Australia day awards Wellington

Community Service Award – Doug Morley

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Wellington acknowledge the contribution made by Doug Morley to the community through volunteer work and congratulate him on being presented with a Community Service Award.

Mr Morley is an active member of the Wellington community helping to support local community groups. He is constantly looking for new ways to grow local groups and is someone who enjoys helping others, never looking for thanks in return.

Mr Morley has been an active member of the town band for more than 25 years, volunteering as the band assistant for three years and is currently the band conductor, helping to organise the town band and teach beginners.

He was a member of the Wellington Town Fire Brigade for 15 years receiving the long service medal in 2013. Doug is a current volunteer of the Neurie bush firefighting crew, having served for more than 22 years. He also volunteered in the 2019/2020 black summer bushfires travelling with crews throughout NSW.

Mr Morley also volunteered his time through his work with the Wellington Correctional Centre social club to raise money for charities such as Men’s Health, Cystic Fibrosis and the Cancer Council.

He also has been a supportive member in the local Uniting Church community helping to maintain the church grounds.

Community Service Award – Penny Cook

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Wellington acknowledge the contribution of Penny Cook and congratulate her on being presented with a Community Service Award.

Ms Cook is extremely community minded. She has strong values and is generous to the community with her time. She volunteers at the Wellington Show, Made in Wello shop and is a WIRES carer.

Ms Cook goes out of her way to make people feel welcome and included. This is evident with the way she interacts with tourists and locals alike in her volunteer role in ‘Made in Wello’.

Ms Cook is the only volunteer for WIRES in Wellington, helping our injured and orphaned native wildlife. This involves call outs to assist native animals in distress and fostering of orphaned animals until they are released. Also involved is night feeding, and when old enough transitioning animals to be able to be released back into the wild.

Ms Cook’s speciality is wombats and she released a wombat in the Pilliga area. During the recent drought the Wombat found its way to Pilliga Pottery where it found water and carrots in the garden and, being human raised, was quite comfortable around the owners and often visits.

Ms Cook also will look after joeys until they can go to a specialist kangaroo/wallaby carer. This involves trips to places such as Parkes. She also regularly transports animals to the zoo for veterinary treatment.

Ms Cook also volunteers for the Wellington Show running the photography section and assisting with the baking section each year.

Community Service Award – Ian Darney

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Wellington acknowledge the contribution of Ian Darney and congratulate him on being presented with a Community Service Award.

Mr Darney has volunteered for at least 16 years for various organisations, including Rugby Union, League, Legacy and Wellington Race Club.

He joined the race club committee more than two decades ago and has been president for close to 10 years, and only recently re-elected again to the position.

During his tenure Mr Darney has been instrumental in gaining much additional racing sponsorship and prizemoney. Last year Racing NSW increased prizemoney for the Wellington Boot 1100 metre feature event to $200,000 and the two-day racing carnival total prizemoney exceeds $360,000 – the richest fixture west of the great divide.

Nearly every day you will find Mr Darney out on the track moving irrigation sprays and piping or potting (filling-in) horse-hoof print divots on the track, the results of track work training of race meetings.

The club has been successful under his presidency due to his charismatic approach to life and fellow volunteers. There is nothing he would ask that he either wouldn’t do himself or has actually done and needs a hand.

Mr Darney has also done a lot of charitable work for families in need though would never seek recognition of these acts of kindness.

Community Service Award – Pip Smith

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Wellington acknowledge the contribution of Pip Smith and congratulate her on being presented with a Community Service Award.

Ms Smith is one of those people who is always super busy but who is always first to put her hand up to assist anyone with their events or when volunteers are needed. She is very community minded and needs to be recognised for her contributions to Wellington.

Ms Smith gives a huge amount to the community and in particular the Wellington Eisteddfod. Wellington Eisteddfod is one of the biggest in NSW and Ms Smith has been involved from a young age.

