Batlow celebrates national day

Belinda Glynn and Colleen Dawson accepted the top citizen award on behalf of Keith Dawson.

Batlow celebrated one of its own winning Snowy Valleys Citizen of the Year at its Australia Day celebration at Memorial Park on Saturday.

Keith Dawson couldn’t be there due to ill-health so family members Colleen Dawson and Belinda Glynn accepted on his behalf.

He had also won a Certificate of Achievement.

Richard Breward was named Batlow Citizen of the Year, his nomination reading: “Richard runs a small shop on Forest Road Batlow (electrical). He also employs staff and when asked to do sound system set up for carols, Australia Day, shows etc it is no problem. He has spent a lot of money to do just that on van and equipment, and also does a lot more for Batlow.”

Numbers were down for the celebration this year, despite conditions being more pleasant in Batlow than else where in the shire.

Dylan Harmer was named Batlow Young Person of the Year.

Dylan has coached hockey in Batlow and held three jobs in Batlow after he finished school.

He achieved a High Distinction at the end of the first year of a Bachelor of Science Education degree at Wollongong University and gained a Teach NSW Rural scholarship which is provided by the State Government and provides support through his university training and guarantees a three-year placement at a Riverina school. He has also been trained as part of a mentoring program for first year students and will help students gain study skills and learn about campus life.

He attended a Rotary program called Rotary Youth Leadership in 2018 and was invited to return this year as a mentor leader for the program.

Batlow resident Janice Vanzella was guest speaker on the day, and spoke about what Australia means to her.

“The first words that come to me are home, refuge, security, opportunity and immeasurable beauty from the rich red centre of Australia stretching out in every direction to the yellow sandstone cliffs, white beaches and deep blue seas.

“We may not have the antiquities of Egypt, Greece or Rome but we do have the beautiful rock art of the Indigenous people of this great land in magnificent open air galleries where the experience of hiking through the Australia bush to view it is such a unique and quintessential Australian experience.”