Bulahdelah’s Ellie Gooch is Great Lakes Young Citizen of Year

Bulahdelah teenager Ellie Gooch has taken out Young Citizen of the Year for the entire Great Lakes region.

Ellie Gooch Young Citizen of the Year
Ellie Gooch Young Citizen of the Year

The year 12 Bulahdelah Central School Captain was honoured with the award at a ceremony held in Forster on Australia by the Great Lakes Council.

“I was really surprised when I heard my name called out,” Ellie told Myall Coast News.

“I’m really honoured and grateful to have received it. I know a lot of great students at my school who would have been deserving of the award too,” she said.

Last year, Ellie was the recipient of the prestigious Pierre de Coubertin Award, named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games.

The awards which take place annually recognise senior secondary students who demonstrate significant sporting and academic talents.

“I had to have been to a state level in a sport – I had done this in cross country and little athletics,” she explained.

“I also submitted a piece of writing about the Olympic Movement.”

Ellie, whose family has been synonymous with the Bulahdelah community for many generations, has a strong affiliation with the area.

She works two part-time jobs in locally run businesses and is a member of the local tennis club and competes in the annual camp drafting at the Bulahdelah show.

She is also involved with the Bulahdelah Health Advisory Committee and regularly attends meetings.

“Bulahdelah is a really important place to me. I’ve grown up here and nearly all my family has too,” she said.


Ellie Gooch is an exceptional young lady and ambassador for Bulahdelah Central School.  She has been announced as Great Lakes Young Citizen of the Year at Monday’s Australia Day Award celebrations.

Ellie Gooch Young Citizen of the Year
Ellie Gooch

Ellie was a recent recipient of the Pierre de Coubertin Award, an award symbolising the ideals of the Olympics.

Ellie is also a volunteer with the Bulahdelah Health Advisory Committee, as well as a member of the Student Representative Council and a leader in the School’s Leo Club (junior Lions).

Myall Coast News will talk to Ellie over coming weeks and bring you her story. Congratulations Ellie!


Great Lakes Council’s Mayor, Cr Jan McWilliams, has announced the 2015 Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year awards at the Australia Day ceremony held at Club Forster on Monday 26 January.

Recipients were Amber Hargreaves, from Forster for Sportsperson of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year went to Bulahdelah’s Ellie Gooch and Citizen of the Year was awarded to Rosslyn Dreise from Forster.

A Special Australia Day Award was given to Joy and Beau, who have jointly volunteered for Ageing and Disability Services since 2000.

Initially Joy and Beau began with Meals on Wheels.

Since that time they have provided home respite for young people with disabilities in their own home, sometimes up to three or four people at a time.

They also take young disabled people on outings such as trips to Sydney and Canberra for up to one week.

They support elderly people in centre respite activities, assisting with meal services and barbeques.

These two are the backbone of local services, give freely of themselves constantly, have hearts of gold and are always reliable and willing to help.

The Australia Day schools E-Calendar competition winners were also announced and recognised with certificates and each child was given a copy of the calendar.

The Mayor’s Awards recognise those in our community who contribute, no matter how large or small, to the wellbeing of the community.

This year that recognition is to those groups or associations who are looking after and caring for people who have been involved in the war effort.

During 2015, the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli, it is timely to pay tribute to the people who are still involved in current or previous theatres of war.

These recipients include Korean War Veterans; Stroud National Servicemen’s Association; Darawank War Memorial Park Volunteers; Great Lakes National Servicemen’s Association; War Widows Guild;  Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest Red Cross; Booral Soldiers Memorial Hall Committee;  Forster Tuncurry RSL Sub-Branch; Coolongolook and District Memorial Hall; Forster Tuncurry Legacy; Forster Tuncurry Legacy Laurel Club; Tea Gardens RSL Sub-Branch; Trustees Tuncurry Memorial Hall; Forster Red Cross; Vietnam Veterans Association; Bulahdelah RSL Sub-Branch; Bulahdelah War Memorial Trust.

A period of silence was observed, followed by Bugler, Nic Parsons, playing The Last Post and Reveille, and Frank Brady, President, Forster/Tuncurry Returned Services League Sub-Branch recited The Ode.

A very moving experience for those in attendance.

Australia Day 2015 was a very special day for eight new Australians.

They chose to make Australia their country and of course, they chose very well in making the Great Lakes, their home.

Our new citizens are Mr Rudy Devambez from New Caledonia; Mrs Montinee Graham from Thailand; Mr Gerald Lawrence from New Zealand, Mr Inderrajbir Singh from India, Mr Tim Hertzler from the United States of America; Mr Gerard Lawrence from New Zealand; Mr John Loring from England; Mr John Payne from the United Kingdom and Ms Amelia Sarpor from the Cote D’Ivorie.

A wonderful group of new citizens from a mixed range of countries that have decided to call Australia home!

We welcome one and all.



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