Australia Day Awards
Each year the Australia Day Committee calls for nominations for the Citizen of the Year and Young Achiever of the Year awards, to be announced at the Civic Ceremony on Australia Day.
The objective of the awards is to recognise outstanding personal achievement or outstanding contribution to the community during the previous year. All residents of the Singleton Council local government area are eligible to nominate.
The awards are presented in the following categories.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD
This Award is presented to the citizen judged to have made the most outstanding contribution to the Singleton Local Government Area including but not limited to the year of nomination, and must be 26 years or older.
Nominations need to demonstrate some or all of the following criteria:
- Demonstrated commitment to the betterment of the community
- Is law abiding
- Undertakes activities, which have had a significant impact within the community
- Provides a positive role model for others
- Takes the lead and shows vision
- Undertakes activities that promote the welfare and wellbeing of the community
- Contributions made by nominees, have either been done on voluntary basis or exceed the normal requirements of the person’s paid work
YOUNG ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR AWARD
This Award is presented to the young achiever judged to have made the most outstanding contribution to the Singleton Local Government Area including but not limited to 2018 and must be 16 years to 26 years of age on 26 January 2019.
Nomination for this Award is open to all residents of the Singleton Local Government Area and they must be 16 to 26 years of age to be
considered for the award.
Nominations need to demonstrate some or all of the following criteria:
- Participates in the community
- Active in youth issues
- Is caring, compassionate and sharing
- Shows vision
- Takes the lead
- Positive role model to peers
- Accepts responsibility for self and others
- Showed outstanding achievement in eg: academic, sporting, cultural, environment or civic responsibility
2020 AWARD NOMINEES
Jane and her husband chose a small acreage on Mitchells Flat Road, Singleton for their retirement in 2007, where they breed Square Meater cattle from the Murray Grey breed.
She is an active member of the social committee for the local hall at Mitchells Flat, which continues to operate because of a small band of volunteers who work hard to raise funds for the upkeep. Jane is involved with the events at the hall, which include trivia nights, a Christmas Party, Halloween and monthly bingo, and also represents Mitchells Flat hall on the Combined Rural Halls Committee.
The Northern Agricultural Association (Show Society) is a beneficiary of Jane’s time and efforts in cattle judging as a steward, and she has shown her own cattle in the past. Jane also helps out in the bistro when needed.
In addition, as a former high school Chemistry teacher, Jane became involved in mentoring secondary students. Her experience as a teacher, and her font of knowledge, makes her a positive role model for these young people.
Lee Gallagher has taught at the King Street Public School, Singleton Public School and Singleton Heights Public School between 1974 and 2013. He was elected to Singleton Council in 1991 and served as a Councillor until 2012, including as Deputy Mayor from 2003 to 2005.
During his years as a Councillor, Lee initiated the Wambo Coal Singleton Hall of Fame, was a member of the Australia Day Committee (including serving as Chairman from 2002 until 2012), and introduced the Chairman’s XI versus the People’s XI cricket match that has been contested for 10 consecutive years.
His other committee involvement included the planning and design of the Colleen Gale Child Care Centre, the new Singleton Library in Queen Street, the Singleton Youth Committee that resulted in the Singleton Youth Venue. He also supported the siting and construction of Singleton Visitor Information Centre, and the development of Singleton’s Gym and Swim complex, including a replacement 50 metre pool.
In addition, Lee has served as president of the Singleton Heights Pre School 1990-1991 and president of Singleton Learning Opportunities Group (SLOG) (1992-1997), helping families with children having behavior and learning problems. He is also a member of Singleton Amateur Theatre Society (SATS) productions, a member of Singleton Rotary on Hunter, and a volunteer for Samaritans Christmas Luncheon.
Alan is a Justice of the Peace and cattle farmer who, in his time with a Commonwealth department, worked with disenfranchised youth with compassion, often taking cases that others would avoid. In this role as a team leader and manager, he provided comfort and stability to his team and acted as a mentor to many of the junior staff.
Alan also devoted several years to supporting the victims of systematic child abuse within the Catholic Church.
He is a dedicated blood donor, making in excess of 100 donations, an active member of the Singleton Lions Club and St Vincent De Paul Society, and acts as the lead for liturgical services at his own church when there is no priest available. In addition, he has organised Families of Faith to welcome and understand other people’s faiths.
David Williams OAM
David moved to Singleton in 1959 and immediately became involved in the local community, beginning with the Hebden Rural Fire Service Hall Committee, of which he was a member for 52 years. Establishing David M. Williams Real Estate, he also served as a Councillor on Singleton Council and has long involvements with the Singleton Rotary Club, Singleton Rugby Club and Singleton Business Chamber, has volunteered for Meals on Wheels, and is a member of the Anglican Parish, the Columbarium Trust Fund and All Saints Parish Trust.
