Australia Day in Narrandera

Narrandera Shire Council
Figure with Australian flag t-shirt

Narrandera Shire’s Australia Day Awards have recognised the work and achievements of individuals and groups at the Awards Ceremony today at the Narrandera Sportsground.

“Each year, we celebrate Australia Day by hosting an awards ceremony to recognise those in our community who make a difference,” said Councillor Neville Kschenka, Mayor of Narrandera Shire.

The Narrandera Australia Day Ceremony saw recognition awarded in various categories:

Narrandera Volunteer Rescue Squad was awarded Organisation of the Year in recognition of their vital service since 1968.

Their members have faced challenging situations and worked closely with other emergency services during floods in 1974, 2012 and 2016.

Reta Spencer was recognised as Senior Citizen of the Year and known for her baking and judging of all classes of cookery.

This includes Best Exhibitor at Barellan Show on numerous occasions and winning many state-level Country Women’s Association awards, as well as judging Sydney Royal Easter Shows and many regional shows.

Spencer is an Honorary Life Member of Barellan CWA Branch, and has been a member of that organisation for over 70 years.

Narrandera Shire’s Young Citizen of the Year is Wesley Bamblett, a proud young Wiradjuri man who is actively involved in both school and community events.

Bamblett’s contributions include membership of the Narrandera Aboriginal Dance Group, flag-raising ceremonies on both ANZAC and Remembrance days, as well as serving on the Narrandera Shire Youth Advisory Council — where he has been elected to the role of Deputy Mayor.

The ceremony was unusual in recognising two Citizens of the Year for their individual contributions: Glenn Currie and Neil Seidel.

Glenn Currie has demonstrated leadership in Narrandera Landcare and the town’s Community Garden, including organising a diverse cohort of volunteers to undertake plant propagation and maintenance.

His activities have also ranged from educational wildflower and wattle walks to bird surveys and developing grant-based projects.

Neil Seidel was nominated by the members of Narrandera Can Assist for his 11 years’ experience as a fundraiser to support people with their expenses after cancer diagnosis.

He had raised over $20,000 each year by engaging sponsors, as well as organising a Thank You Evening to recognise their contributions.

“Congratulations to all of our Australia Day Award recipients and thank you for your hard work and contribution to our community,” said Cr Kschenka.

“It’s wonderful to be able to recognise the achievements of those within our community on this day and it is pleasing to see the calibre of those nominated.

This year’s Australia Day Ambassador was Warren Potent, five-time Olympian and Olympic medallist for the prone rifle shooter competition.

The local ambassador was John Sullivan, former Shire Mayor and both State and Federal member.

The Ceremony was also attended by the Honourable Sussan Ley, current Federal Member for Farrer.

In addition to a program that included singing by 3 Tiers and a poem read by Master of Ceremonies, Rebecca Beer, the Narrandera Sportsperson Committee presented their 2021 Awards.

Binya Public School Swimming Relay Team won the President’s Award.

The team won their division at the State Swimming Championships, where they broke the race record that had been held by Grong Grong Public School for 10 years.

The 2021 Team Award was presented to Narrandera Under 16s Girls Basketball Team, who won the NSW Western Junior League Championship.

Narrandera Golf Club won the 2021 Senior Award for their success in winning both the men and women’s pennants finals in the Riverina Golf Association Competition.

The 2021 Junior Award was shared by Zoe Hutchinson and Darcy Mimmo for their talents across various sports.

After the Narrandera Shire Australia Day Ceremony concluded, there were competitions for thong throwing and tug o’ war, as well as a scavenger hunt.

“Australia Day is an opportunity for the community to come together,” concluded Cr Kschenka.

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