Samaritan Christmas lunch, bread ministry provides and breakfast program at local primary schools.

Phillip Hoey: A first aid instructor since 1979, Phillip is currently working with Anglicare and is involved with the Asthma Foundation and Heart Foundation. He was the National Stroke Ambassador for Wagga Wagga, a finalist in the NSW Rotary Paramedic of the Year, awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship for humanitarian work and the Paul Harris Fellow Award.

Michael Georgiou: Arriving in Wagga Wagga from Cyprus in 1950, Michael has given back to the community in many ways. He has been on various school boards, was a foundation member of the Wagga Ethnic Community Council, is a life member of 2AAA, is a Greek language interpreter for Centrelink, president of the Wagga Wagga Greek Orthodox Church and Community, and is a former Deputy Mayor.

Geraldine Duncan: Apart from her heavy practice workload, Dr Duncan took on the role of the region’s refugee doctor some years ago. Having first set up the Refugee Clinic at the then Murrumbidgee Medicare Local, Dr Duncan regular went above and beyond to attend meetings with government officials to ensure refugees were properly represented. She is also a regular clinic for Calvary’s drug and alcohol unit and helps reach rural medial students.

Amy Gray: Amy is an advocate for those living on the autism spectrum after her son was diagnosed at the age of three. Amy organised the Light it up blue for autism gala ball and raised over $30,000 for Kurrajong Early Intervention Service. In 2015, she founded the Marvellous Max project, a free autism awareness campaign aimed at primary school students that has been shown in 400 schools and is now also a book.

Tony Aichinger: Tony has been dedicated to helping people across the Riverina for many years. Last October he cycled 4000km in 20 days to raise $300,000 for Ronald McDonald House charities. He is a local and national board member for Ronald McDonald House charities, while through his business he supports many junior sports teams.

Annette St Clair: Annette is the founding director of the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust, named in honour of her daughter. Annette’s work with the trust provides ongoing education on melanoma and a melanoma support group. She was also a driving force behind fundraising for a specialist melanoma care nurse for the Riverina. Annette’s work saw her awarded the 2017 Local Woman of the Year and she is also a life member of the Blue-Js Softball Club.

Fay Walters: Fay is a committee member and life member of the Wagga Wagga School of Arts and has held many roles – from publicity and promotions manager to taking to the stage as a director and actor. Fay has helped foster local creative talent over the past 40 years and works to keep community theatre active in Wagga Wagga.

Young Citizen of the Year Nominees

27 years and younger, for outstanding service to the community

Francis Elliott-Rudder: Francis has completed the Blue Star leadership and citizenship program with the NSW PCYC, which including creating a weekly archery course that he is currently running, His work saw him awarded the PCYC Young Person of the Year 2016, while he was also selected to represent Australia at the One Young World 2017 conference in Colombia. Francis also takes part in many volunteer activities both through his church and Rotary club.

Ted Ryder Memorial Award

For contributions to sporting organisations through administration and general service

Robert Hay: Bob has been involved with the Wagga Wagga Little Athletics Club for almost 16 years and the Wagga Junior Brothers for almost 20 years. Bob has held every executive position on the athletics committee and has been described as the backbone of the club. Bob has helped bring regional and state carnivals to Wagga and to secure grant funding for the club.

Peter Lloyd: Peter has been a member of the Wagga Wagga Croquet Club since 2000 and has held various roles in that time, including president, vice president, secretary and captain. He has expanded the sport in Wagga and around the region through schools, carnivals, coaching and more. He was made a life member of the club in 2009.