Dedicated Aboriginal elder and “young man with a great sense of community” recognised in 2022 Australia Day ceremony

26/01/22

The 2022 Singleton Citizen of the Year and Young Achiever of the Year have been described as two deserving recipients who are positive role models for the community at the 2022 official Australia Day ceremony in Singleton.

Citizen of the Year Uncle Warren Taggart is highly regarded for his work to preserve and share the rich history and culture of the Wonnarua/Wanaruah people, while Young Achiever of the Year Liam Byrne is a “young man with a great sense of community” as a volunteer with Singleton Legacy and Dolly’s Charity Shop, as well as a successful athlete.

The announcement was livestreamed as part of the official COVID-safe ceremony at Singleton Civic Centre this morning, where five new Australians were welcomed in the Citizenship Ceremony and the Hon George Souris AM delivered the official Australia Day Guest Address.

Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore said while it was disappointing COVID restrictions had limited the community festivities this year, it was great to see hundreds of people tuning in for the ceremony with more than 750 viewers on Council’s website and Facebook page.

“Australia Day is one of our most important community occasions when we come together to celebrate what we all have in common as Australians, and to recognise those people who make our community special,” she said.

“COVID has brought limitations to face-to-face events, but it’s also brought new opportunities for more people to come together regardless of where or how they’re marking Australia Day.

“It’s been a wonderful day to share in the significance of the day for five people from India, South Africa and New Zealand who are now Australian citizens, and to celebrate those people who go above and beyond to make a difference in our community.

“Uncle Warren and Liam are most deserving recipients as positive role models for our community, and I sincerely congratulate them and all of the nominees who were recognised in our Australia Day Awards today.”

Citizen of the Year – Uncle Warren Taggart

 Dedicated Aboriginal elder, Uncle Warren Taggart has worked tirelessly to both preserve and share the rich history and culture of the Wonnarua/Wanaruah people, including conducting regular tours of the culturally significant Baiame Cave. He is a long-time member of the Singleton Aboriginal Advisory Committee and has been instrumental in the organisation of NAIDOC Week activities as well as regularly delivering Welcome to Country at various events throughout the local government area. Named the 2016 Elder of the Year (Male) at the Upper Hunter NAIDOC Awards, Warren is particularly passionate about educating children and authored a colouring book aimed at pre-schoolers, illustrated by his daughter Kerri-Ann.  Warren also keeps people posted about his beautiful Wonnarua/Wanaruah country through social media, radio and TV interviews, University and TAFE talks.

 Young Achiever of the Year – Liam Byrne

 Liam Byrne is a young man with a great sense of awareness of those less fortunate and the community groups who rely on community donations to exist. He is an active volunteer with strong connections to his chosen charities of Singleton Legacy and Dolly’s Charity Shop, and each year structures his spare time after school and work commitments to raise funds, collect donations and sell merchandise in support of the Singleton and District War Widows and their families. Liam is also an accomplished sportsman excelling in swimming, cross country running, soccer and has represented his school in these events. Liam strives to make a difference to improve other people’s wellbeing through his thoughtful, diligent and caring nature.

ENDS