Satnam Singh, a Goonellabah home owner, Byron Bay business owner, husband to Erin Werner and father to 15-month-old Alba Werner-Singh, became an Australian citizen at the Australia Day Lismore ceremony.
Satnam Singh, a Goonellabah home owner, Byron Bay business owner, husband to Erin Werner and father to 15-month-old Alba Werner-Singh, became an Australian citizen at the Australia Day Lismore ceremony. Cathryn McLauchlan

New citizens recognised, award winners announced at Lismore

"BEING Australian is about where we call home, the tingle we feel when we approach the place we call home, whether it's flying back into Australia or driving over the hill and seeing the lights of Lismore," mayor Jenny Dowell said at Lismore City Hall yesterday.

At that Australia Day ceremony 23 people were awarded their citizenship.

Among those new citizens was the owner of Bombay to Byron in Byron Bay, Satnam Singh.

He moved to Australia in 2007 as a cooking and pastry student, met Melbourne woman Erin Werner, moved to Lismore, bought a house, got married and started a family.

"I'm really honoured to be Australian," he said.

"It was a bit hard starting to leave your home, your birth city, but I feel this is my home now.

"I have a house, a family, a child born and growing up here, so that was my decision to stay, to give my work, and do things for Australia."

The Australia Day Awards were announced as part of the ceremony.

The Citizen of the Year Award went to Jodie McRae, the founder of Jodie's Inspiration.

Lismore Australia Day Award Winners

Citizen of the Year, Jodie McRae

Jodie formed a local charity, Jodie's Inspiration, and turned her terminal illness into a charity to assist others. She raised $105,000 for the local community. Jodie is an exemplary citizen, mother, business owner and role model who is compassionate, generous and brave with an extraordinary commitment to the community.

Category of Art and Culture, Amber Gooley

Amber has worked diligently as a volunteer with Lismore's major arts organisation NORPA. She is a tireless volunteer for LightnUp and is celebrated in this nomination. She is an effective and efficient administrator, a reliable, kind, honest and trustworthy person.

Category of Sustainable Environment, Judi Emmett

Judi is the secretary of the Keerrong Gas Squad, an active member of Gasfield Free Northern Rivers and the gatekeeper of Lock the Gates. Judi has been a tireless worker to protect the community and the environment.

Category of Junior Sportsperson, Keea Parrish

Keea has been selected as Team and Tour Captain in the Under 16 Australian Futsal team to tour Brazil. Also, at 15 she was selected to play in a Premier Division team, she is the 2015 Gold Boot winner, the youngest student to play open girls soccer for Trinity College and she is a zone, regional and state representative in Athletics.

Category of Services in the Community Group, LightnUp

LightnUp is a unique community-based arts organisation in Lismore. It provides individuals, artists, volunteers and community members an opportunity to create artwork inspired by light and shadow-telling stories. They conduct workshops for school groups, the disabled, disadvantaged and isolated people.

Category of Services in the Community, Ross McDougall

Ross stood up and took on the task of starting the Dunoon Men's Shed. With much effort he formed a small team and energised their efforts to make it work. At the same time Ross was Captain of the Local Fire Brigade.

Category of Young Citizen of the Year, Holley Somerville-Knott

Holley is the CEO and founder of her own charity The Stardust Foundation. She is a song writer who hopes to inspire solutions to social justice. She is a speaker for United Nations, she was a voice for youth at the Bentley Blockade and a recipient of the Inaugural Green Globe Award 2014. Holley is creating a comic book to inspire others to be compassionate and kind.

Category of Aboriginal Citizen of the Year, Aunty Thelma James

Aunty Thelma has been the chairperson for the reconciliation Lismore committee for over 10 years and she is also giving strong support to other committees for reconciliation. Thelma is involved in many community projects such as Landcare in North Lismore, Rous Water's Reconnecting to Country, Sorry Day and NAIDOC Week.

List courtesy of Lismore City Council



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