Some "very special people" in our community have been recognised today at the Moree Plains Australia Day Awards ceremony.
Mayor Mark Johnson said when asked what was so special about the Moree Plains, his answer is always the same: the people.
"Today we are standing with these people and organisations who have gone above and beyond for their community to make our community what it is today," he said.
"I give you a warm congratulations on receiving these awards and thank you for your significant contributions."
Tian Harris was named the Moree Plains Citizen of the Year for her contribution to the region.
Jason Poutawa of the Salvation Army received a 'special mention award' for his work mentoring local youth. Jason is a true asset to the region and we are lucky to have someone as passionate as he working and volunteering in our community. "I am humbled to receive something like this," he said. "I want to thank my wife Jess and my children for their support of me doing all I feel like I have been called to do here in Moree. The Savation Army has a very dedicated team of staff and volunteers who give beyond what is expected so I want to recognise them. Thanks also to the other nominees. I thank your for your contribution and commitment to helping our community. Finally I am thankful for God. His transformation in my life has changed the way I live and act."
Rebel Woodham was named as the Environmental Citizen of the Year. Rebel is described as someone who is highly dedicated to waste and resource recovery. She enjoys projects turning old, unwanted items into something she can use. "Thank you everybody for the award. Keep recycling!"
Our Community Event of the Year is the Love and Lace, Long Ago exhibition hosted by the Moree and District Historical Society. All tickets to the fashion parade sold-out in just 25 minutes. The event even received a 'highly commended' from the 2021 NSW Museum and Galleries Awards. "The Historical Society is delighted to get this award and very proud," Bette Montgomery said. "Our committee was a very big one, comprising most of our members. We are very much indebted to the whole community because the community responded so well to our request for wedding dresses. We ended up with 100 wedding dresses over 100 years and it was a lovely event. I think the important thing is, the missing person here, is whose brainchild it was, and that was Jenny Bruno so I'd like to acknowledge her contribution as she was the one who started it and made it happen."
The Moree Little Athletics Club were awarded Volunteer/Sports Group of the Year. The club has grown immensely in the past 12 months and now have upwards of 100 registered athletes ranging from four to 17-year-olds. Many of the athletes have represented Moree at regional and state levels seeing our children from the bush compete on professional tracks in Sydney.
Two award winners were absent from the event and the Champion will endeavour to publish their story in next week's edition. They were Volunteer of the Year, Helen Mitchell and Sportsperson of the Year, Wyatt Spiteri-Roberts.
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