The Snowy Valleys’ most inspiring individuals have been recognised for their exceptional contributions and outstanding service to the local community.
The 2024 Snowy Valleys Council Australia Day Award recipients were announced at a special civic reception ceremony held last Friday, where invited Australia Day Award Recipients joined Councillors and dignitaries at the Mendrinas On Brooklyn, Tumut.
This year on Friday, January 26, Australia Day ceremonies were hosted by local community groups in Adelong, Batlow, Talbingo, Tumbarumba and Tumut with each town presenting its own local Australia Day Awards.
The Snowy Valleys Awardees were chosen from the pool of individual town recipients based on their significant and ongoing service and contribution to the Snowy Valleys community and the important inspirational community leadership roles they hold and portray.
Opening the evening last Friday, Aunty Sue Bulger presented a welcome to country in both native language and English.
Then Mayor Ian Chaffey, briefly spoke welcoming all to the evening and saying Australia Day was not an issue for him – I what was important was that we can focus on. Acknowledging the contribution made to each of our individual communities.
“I don’t care what day we hold it (Australia Day) on but it is important that we acknowledge citizens in our own small community to show just what we as Australians can do to further our strength.
“In my opinion these awards are a worthy recognition of all those people who give their time and effort to re-ensure that all of our citizens have a better outcome in all of our lives.
“This year it has been a slight change as to how we recognise those people in our community – council handed over the responsibility to community groups we probably haven’t got it right at this time but we will keep trying to get there – it is a small acknowledgement of what we can achieve.
I would like to express our appreciation of what has been done and congratulate all those people who have been nominated and will receive awards for 2024,” Mayor Chaffey said.
The Snowy Valleys Awards were presented across two categories:
• Snowy Valleys 2024 Junior Citizen of the Year – Recognising individuals aged under 30 years who have made an outstanding contribution to the Snowy Valleys community over many years and are inspirational role models.
• Snowy Valleys 2024 Citizen of the Year – Recognising individuals aged 30 and over who have made an outstanding contribution to the Snowy Valleys community over many years, having a positive impact on the local government area and being an inspirational role model.
Snowy Valleys 2024 Junior Citizen of the Year Nominees:
• AMELIA MURRAY –
• RILEY GOULD – Batlow
• SPEDDING PEARCE – Adelong
• JOSHUA SMITH – Talbingo
• Khobi Bousfield – Tumut
SNOWY VALLEYS 2024 JUNIOR CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARDED TO – AMELIA MURRAY, TUMBARUMBA
Amelia’s nomination read:
While completing year 12, Amelia also completed her AIN (assistant in nursing at TAFE). This has allowed her to work at the Tumbarumba and Batlow Hospitals while studying at Uni and provide service back in to her community. She is currently in her 3rd year of her RN at CSU in Wagga.Amelia has been heavily involved in the Tumbarumba AFL Netball.Competition playing since she was five and umpiring and coaching since she was 12. She has co-coached & and coached net-set-go as well as under 11’s for a number of years, then in 2021 coached under 15’s. Then in 2023 taking on the same role, Amelia coached the under 15’s to an Upper Murray Premiership winning in a nail-biting finish by 1 goal. Amelia is also an experienced and well-respected umpire. Amelia’s dedication to her netball team and the community organisation over many years, her studies and her work ethic is a shining example of her leadership in the community.
Snowy Valleys 2024 Citizen of the Year Nominees:
• LANCE ADAMS –
• ANTHONY WILLIAMS – Batlow
• KEVIN STOKES – Batlow
• MICHAEL NEYLAND –
• DAVID WREN – Tumut
• NOEL BERRY – Talbingo
SNOWY VALLEYS 2024 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – AWARDED TO NOEL BERRY, TALBINGO
Noel first came to Talbingo about 35 years ago and has always been a respected community member, he is well known for devoting his time to looking after and supporting others in the community in their time of need, even when encountering his own personal challenges. Noel has been a long serving Volunteer of the Rural Fire Service in Talbingo, serving locally and across the state when called upon to assist. Noel is a founding member of the Talbingo Rural Fire Service when it was established in 1997, since then he has been recognised by the RFS for long service medal for more than 20 years.
At 88 years of age Noel was one of our frontline defenders during the Dunn’s Road bushfire event that surrounded our small township.
When most his age chose to evacuate, he remained and worked with our RFS and visiting brigades to defend Talbingo. Prior to his service with the Talbingo RFS Noel was a member of the Talbingo
Community Bushfire brigade and prior to that the Snowy Bushfire brigade.
Now aged 92 Noel is still an active member of the RFS and oversees the Training of new Recruits to the brigade. Noel has been an official Community Transport Driver for Talbingo since February 2004, but prior to this Noel would transport locals in his own car. He continued to provide these services to community members until retiring from Community Transport in 2011 at age 80. Noel also continues to assist with walking the streets of Talbingo to make letterbox drops for community transport and other community group notices. Noel is a great supporter of all Community events and is famous in Talbingo for his barbeque prowess, helping with Talbingo Country Club Golf days, Fishing Club Events including the Jounama Classic, Australia Day Barbeques and other community events. Noel is a remarkable man whose way of life is to participate in most activities held in Talbingo. He is a very warm and caring, friendly, and approachable man with a great sense of humour. He is a very valued member of the Local Community; he is helpful to those in need, including elderly and Infirmed residents and neighbours tending their Lawns and gardens as well as any assistance required by them. Noel is known to support and provide counsel to those who are grieving in our community supporting them in taking the next steps. Noel is very generous and has his own very productive vegetable garden and is always sharing his fresh produce with neighbours and others in the community. In early 2023 Noel was a volunteer in our Local Supermarket for a time helping sort out the mail when there was a sudden death in the Family of the owners, ensuring this service to community was sustained. Noel has continued over many years, to generously give up his time to support community members, and to protect and defend the Talbingo Township. He is respected and loved by all and a worthy nominee for this award.