David Henderson was one of six individuals and groups recognised at the Australia Day ceremony on 26 January at Lismore City Hall, where Mayor Isaac Smith also welcomed more than 50 new Australians in the annual citizenship Ceremony.
David has been a highly respected police officer for over 18 year and has worked at Casino and Lismore since January 2015. David has been awarded three State and Federal medals for his service as a Police Officer, as well as two commendations for bravery.
Throughout his career he as has shown a real passion for his community, particularly towards helping young people.
Apart from the normal duties as a Police Officer, David teaches classes of local youth so they can obtain a Learner Drivers Licence. He also takes young people to the Lismore PCYC to engage with police through boxing and athletics. David then cooks them a hot breakfast before returning them to school.
He also runs the highly successful Richmond Police District Facebook Page, which has over 120,000 views a week, and was an important source of information during the recent bushfires.
David has also been an RFS member for almost six years. He has attended dozens of local bush and house fires. During the Rappville fire he saved a house by putting himself between a raging fire and a house, using only a rake to save the property.
He was also one of the first to attend the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre fire, where he fought fires for 14 hours under extremely difficult conditions.
David also spends a considerable amount of time training new RFS recruits and Brigade Captains.
Mayor Isaac Smith said he was proud to name David Lismore City Council Citizen of the Year.
“David has given his time and effort to help our young people. He has also literally put his safety on the line to protect our community during the recent bushfires,” he said.
“As we have seen over the last few months, this takes a special type of person. I thank David for everything he has done to make our community a better place for our young and a safer place for us all.
“I would also like to congratulate all our other winners and nominees. They are all deserving of nomination and have done our community proud.”
Other 2019 Australia Day Award winners were:
Young Citizen of the Year: Macy Butler
Marcy is as passionate about sport as she is about volunteering. She has represented Lismore in Netball, volunteers as a Surf Lifesaver, and is a keen water polo player.
Off the sports field, Macy has been involved in numerous fundraising activities for various charities, including selling legacy badges.
Last December, she volunteered at Yodifee – a Marist Solidarity orphanage for disabled children in Cambodia -– where she helped clean and paint the orphanage to improve the conditions of those who live there.
Services in the Community (Individual): Norm Robinson
Despite his age, Norm continues to serve his community with the energy and enthusiasm of someone half his age.
For 42 year, he devoted himself to teaching. First at Nimbin Central School before retiring from Lismore High School Principal as the most senior principal in NSW.
A member of the Lismore RSL Sub-branch, 41st Battalion and National Service Organisation, Norm continues to lead the 41st Battalion in the ANZAC Day march kitted out in his original kilt uniform which is over 60 years old.
A passionate Rotarian, he has received the highest accolade within the international service organisation, a Paul Harris Fellowship.
Services in the Community (Group): Muslim Students’ Society SCU
Whether it is bushfire or flood, when the community is in crisis the Muslim Students at the Southern Cross University has reached out to help. During the fires they contacted every possible student, both local and international, who live near bush fire affected areas, and those who had been evacuated with offers of food, shelter, transportation and space to store any belongings they could save.
Members also volunteered to help during the 2017 flood and hosts Toy and Book Library for the Kids for children who go to University with their parents.
Arts/Cultural: Valerie Axtens
This is Valerie’s 35th year as secretary of the Lismore Eisteddfod and Musical Society and her 13th as Treasurer.
Last year, she helped to stage the Society’s 107th Eisteddfod which lasted for 21 days and showcased more than 2000 amateur performing arts competitors. Choirs, musicians, dancers – soloists and troupes and students of the spoken word, came from many schools, colleges and private studios to enter these competitions which were staged in three different venues.
Sports Team: St Carthage’s Primary School Rugby 10’s Team
This team have represented St Carthage’s Primary School & Lismore Rugby Club with pride, great teamwork and sportsmanship.
They have had an outstanding season, culminating in winning the NSW Catholic Schools Rugby 10’s Championships.
Teams from across NSW came together to compete in this tournament for the chance to be crowned NSW Catholic Schools State Champions.
Congratulations to all our 2020 Australia Day winners and nominees.