Two hard-working women who continually show initiative in the community have been awarded Citizen and Young Citizen of the year for Tea Gardens Hawks Nest.
The awards, organised by the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Lionesses recognise two exemplary Tea Gardens Hawks Nest citizens each year on Australia Day.
Courtney Webb, a Tea Gardens resident who has just completed her HSC at Hunter Valley Grammar was awarded Young Citizen of the Year for her leadership skills, as well as her academic, cultural and sporting achievements.
“I was so overwhelmed. It caught me by surprise,” Courtney said of her award.
“I’m really proud of myself for getting it.”
Courtney was raised in Tea Gardens, attending the local primary school where she was known as a keen student and a role model to her peers.
During high school she was House Captain and Secondary School Leader.
She was also the foundation president of the Hunter Valley Grammar School Leo Club and won certificates for public speaking at Lioness Club Youth of the Year.
She is an active member of the surf club, having been named Hunter Junior Lifesaver of the Year and Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Club Rookie of Year.
On top of this she was also a recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award 2012 and Gold Award 2014.
The Lionesses said her achievements were “broad and inspirational in all aspects of her young life.”
“I just don’t overthink things,” Courtney explained.
“I just think, that’s a cool idea, I’ll get that going.”
Courtney will start at the University of Newcastle this month studying Nutrition and Dietetics.
Senior Citizen of the Year, Narelle Murray said her award came as a “wonderful shock”.
“When they called my name out they read back what I’d done in the community right back from 40 years ago. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t even think,” Narelle said.
For more than four decades, Narelle has volunteered her time to support groups, clubs and various aspects of the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest community.
Narelle has been a member of the Red Cross for 14 years and is still an active member today.
She was responsible for initiating the Breakfast Club at Tea Gardens Public School.
She has been a leader for the Red Cross Emergency Services for 10 years and helped in the Newcastle floods and the Raymond Terrace bushfires.
“I love being in the emergency services. I get such a kick out of helping people,” she said.
She has also been involved with many community groups including Girl Guides and Scouts and was a volunteer for the Bulahdelah Central School Bike Challenge, helping to raise money for Father Chris Riley Youth off the Street Program.
The Lionesses described her as “a person who offers time and support to those in need within the community, whether neighbour, friend or relative.”
Narelle’s day was made extra special with her award celebrations also tied in with a family celebration for her grandson Mitchell Markham’s 21st birthday.