Volunteer Barbara Boorman was named Lismore's 2017 Australia Day Citizen of the Year in a ceremony at Lismore City Hall. L-R Ambassador David Bitton and Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith, presented her with the award.
Volunteer Barbara Boorman was named Lismore's 2017 Australia Day Citizen of the Year in a ceremony at Lismore City Hall. L-R Ambassador David Bitton and Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith, presented her with the award. Alison Paterson

Barbara honoured for 24 years volunteering at nursing home

THUNDEROUS applause sounded when volunteer Barbara 'Jane' Boorman was named Lismore's 2017 Australia Day Citizen of the Year in a ceremony held at Lismore City Hall.

As Lismore MP Thomas George called out her name, a beaming Ms Boorman was escorted down the auditorium by Lismore's 2017 Australia Day Ambassador chef David Bitton to where Mayor Isaac Smith, presented her with the award.

Barbara 'Jane' Boorman has been volunteering at St Joseph's Nursing Home for 24 years, where she helps residents relieve pain and provides comfort through massage and friendship.

"Barbara has provided support and kindness to people going through tough times for more than two decades with no thought of recognition or reward," Mayor Isaac Smith said.

"She is a quiet achiever who plays an important role in the lives of many. Her compassion and generosity toward others in their greatest time of need is an example to us all."

The 2017 Young Citizen of the Year is sports superstar Caitlin Bargwanna, who has been a primary school para athlete and has represented Lismore at regional and state level athletics.

"By all accounts, Caitlin is a wonderful role model to others around her as well as an exceptional athlete," Isaac said.

"We know she will go on to achieve great things and proudly represent Lismore in the sporting community."

A minute's silence was held in honour of the 2016 Citizen of the Year, Jodie McRae, who passed away last year. She founded Jodie's Inspiration after being diagnosed with breast cancer and the foundation continues to raise funds and provide support and inspiration to those living with cancer.

Mayor Isaac Smith also welcomed 19 new Australians in the annual Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony from countries as diverse as Pakistan, India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Thailand, Britain and Bangladesh. 

2017 Australia Day Award winners

Citizen of the Year: Barbara Boorman

Barbara has been volunteering at St Joseph's Nursing Home for 24 years. Barbara, or 'Jane' as she is known to many, helps residents to relieve pain and provides comfort through massage as well as being a friend to those she helps. Barbara provides support and kindness to people in their greatest time of need, with no thought of recognition or reward. She is a woman of great generosity and compassion.

Young Citizen of the Year: Caitlin Bargwanna

Caitlin is a young sports superstar. Caitlin has been a primary school para athlete, and has represented Lismore at regional and state level athletics. She is a role model to her family, peers and others who have disabilities, and is a determined and exceptional athlete.

Services in Community (Individual): Julie de Nardi

Julie has volunteered for many years with different community organisations including the Italo-Australian Sport and Recreation Club, the Lismore Friendship Festival, New Italy Museum, Carnavale Italiano and St Carthages Italian Senior Day and Catholic Church community programs. She has sold raffle tickets for many worthy causes and has dedicated herself to improving community life for Italians and the broader Lismore community.

Services in Community (Group): Anthony and Belinda Smith, Lismore Parkrun

Anthony and Belinda put in many hours and hard work to get the inaugural Lismore Parkrun event up and running. They worked tirelessly to bring on board sponsors and liaise with Lismore City Council to make the event a reality. Together they have created a new community of runners, walkers and new friends. Through Lismore Parkrun, they are helping to make community life more active and fun.

Sportsperson of the Year (Senior): Belinda Smith

Belinda is committed to helping others through the Lismore Parkrun event. She leads by example to the 160 members, supporting others to build their fitness and be an active role model in their community. She shows inclusiveness for all levels of ability and helps others to have fun and stay active.

Sportsperson of the Year (Junior): Courtney Linton

In her chosen sport, athletics, Courtney has achieved outstanding results including being her school champion as well as regional and state champion at the Catholic Combined Colleges Carnival. A St John's College Woodlawn student, Courtney has received recognition for her hard work by receiving 'Sportswoman of the Year' and 'Athlete of the Year' in 2015 and 2016 from St John's College. As well as studying and achieving in athletics, Courtney is also a blood donor, volunteer at the Lismore Soup Kitchen and supports disadvantaged children through 'Buddies Day'.

Sports Team, Group or Organisation: Barry Fisher, Lismore Kart Club

Lismore Kart Club is lucky to have the dedication, knowledge and tenacity of Barry Fisher, who is the current president and has volunteered with the club for 45 years. Barry has also dedicated his time over the years to other clubs and organisations such as the PCYC, the Cancer Council and many local families.

Sustainable Environment: John and Margaret Hildebrand

John and Margaret have been caring for the environment for many years as founders of Tullera Landcare and active members of Friends of the Koala since its foundation. John has also been involved in youth education and remediation works, is a retiring Rural Fire Service captain and is on the Tullera Hall Committee. Margaret has been very active with the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens and its education program.

Art/Cultural: Julian Louis

Julian is renowned for his commitment to bringing world-class theatre to Lismore and developing home-grown talent. As the artistic director of NORPA, he has helped bring many successful productions to Lismore, including locally created works such as Railway Wonderland (the largest selling production in 24 years), Engine and many more. He has also been nominated for a Helpmann Award through his collaborative work with The Farm.



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