Nominees for Great Lakes Citizen of the Year are excitied

The nominations are in for a number of categories for the Citizens of the Year Awards which will be announced in Forster at the Council Chambers on Australia Day.

Ruby Keys
Ruby Keys

This year, some locals from Bulahdelah, Booral and Pindimar are representing the Myall Lakes area with outstanding contributions to the community.

Irene Worth from Bulahdelah is nominated for the Citizen of the Year Award.

Want your business advertised online with Myall Coast News? With 10,878 page-views over the last one month, you’ll reach your online audience & customers with us. Email us today [email protected]

She has been nominated due to her extensive work on the Bulahdelah Hospital Auxiliary and her contribution to the Historical Society.

Irene recently won the Myall Lakes Senior Person of the Year Award.

When contacted by Myall Coast News, she stated,

“I thought this nomination was a follow-up for my other award.”

Irene Worth humbly spoke about all the work she has performed as President of the Hospital Auxiliary since 2006 and the amount of time she spends at the Bulahdelah Courthouse.

“The way our parents brought us up was to be accountable for your time, so that is why I invest all this effort into volunteer work,” Irene shared.

Sue Filson from Booral has been nominated for Local Champion of the Arts.

Sue is part of the Stroud Writers Group and spends time at the Stroud Community Lodge Aged Care promoting discussion and story-telling.

When Myall Coast News spoke with Sue she commented,

Ruby Keys
Ruby Keys

“I am really chuffed to receive this nomination but I feel I don’t appreciate it as it really is the people in the background who do all the work who are just as important.”

Also Ruby Keys from Pindimar has been nominated for Young Citizen of the Year Award for her concern with the homeless and her efforts to incorporate this into her research in her school subjects.



Sue Filson from Booral write the following for Myall Coast News

Susan at Stroud Lodge Monday Music
Susan at Stroud Lodge Monday Music


A Champion of the Arts? What the . . . is that? What’s your definition? What does it entail to be a Champion? We all know about Sports Champions.  How? We are inundated daily by information about sport (of all codes: particularly male players). It has taken me some time to settle upon a suitable definition.


A Champion of the Arts: One who loves Sharing Stories


We are all storytellers. Ever since mankind has lived on this planet he has been involved in the Arts. Examples of cave paintings, pottery, weaving, and stories from earliest times, are still to be admired today. There are depictions of dancers, and orators, on parchments, hides and pottery

Before mass communication, news was laboriously conveyed by a variety of means such as drums, message sticks, troubadours, and town criers. Historical incidents have come to us through plays, folk songs, poetry, art. We are all storytellers. Whatever the occasion, whenever there are two or more people, a story is being told. You see two chaps sitting outside the pub. What are they doing? swapping yarns.

We judge a town by the friendliness of the people. As tourists, how chuffed we are when we are strolling along and a local greets us. “Great Day”. A foreign accent may be discerned. “Where are you from, mate?” And . . .

As a Champion of the Arts, networking is most important. No one works in isolation. There is always a team of people backing, supporting working. Our aim in Stroud is to seek out people; people with stories they are willing to share; people who will give of their expertise in art, music, drama or dance; people who will help promote the enjoyment of literature

We are a small community with a wealth of talent. Unfortunately, we live in a transient society, a time predicted by Alvin Toffler in his 1970 book, Future Shock. A core of our population stays put but an increasing proportion come and go. Memberships fluctuate dramatically. This makes it difficult to sustain long term commitments to provide cultural activities. Thus, classes for dancing or art, the choir, book club, writers group, drama troupe, bands, and garden club, prosper then wither.

Four children in a family are keen readers. They belong to the library, are regular borrowers throughout their primary years, come to secondary schooling, reading often tapers off, then they move away. We hope that we have created a life-long passion for reading. In the meantime, borrowing figures pummel.

We endeavour to attract speakers to our library. It is difficult to convince them that the RSL Library is a cosy intimate venue. Therefore, we mainly rely on local expertise. Finding suitable dates is the other challenge. All towns in the district are faced with the same dilemma because events clash.

Disappointingly, Great Lakes Council’s financial difficulties have resulted in the demise of the Great Lakes Arts Network (GLAN). I wish to acknowledge the contribution and support given over many years to the Arts in Stroud, by Councillors Leigh Vaughan, and Council staff Andrew Braybrook, Chris Jones, and Bev Gorton. More recently Councillor Karen Hutchinson, Council staff Kathy Dennis and Lynda Hepple’s team.

Since becoming a permanent resident of the district in 1987, I have supported older residents by providing books, initially to Dorothy Baker’s Day Care then to Stroud Community Lodge as well as to housebound readers. In the past, I held a weekly storytelling session at the Lodge. Now-a-days I help with the weekly Magic Monday Morning Music. It has become the highlight of my week.

We live in a fast expanding technological age of social media communication – Facebook, texting, Twittering, emails, video conferencing – but these are no substitute for  first-hand interaction: where we are able to study body language, interest, empathy understanding or comprehension. Experience the buzz: the joy of being amongst a crowd, singing, dancing, clapping, swaying, laughing. Sitting by oneself humming along to a tune? There’s no comparison.

Let us all be recognised as Champions of the Arts. Share your stories, through oral, written, visual or performing arts.

“May the Force Be With You”.


Leave a Reply