Aussie pride on show
HE WASN'T born in the Tweed, but Chris Chrisostomos has dedicated much of his life to giving back to the community he's called home since the age of three.
This month, Mr Chrisostomos, Murwillumbah SES controller, will be the Australia Day Ambassador at the Tweed's main Australia Day celebrations at Bogangar.
He's volunteered for a handful of organisations for much of his life, and in retirement has no plans for slowing down.
Before taking on the role at the SES, Mr Chrisostomos had been the commanding officer and training officer at the local Army Cadets unit.
Just months after taking on the role five years ago, he was asked to go back to cadets - so now he does both.
Mr Chrisostomos has been honoured as the Tweed Shire Australia Day Citizen of the Year - twice - for his service to the community.
Mr Chrisostomos has been president of the Tweed Valley Banana Festival for four years and a committee member for 10.
He also featured on the cover of the 1912-13 Yellow Pages for Lismore.
For him, celebrating Australia Day has been a crucial part of being an Aussie.
"The town is a big family, so you just give back."
Mr Chrisostomos said he was humbled to be named the ambassador.
"Usually they bring some sports athlete," he said. "I think I'll feel a little bit out of place.
"In every community group and with every sports group, there's people that are dedicated to what they do.
"They're people that don't see themselves as doing anything extraordinary."
Mr Chrisostomos, who was born in Cyprus, will help to present Australia Day Awards and will welcome 31 Tweed residents gaining Australian citizenship at the ceremony.
He said a lot of people now thought of Australia Day as just another public holiday.
"I think we take a lot for granted," he said.
"Australia Day should be one day you can say it's great to be an Australian."
The Tweed Shire's main Australia Day ceremony will be held at Bogangar Public School, Tweed Coast Rd on January 26.
We'll publish a full wrap of Tweed Australia Day events next week.