Rough RFS diamond is Citizen of the Year
For the first time, Richmond Valley Council held their Australia Day event at the new Drill Hall site and in partnership with the Military Museum.
Councillor Sandra Humphrys sang True Blue in a special dedication to the emergency services.
"You are the reason we love being part of this country," Member for Clarence Chris Gulpatis said.
Mayor Robert Mustow said it was "a good day to honour the emergency services after what we've been through in the last eight months with drought and fire."
Citizen of the Year
Citizen of the Year was RFS senior deputy captain Mick Stain from the Casino Brigade for his service and "can-do attitude."
Richmond Valley Council's general manager Vaughan Macdonald said the trucks at the Casino Brigade were the cleanest in Australia because of Mr Stain.
Mick was nominated for his outstanding voluntary service of more than 16 years in RFS fire brigades throughout the Richmond Valley.
As senior deputy captain of the Casino Brigade and member of the Northern Rivers Support Brigade, Mick has shown strong leadership characteristics while being a humble doer within the brigade and is known for his flair for cooking.
Mick is well respected by his fellow captains who clearly value his leadership abilities and opinions when it comes to managing fire grounds and other incidents he attends.
Young Citizen of the Year was 17 year old Ben Wheeler who has been in the RFS for 14 months and has been on the fireground 34 times and he helped fight the Rappville fire in October.
Casino SES volunteers, Karen Rea and Donna Lamont were awarded Volunteers of the Year. Young Volunteer of the Year went to Lucy Ellis from Coraki for her involvement in the Evans Head Surf Lifesaving Club.
Sportsperson of the Year was Kali Ainsworth for rugby.
New Australians welcomed
Sixteen New Australian citizens from 13 different countries made the pledge to their new home in the Richmond Valley.