Five vie for top award

BALLINA Shire Council has announced the nominees for this year's Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year award.

The award will be announced at the Australia Day celebrations to be held on January 26, from 9am to 11am, at Elizabeth Ann Brown Park in Alstonville.

The five nominees, and their nomination statements, are:

Peter Laurie

"Peter is a contract worker for the State Forest NSW.

Peter's day begins at 4.30am servicing machines, before heading into the forest collecting falling trees marked out by the State Office for string lining, stamping and processing.

Peter's passion for the bush extends past his occupation, as a strong advocate and leader by example in bush rejuvenation."

Brett Lacey

"Brett is a driving force and the Regional General Manager for the House with No Steps.

With Brett's strong dedication, the organisation has grown extensively over the past few years, assisting people with a disability to find independence and empowerment.

The organisation has also supported regional farmers to distribute their products throughout Australia, and ultimately, boosted our regional economy through successful agricultural and tourism enterprises."

Ian Duncan

"Ian, known to many as the Newrybar 'mayor', listens to fellow resident's concerns and takes appropriate action to assist.

Ian has done a tremendous amount of work for the Newrybar community, notably as secretary and treasurer of the Newrybar Hall Committee.

Ian has been the main driver to save and renovate the Newrybar Hall, which, thanks to him and the support of the Newrybar community, is now the central meeting point for the local community."

Gerry Burnage

"Gerry is the Local Controller of the Ballina Shire Unit of the NSW State Emergency Service.

Gerry has been a volunteer member for 28 years, 25 of those as Local Controller.

Gerry attained his authority and credentials as the head of the Ballina SES due to hard work and dedication.

Ballina Shire can be very thankful that we have a man such as Gerry with the skills, personality and ability to manage such a vital community service."

Dawn Sword

"Dawn is an active member of a number of community organisations including the East Ballina Lions Club, Lennox Head View Club, Meals on Wheels, Relay for Life, Southern Cross School K-12 Leo Club and the Combined Services Club.

Dawn excels in her field of volunteering and is always willing to support others.

In 2012, Dawn was one of three individuals jointly named Volunteer of the Year, a truly fitting accolade."

Winners also will be announced in the following categories: Young Citizen of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Sports Person of the Year and Community Event of the Year.

For more details of the Australia Day celebration, log onto the website www.ballinaaustralia or contact the Ballina Visitor Information Centre on 1800 777 666.

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