Of particular note is David’s long and outstanding involvement with the Northern Agricultural Association Incorporated, which he joined in 1965. In that time he has assisted with the Singleton Show and upkeep and maintenance of the Singleton Showground. In his first term as NAA president in 1997 in the months following a devastating hailstorm, David recruited a team of volunteers to rebuild and restore the grandstand and damaged buildings, and later secured grants for the heritage farm machinery pavilion and the erection of a lighting tower.
David has been awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship and a Medal of the Order of Australia for Service to the community of Singleton.
Since moving to the Singleton local government area 25 years ago, Roy has played a leading role in environmental issues as the inaugural president of Broke/Bulga Landcare Group, and currently as Treasurer. He initiated an “In Perpetuity Conservation Agreement” in 2004, a detailed study of vegetation and wildlife, the reintroduction of Cultural Cool Burn practices by Indigenous fire practitioners, Biodynamic “peppering” practice of weed control to Bidens Pilosa (farmer’s friends) in selected areas infested in the Park.
Roy also initiated the Open 4 Breakfast for nightshift workers in 2013, intended for miners returning home or travelling to a shift, which operated until patronage fell as a result of the Hunter Expressway in 2016.
He was also appointed rector’s Warden of St Andrews Church in 1997 and managed funding, repairs and refurbishment of the church building over the next six years.
Roy is an active member of the Men’s Coffee Group, the Singleton Dementia Support Group, Council’s Reconcilliation Committee and was involved in Wannaruah’s NAIDOC celebrations. Roy is also a member of the Singleton Town Band late starts group and participates in playouts and concerts.
Gary has had a long standing and active involvement within the Anglican Church as a server, Sunday School Superintendent, Leader in the Church of England Boys Society, Council member and Parish Council Warden. He is also a Lay Preacher and currently responsible for the relocation and sale of furniture and fittings of St Luke’s Church in South Singleton, as well as being involved in the property sale to ensure a more sustainable future for this significant site.
A particular achievement in Gary’s life is his contribution to Father Chris Riley’s Op Shop, which began 17 years ago primarily encouraging people not only to browse for items, but to call at the shop for human support and encouragement in difficult circumstances. That led to Gary’s establishment of “Dolly’s Charity Shop”, a not-for-profit charity shop in 2016 to raise funds for young in the LGA, which has raised $60,000 to date for local youth-based organisations.
Gary has also carried out volunteer work through the Australian Businesspeople Volunteers in Papua New Guinea with the Anglicare Stop Aids Centre for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV, education of birth control and a school teaching English.
In addition, Gary developed into the character “the Elf” to work with the program manager to organise the Samaritans Christmas Day Lunch. He has been a member of the Singleton Theatrical Society, the Albion Park Tennis Club, Singleton Apex Club, a trained member of the Red Cross disaster support team and assisted with evacuation and recovery centres operated by Red Cross during times of disaster.
Kevin came to Singleton as a member of the Australian Defence Force and immediately got involved with the Singleton Community Garden to realise his dream of his own veggie patch. He became the driving force for the garden at Albion Park, taking the lead on a range of projects including the establishment of a bush tucker garden, rosemary grown from the War Memorial in Burdekin Park and a children’s garden with the assistance of government grants and support from local businesses.
His vision was to get more community members involved, to make the garden a usable public space, to provide a practical space for people who shared a common interest in gardening, and a place of solace and therapy for whatever issues people might be experiencing.
Kev also became actively involved in the community as a coach and secretary at the Singleton junior rugby league club.
Young Achiever of the Year Award
Since arriving in Singleton, Alex has been an active member of the community through his work at the Singleton Argus newspaper and continued his role as a youth leader in the Australian Lithuanian community.
Alex volunteers a majority of his weekend breaks to cover community events for the benefit of a range of community organisations including sport and Rotary, and has also gone above and beyond to provide live updates of major events including the recent bushfires. He is also an active member of the Singleton Roosters AFL club.
From his commitment to training at the local pool to performance on the world stage at the INAS Global Games, Singleton teenager Darcy Gilson has become an inspiration to the swimming community.
Darcy is known as “Superfish” and has continued to put Singleton on the map in the national multi-class swimming scene for swimmers with a disability.
He holds State and Australian records in the Athletes with a Disability (AWD) class, and returned from the School Sport Australia (SSA) Championships in Melbourne in 2019 with nine medals (including five gold) from 10 events. He was also named the NSW multi-class captain in the lead up to the week.