In 2021 with COVID-19 ramping up for the second time, the eisteddfod planning was on standby for a long time. Ms Smith spent many hours on the phone with parents of the competitors, creating COVID plans and rearranging the event delivery to ensure a COVID-safe event that met all the restrictions around performances. With restrictions changing mid-event, she was again on the phone advising parents and rearranging events, moving performance times due to competitors’ travel restrictions, even having to make the difficult decision to cancel portions. Events like eisteddfods are the gateway for many students in pursing university spots and career opportunities, if cancelled, there is a huge pressure on the organisers, increasing the importance of Ms Smith’s efforts in this space.

Community Service Award – Cathy Donnelly

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Wellington acknowledge the contribution of Cathy Donnelly and congratulate her on being presented with a Community Service Award.

Ms Donnelly has volunteered her time with Binjang Community Radio for the last nine years. She is an on-air presenter and during that time she has proven to be reliable and effective in her regular time slots four times a week. She also anchors outside broadcasts every two weeks on average. She has been a director for Studio Coordination organising and updating the presenter rosters each week. Ms Donelley has also organised Radio Station events.

She has shown outstanding dedication and determination from the day she began training to the current day. She has developed into a solid presenter with a respectful following in the community. The amount and length of time she volunteers is above and beyond that of her peers. Ms Donnelley is an avid supporter of Binjang Radio whose interests she passionately defends.

2022 Community Event of the Year Award – Art Trail – Wellington Arts Centre

Wellington Arts Centre Inc were active during 2021 despite COVID-19, where they ran four significant events which greatly helped and contributed to the wellbeing and profile of the local community.

Of these four events, the Art Trail has stood out as the event of the year.

The Art Trail was a highly successful event which was run across the Local Government Area in mid-April. The Art Trail featured 42 artists at 14 different venues/studios located between Rawsonville and Bakers Swamp over two days.

The trail attracted 600 visitors from 35 different postcodes. This lifted the profile of local artists and raised the awareness of the tremendous talent present in our local community.

It is events like this that are all encompassing which benefit the community and it is why they are awarded the Community Event of the Year 2022.

2022 Young Sportsperson of the Year Award – Josie Clarke

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Wellington acknowledge Josie Clarkes’s contribution to touch football, and congratulate her on being named Wellington’s 2022 Young Sportsperson of the Year.

Miss Clarke has been involved with touch football in our region for more than 10 years, beginning her touch with the St Mary’s Wolf Pack and Wellington Touch Association.

Over the years she has been been selected into:

-Bathurst Diocese Team to play at the NSW CCC and Polding Trials;

-NSW Polding Team that won silver at the NSW PSSA Championships in Coffs Harbour;

-NSW CIS Team to play at National Youth Championships in QLD;

-NSW Hunter Western Hornets over the past seven Years and last year being involved in the U18s Team that won Gold at the Junior Regional Championships;

-U18’s NSW Merit Team;

-Selected into the Australian U20s Squad to play in the Youth Trans-Tasman Championships against New Zealand.

And this year, Miss Clarke has been selected into the SUNS Women’s Premier Team to play at the National Touch League Championships in March at Coffs Harbour.

Miss Clarke is a player that competes on every set in the game of touch football. She has always set an excellent example to her teammates and younger peers by always displaying good sportsmanship, coaching younger players and refereeing in the junior and senior competitions.

Over the years Miss Clarke has had her share of injuries and disappointments but her hard work, commitment, resilience and courage is something for which she should be commended. It is these qualities which have pushed her through to be rewarded last year with the NSW Merit Team and Australian Squad. She sets an amazing example for our community.

Miss Clarke has demonstrated high resilience and determination not just through the COVID-19 period but her entire sporting life, and to be picked in the Australian Squad is a huge reward for that hard work. For these reasons she is a very worthy recipient of the Young Sportsperson of the Year for 2022 award.

2022 Sportsperson of the Year Award – Katherine Bell-Pitomac

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Wellington acknowledge the contribution made by Katherine Bell-Pitomac, and congratulate her on being named as Wellington’s 2022 Sportsperson of the Year.

Ms Bell-Pitomac started her riding career in 2002, being described as ‘promising’ after her first race as a young apprentice.

In March 2021, 19 years later “Just for Racing” journalist Ric Chapman wrote that even though she was still an apprentice “That wee snip of a lass” who still claims three kilograms on the city tracks, booted home Old Harbour to win by a half-head at the Country Championships at Mudgee.

