Prime Minister, Tony Abbott presented a trophy to Ellie Gooch on Wednesday 1 July as she was awarded the Paterson Young Citizen of the Year Award.
Ellie Gooch, a Bulahdelah girl, is well known in the Great Lakes area for her sporting and academic achievements over the years.
Ellie was the winner of the Great Lakes Young Citizen of the Year on Australia Day 2015 and has also represented Bulahdelah Central School at state level for Cross Country and athletics.
She volunteers on the Bulahdelah Health Advisory Committee, is a leader of setting up the Bulahdelah Central School Leo Club and is a member of the Student Representative Council.
She also has high achievement academically.
Bulahdelah was well represented on the night with Bianca Mason and Jayden Dorney finalists for the category of Young Sports Citizen.
Karl Price was also a finalist for Young Citizen of the Year.
He also has a long list of achievements.
The formal presentation took place at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club at 6 pm.
The evening began with the national anthem and then Tony Abbott spoke for approximately ten minutes about the great work of volunteers.
Bob Baldwin also spoke to the guests.
The award ceremony then took place with the five finalists for Young Citizen of the Year all receiving certificates for their efforts.
Other officials who presented the awards were Bob Baldwin, Federal Member for Paterson, Michael Johnsen, state MP and Scot MacDonald MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter.
It was a proud night for parents and teachers of the students and Bulahdelah Central School offered congratulations to all involved.
Myall Coast News spoke with Ellie Gooch after her win.
“I was shocked and surprised that I won as the other finalists all had a long list of achievements as well,” stated Ellie.
“And it was a cool opportunity to get to shake the hand of Tony Abbott.”
Ellie said the night ran smoothly and was very official.
Ellie asked that a big thank you to Ms Gilbert, Deputy Principal of Bulahdelah Central School, be said, as it is someone who has supported Ellie in her many projects.
She is looking forward to pursuing her sports in the future and is preparing for a Junior Rodeo these school holidays.
Simon Ryan, Office Manager of Bob Baldwin’s office reported that it is unfortunate that Ellie and the other students had to take time out of their school holidays to attend the event but it was the only time that coincided with the Prime Minister’s schedule.