Citizens take centre stage on Australia Day

Published: 31 Jan 2020 2:55pm

Five outstanding Wagga Wagga residents were honoured for their community contributions, and the city welcomed 41 new citizens from 17 countries, to highlight Australia Day celebrations this year.

The Australia Day award winners were named at a community event at the Civic Theatre on Friday 24 January.

The Citizenship Ceremony at Wagga Beach on Sunday, 26 January, was one of the main events at a community breakfast and activities morning on Australia Day.

More than 200 family and friends of the 41 new citizens gathered for the formal ceremony conducted by Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM.

It was one of the largest citizenship ceremonies the city has seen. Last year, 194 people received their Australian citizenship.

Citizen of the Year was awarded to Lynne Graham for outstanding service to the community, recognising her dedication and hard work at the Community Kitchen and also the establishment of CareVan Wagga.

CareVan provides meal services to those in need across Wagga’s outlying suburbs.

Meghan Graham, 17, was named Young Citizen of the Year for her community work at various organisations and events including the Baptist Church Community Kitchen, Kurrajong Race Day, Daffodil Day and RESPECT Day.

Meghan is a student at The Riverina Anglican College.

The 2020 Walk of Honour inductee is John Mason who is known for his tireless volunteer work in trying to help people.

John is an active member of South Wagga Rotary Club and Wagga Wagga Men’s Shed.

A new award introduced this year was the Environmental Citizen of the Year, with Ben Holt named the inaugural recipient.

Ben is a passionate educator who wants to work with the community to focus on the environment in the local area.

Geoffrey Jacobson has been recognised for his contribution to local sport, being named the recipient of the Ted Ryder Memorial Sports Award.

He has been involved in volleyball, rugby league and Australian football, in various capacities, over a number of years.

The award recipients for this year are:

Citizen of the Year – Lynne Graham

Young Citizen of the Year – Meghan Graham

Environmental Citizen of the Year – Ben Holt

Ted Ryder Sports Memorial – Geoffrey Jacobson

Walk of Honour – John Mason