He stated that she was masterful as she rode him on the fence, saving ground, then forcing her way into a gap at the top of the straight and urging him past Australia’s champion jockey, Hugh Bowman, and Sydney’s champion apprentice, Robbie Dolan, to win.

Ms Bell-Pitomac had taken time off to become a mum and then returned to the sport. The Country Championship win in Mudgee was followed by her first ride at Randwick in February 2021 where she came third.

In her riding career, Ms Bell-Pitomac has had to overcome injuries, such as in 2015 when she was literally squashed by a horse that she was breaking in, breaking her back in three places. She underwent many hours of physiotherapy and hours of swimming in the pool to make her miracle comeback possible. Again in 2019, whilst rising to riding fame, Ms Bell-Pitomac was involved in a dramatic fall at Tamworth Country Championships which saw a total of four jockeys hospitalised.

Ms Bell-Pitomac has shown courage to overcome her injuries and ride again. She rides track-work most mornings at Wellington race course and her most recent Wellington performance was a big win on Diggers Reach for local trainer Garry McCarney in the 900 metres Over the Line Maiden Plate.

A jockey’s life is very early mornings riding at track work, and plying the trade by taking their mount to its best performance on race day. Ms Bell-Pitomac does this brilliantly and her dedication, commitment and hard work are why she is to be awarded with Wellington’s Sportsperson of the Year award 2022.

2022 Citizen of the Year Award – Lisa Thomas

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Wellington acknowledge the contribution made by Lisa Thomas, and congratulate her on being named as Wellington’s 2022 Citizen of the Year.

Ms Thomas is the current president of Wellington Arts, a position she has held for five years. In this role she oversees multiple events that provide avenues for community participation with an emphasis on inclusivity for the whole of the community. She negotiates multiple funding avenues all benefiting the Wellington region. Her focus is always on celebrating Wellington and its community and respecting cultural history.

Under Ms Thomas leadership Wellington Arts has grown into a vibrant volunteer organisation. It provides a wide range of arts-related events and activities for the local community.

In the face of COVID-19, Ms Thomas has guided Wellington Arts through all the challenges that they have faced and the organisation has not lost any of its vitality. She was responsible for ensuring that comprehensive COVID-19 Management plans were in place for every event mounted during the year.

Events that ran during the year included the highly successful Art Trail (across the LGA), the Australian Threatened Species art competition, and the Portrait Artist of the Year.

Also under the leadership of Ms Thomas, the Art and Sculpture Festival and Fong Lee Lane Festivals have become highlights on the annual Wellington calendar of events.

The Wellington Arts Gallery in the Western Stores Building opened last year to promote the work of Wellington artists to locals and tourists alike. Procurement of the gallery space in the centre of town owes much to the goodwill Wellington Arts has earned with Lisa at the helm. The Gallery has also ensured another shop front remains open in town, which Ms Smith is passionate about.

Ms Thomas is a great ambassador for Wellington, Wellington Arts and the region. She has also recognised and driven Wellington Arts’ increased social media profile, which in turn benefits Wellington’s public profile.

Ms Thomas is the personification of positivity, her passion for celebrating and promoting Wellington and her inexhaustible energy in making a difference to her community make her an extremely deserving 2022 Citizen of the Year.

2022 Senior Citizen of the Year Award – Nyasa Holmes

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Wellington acknowledge the contribution made Nyasa Holmes, and congratulate her on being named as Wellington’s 2022 Senior Citizen of the Year.

Mrs Holmes has been volunteering for the Wellington Community for over 50 years for multiple organisations, even whilst she was employed as a nurse for 30 years.

Organisations that have had the benefit of her tireless work are:

Red Cross;

Meals on Wheels;

Wellington Pony Club;

Assistant to Wellington Show secretary and steward;

Wellington Eisteddfod;

Nails at Maranatha House;

Wellington Primary School canteen;

WATS performer;

Wondomnom volunteer.

Mrs Holmes is a very kind, community minded and generous person willing to help those in need in any way that she can and for these reasons, she is a very deserving Senior Citizen of the Year for 2022.

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