Lions Citizens of the Year for 2024 awarded on Australia Day

Young Citizen of the Year Reef Mirisch with Tea Gardens Lions President Doug Allen.

THE LIONS Club of Tea Gardens honoured two outstanding local citizens on Australia Day, with the Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year awards handed out at Moira Parade park in Hawks Nest.

“Both our Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year come from the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest (TGHN) Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC), putting in countless hours to their community activities, plus work and school, and what they achieve in a week is amazing,” Tea Gardens Lions President Doug Allen said.

Hawks Nest Golf ClubAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

‘Young Citizen’ was awarded to Reef Mirisch, who has been with the local SLSC since 2021, as well as contributing to many community activities in and around his Bulahdelah Central School (BCS) studies.

‘Citizen of the Year’ went to Debbie Booth, whose slew of previous awards and countless hours were more than Doug could list.

Neither of the winners had an inkling of what they were about to receive, with the Lions and SLSC doing an excellent job keeping them unawares

“In his first season, 2021-22, Reef obtained all certifications to become part of our regular patrol, and has since readily volunteered over 130 hours on Bennetts Beach, ensuring the safety of community and visitors,” TGHN SLSC representative Kerrie Moore told NOTA.

“Upon early demonstration of his eagerness to pass on his new skills, Reef has become a regular volunteer with Nippers, too.”

Among many other things, Reef has also supported the SLSC’s fundraising, while working part-time at Hawks Nest IGA, and has been elected Vice-Captain of BCS, as he enters his HSC studies.

Debbie Booth, a resident for more than 30 years, has worked at both Bulahdelah Central School and Tea Gardens Public School, on top of her time with the SLSC, which she joined in 1996.

Taking on many roles, including Club President and Chief Training Officer, Debbie trains other lifeguards, and has recruited, encouraged, mentored, and supported a group of Club members to obtain NSW SLS Training Awards, among many, many other achievements for the community.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

Leave a Reply