Year of hardship didn't hamper Kyogle's festivities
It's a day to celebrate many achievements for the people of Kyogle, and none so more obvious than the triumph of coming together after a difficult year marred by a pandemic.
The 2021 Australia Day ceremony was a bit different this year, firstly taking place outside due to public health orders brought on by the impacts of COVID-19.
Kyogle, w hich has struggled for many months having been cut off from Queensland due to border closures , has endured a year of hardship.
But, those tough months have made the town more resilient - and that reliance is evident in the 2021 Australia Day recipients.
Senior Citizen of the Year - Leo Laarhoven
Leo worked at Duncans Sawmill for 34 years, including working as the regional accountant for up to seven divisions.
In 1994, Leo purchased Shirleys Mitre 10 in Kyogle before selling it in 2006 to retire.
He's been a member of Kyogle Rotary Club for 26 years and has volunteered as treasure for a local fundraising committee for the Norply fire victims, the Kyogle Garden Club, Northern Rivers Bowls tour group and the SES Auxiliary.
He's also donated his time to the Care Connections, Kyogle Catholic Church Finance Council and the Kyogle Historical Society.
Senior Sportsperson of the Year - Peter Anderson
Despite his ripe old age of 92, Peter can be found playing 18 holes of golf twice a week, and bowls twice a week.
In his younger years, Peter was a swimming coach, surf life saver and a major volunteer to many organisations encouraging children to participate in sports.
Senior student of the Year - Aston Leck
Ashton has worked hard through his years of study, including the difficult year of 2020 which saw him and his classmates work from home during the lockdown.
Ashton was recognised on the NSW HSC Distinguished Achievers list.
Citizen of the Year - Kay Noonan
Kay has been a lifetime resident of Kyogle, and ran her stationary business, Gateway Office Supplies, for 40 years.
She took an active role in the local Tidy Towns and Chamber of Commerce committees.
She's also made a great contribution to many sporting clubs in Kyogle.
she was awarded for the honour for her compassionate, generous and helpful nature regardless of whether they were a customer or someone on the street.
Posthumous Special community achievement award - Tom Matthews
Tom was an active member in Kyogle, having volunteered at the Lions Club, the information centre, St Vincent de Paul, the Mens Shed and many more organisations before his passing.