Griffith’s Richard (Stephen) Mortlock has been named the Australia Day Citizen of the Year.
Mr Mortlock was presented with the top Australia Day honour on Wednesday, 26 January during the official ceremony, held at the Griffith Regional Theatre.
He received the accolade for his dedication, passion and commitment to protecting and supporting the residents of Griffith and surrounds for over 37 years while serving with the Griffith SES Unit.
Mr Mortlock retired from service in November 2021, marking an end to a stellar career which saw him involved in a wide range of events including car accidents and storms.
He was instrumental in helping protect properties during the 2012 flood event, working alongside his team sandbagging, repairing damage, transporting people to safety and cleaning up.
Griffith Mayor, Doug Curran congratulated Mr Mortlock and the other worthy award recipients. He also acknowledged the 56 new citizens from 14 countries.
“On behalf of the Griffith community, I congratulate Stephen and all of the other worthy winners,” Councillor Curran said.
“The Australia Day awards are an important way we can pay tribute to the commitment and dedication of individuals and groups across Griffith that go above and beyond to support our community.”
Unfortunately Griffith’s Australia Day Ambassador Mark Warren was unable to attend local events due to COVID-19.
Winners of the Griffith Australia Day awards:
- Citizen of the Year – Stephen Mortlock
- Young Citizen of the Year – Nayani Navaneethan
- Environmental Citizen of the Year – Hampers of Hope
- Community Project of the Year – Griffith Curry and Jam
- Local Hero Award – John Dal Broi
- Young Sportsperson of the Year – Nicole Taylor
- Sports Team of the Year – U12s Griffith Academy Football Club
- Sportsperson of the Year – Nicole Taylor
Councillor Christine Stead also congratulated the winners and award nominees.
“All those nominated deserve recognition for the hard work and dedication to their community,” Councillor Stead said.
“Congratulations and well done to all our award recipients. I am delighted to see that our former Mayor, John Dal Broi has been recognised as this year’s hero and commend our new Mayor for acknowledging the incredible work he did over more than 40 years.
“John dedicated so much of his life to this community and he was such an inspirational leader.”
Congratulations to Griffith’s Noel Hicks who was awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia for his significant service to the Parliament of Australia and to the Riverina.