AFTER mentoring thousands of students and working at Ballina High School for 28 years, Ros Mayberry officially finished up as principal yesterday.
And she had a suitable farewell, being named Citizen of the Year at the Ballina Shire’s Australia Day awards ceremony.
“I am very proud to be a fourth generation Australian, proud to be a citizen of the Ballina Shire and very proud andhonoured to receive this award,” Ms Mayberry said.
“Everybody has really helped me.
“It is just magnificent working with young people, and seeing them succeed inspires me.
“I am a bit sad to be leaving the school, because I have been there for so long.”
The Young Australian of the Year award went to Kylie Izzard, 17, who finished Year 12 last year and is now preparing tostudy primary teaching at Southern Cross University.
Kylie has been actively involved in community and school activities, including the Leos Club, and dedicated more than 180 hours to local volunteering programs. She has also received the Commonwealth Order of Australia.
Trudie Nash was namedVolunteer of the Year for herefforts with organisations such as Legacy, the Ex-Service Homes Auxiliary and the Ex-Service Women’s Association.
The Alstonville/Wollongbar branch of Quota International took out the Community Event of the Year category for itsannual arts and craft fair.
Jay Meaney, 14, of East Ballina, won the Sportsperson of the Year award, and he was in awe of the event’s special guest, former Olympic swimmer Shane Gould.
He is involved with athletics, rugby league and surf lifesaving, and thanked his parents ‘for taking me everywhere’.
“I’m pretty honoured to meet Shane Gould. It’s pretty exciting,” he said.
Ballina Mayor Phillip Silver congratulated all the award winners.
“I couldn’t think of a person who has made a bigger impact on the community in the last 10 years than Ros,” he said.
Ballina MP Don Page also congratulated the Citizen of the Year, describing Ms Mayberry as a ‘highly respected’ teacher and member of the community.