Wagga's Mayor and 2020 Environmental Citizen of the Year holding small Australian flags and standing next to lagoon


Let’s recognise our local heroes

Published: 09 Oct 2020 9:06am

Achievements by the city’s youth and other citizens working to preserve the environment will be a key focus of next year’s Australia Day Awards for people who have made significant community contributions.

The Environmental Citizen of the Year award was introduced for the 2020 awards program and recognises outstanding efforts by individuals or organisations which help the environment, reduce litter and improve recycling.

Australia Day committee organisers are urging community members to start thinking about local champions who make a contribution in all areas, but particularly want to encourage nominations to recognise young people and their contributions.

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said now is the time to start thinking about those local heroes and volunteers who deserve recognition for their everyday efforts in our communities.

“Our youth are our leaders of tomorrow,” Cr Conkey said.

“There are many young people achieving incredible things in our communities and it’s important to recognise this and give reward for effort.

“It has been difficult times for everyone this year but particularly hard for our youth who have been restricted in many school, social, creative and sporting activities because of the pandemic.

“I’m sure there are many young people out there who deserve this recognition for their initiative they have called on to help us get through these tough times … let’s hear about them and let’s tell their stories.

“These awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise all citizens who have made a significant contribution.”

Nominations for Wagga Wagga’s 2021 Australia Day Awards are now open across five categories - Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year (27 and younger), Walk of Honour Award, the Ted Ryder Sports Memorial Award for contribution to administration in sport, and Environmental Citizen of the Year.

The awards were officially announced on Thursday at a launch alongside Wollundry Lagoon where Cr Conkey and the inaugural recipient of the Environmental Citizen of the Year, Ben Holt, endorsed the awards as a great way to publicly recognise all the positive contributions made across the city and surrounds.

The winners will be announced at Wagga Wagga’s 2021 Australia Day Awards Ceremony. This event will be held at the Civic Theatre on Monday 25 January.

Preparations are also being made for a community day on Tuesday 26 January, with a decision to be made on this, based on the NSW Public Health Order restrictions, in the coming weeks.

If you know of someone deserving of recognition visit wagga.nsw.gov.au/australiaday or contact 1300 292 442 for more information or to make a nomination.

Nominations close 5pm Friday 20 November 2020.

2021 Australia Day Awards categories

Citizen of the Year: For outstanding service to the community.

Young Citizen of the Year: 27 years and younger, for outstanding service to the community.

Walk of Honour Award: For substantial contributors (past or present) to the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area (LGA). Nominees can be of any age, living or deceased and must have resided in LGA for a period of at least five years.

Ted Ryder Memorial Award: For contributions to sporting organisations through administration and general service.

Environmental Citizen of the Year: Recognises individuals and organisations for championing litter reduction and environmental initiatives.