Barbara Swain from Ballina's Mental Health Support Group was named 2021 Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year, here receiving her accolade from mayor David Wright and 2020 winner Anne Thopmson.
Barbara Swain from Ballina's Mental Health Support Group was named 2021 Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year, here receiving her accolade from mayor David Wright and 2020 winner Anne Thopmson.

Ballina celebrated their young and old, the bright and bold

Barbara Swain was named Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year for 2021.

Mayor David Wright and Anne Thompson, 2020 Citizen of the Year, announced the winner.

The ceremony’s MC was netballer and broadcaster Liz Ellis.

The Ballina Shire resident offered a relaxed, funny and engaging style to the occasion, accompanied by special guest, Channel 9 sports reporter James Bracey.

Barbara Swain was awarded the accolade for her 25-year work with the Ballina Mental Health Support Group, a charity she founded.

Mrs Swain started up the group after her son Barry lost his battle with depression.

The Sporting Achievement Award went to Clare Southwell.

Having sailed competitively in her youth, Ms Southwell had a 20-year break from sailing.

She recently won the 18-foot skiff State Titles in Queensland as part of a three person crew. She also competed in the prestigious Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 2019.

The other nominees for the award were Finnigan Robinson and Kalani Franklin.

The Arts and Cultural Award went to Lachlan Mumford.

Mr Mumford completed his HSC year at Emmanuel Anglican College in 2020.

His art skills produced a major photographic work that was chosen for the HSC Art Express.

Art Express showcases the highest calibre of Year 12 major works across NSW.

He is also a violinist and has performed with the Lismore Symphony Orchestra.

The other nominees for this award were Caitlyn Seamer, Jemima Grigor, and the Alstonville Public School’s ‘Cool Blue Primary School Debating Team’ consisting of Erica Little, Tess Ball, Oscar Privald and Cordelia Perritt.

Ryan Webb was named Young Citizen of the Year 2021.

Mr Webb donates to many charities, and volunteers with Five Loaves and the North Coast Mental Health Support Group.

He travelled to Africa with Kenya Health at his own expense, and also completed a trip to Nepal, where he helped to paint the homes of lepers.

The other nominees for the Young Citizen of the Year Award were Alex Chapman, Clara Tolman, Eva Jones, Hamish Walker, Lily Murphy, Mauleen Santibanez and Rikki-Lee Petrie.

There were three awards given for this year’s Senior Citizen of the Year.

John Beasley, OAM, or Beas, as he is known, is the Secretary of Lennox Head-Alstonville Surf Lifesaving Club.

He has held this role since 2011 and has been involved in the surf lifesaving movement for an incredible 66 years.

Geoff Harris has been the president of the Lennox Head-Alstonville Surf Life Saving Club for many years. He is present at all events and works tirelessly as a volunteer to keep the club running.

The third award was given posthumously to the late Pat Kennedy.

For 27 years, Pat and Jeanette Kennedy delighted the young and old with their Christmas light display at their home in West Ballina.

Each year Pat connected up to 100,000 lights to form an impressive festive display.

Pat and Jeanette would dress as Santa and Mrs Claus and greeted every child with sweets.

Pat Kennedy passed away on October 17, 2020.

The other nominees for the Senior Citizen of the Year Award were Barbara Swain, Ron Creber and Warren Lusted.

The Volunteers Organisation of the Year went to two recipients: Jet Boat Surf Rescue and Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond, for the tireless behind the scenes work to support the community.

Mark Puglisi from Jet Boat Surf Rescue receiving the Ballina Shire Volunteer Organisation of the Year Award 2021, accolade they shared with the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond.
Mark Puglisi from Jet Boat Surf Rescue receiving the Ballina Shire Volunteer Organisation of the Year Award 2021, accolade they shared with the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond.

The Community Event Organisation of the Year Award went to the 2020 ANZAC Day Live Broadcast Paradise FM.

The station broadcast was beneficial for residents who were isolated at home.

The broadcast encouraged residents to come out of their homes and commemorate the Anzacs in their streets and with their neighbours.

The other nominees for the Community Event of the Year Award were Ballina Shire Meals on Wheels, Ballina Shire Dementia Friendly Community Alliance, Quota Alstonville - Christmas Tree Event, The Cove Restaurant - Pay it Forward Meals for the Needy, and Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club – staying connected during COVID.

The Environmental Award went to koala expert Maria Mathes.

For the past 15 years, she has dedicated her time to recovering Ballina’s koala population and building a network of more than 100 landholders as koala watchers.

The other nominees for the Environmental Award were Australian Seabird Rescue, Struan Robertson and Graeme Fraser.

As part of the ceremony, ten new Australian Citizens from Canada, Vietnam, Philippines, United Kingdom, India and South Africa were welcomed.

The Ballina Shire Australia Day Awards were announced at the official celebrations, held on Tuesday 26 January 2021 at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre.



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