Coffs Coast citizens celebrated for community contributions

City of Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Paul Amos with Garreth Edwards (on behalf of Wayne Edwards, Citizen of the Year), Mayor’s Community Spirit Award winner Carol Cleary, Sport and Recreation Award winner Deborah Baldwin and City of Coffs Harbour General Manager Natalia Cowley.

ONE has made a difference in the journey of cancer patients, another broken ground for hockey while a third is a community champion in the Coffs Harbour hinterland.

All were crowned Australia Day Award winners by the City of Coffs Harbour at Yarrila Place this evening.

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It was wall-to-wall smiles in the River Oak Room as the three local legends were celebrated for all that they have done to contribute to the community.

“Their respective stories are as inspiring as they are humbling,” City of Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Paul Amos said.

“They have provided leadership through action and enriched the lives of many through their dedication.”

Citizen of the Year: Wayne Edwards.

Wayne’s instrumental role in the CanDo Cancer Trust has helped provide vital support to cancer patients and their families.

Through his involvement with Legacy, and through fundraising initiatives such as a charity ride and Dancing with the Stars, Wayne has helped support and raise funds for important community initiatives.

Sport & Recreation Award: Deborah Baldwin.

Deb’s continuous service to Hockey Coffs Coast as a player, coach, manager, umpire, and administrator has greatly contributed to the development of the sport in the region. Her leadership and involvement in critical projects, including the establishment of an artificial playing surface and the renewal of facilities, has created a strong foundation for future generations of hockey players.

Mayor’s Community Spirit Award: Carol Cleary.

Carol’s dedication to empowering the Eastern Dorrigo community has brought people together through various organized activities.

From supporting during bushfires to organising health hubs and providing educational and career development opportunities for local children, Carol’s contributions have significantly contributed to the well-being and resilience of the community.

“Each of the major award recipients has in their own way created a legacy for the benefit of others,” City of Coffs Harbour General Manager Natalia Cowley said.

“We are grateful to them for this and indeed to all of those who were nominated for an Australia Day Award.”

The ceremony at Yarrila Place was also a joyous occasion for the more than 50 people granted Australian citizenship.

The ‘new Australians’ were cheered on by family and friends, and many lit up the room in the heritage dress of their native country.

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