Nicki Scholes – Robertson named Armidale’s 2021 Citizen of Year

Nicki Scholes – Robertson has been named as Armidale’s 2021 Citizen of the Year for her work advocating for people suffering with Chronic Kidney Disease.

After receiving a kidney transplant in 2020, Ms Scholes – Robertson has been a vocal advocate for those suffering with Chronic Kidney Disease. In 2020, she stepped up her dedication to the cause, launching the Rural Kidney Association to try and make a difference for those suffering with the illness in rural and regional areas. In addition to this, Ms Scholes –Robertson has established support groups for patients and families of those living with Chronic Kidney Disease in Armidale, and has raised thousands of dollars for the Armidale Renal Unit.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Cr. Ian Tiley was joined by this year’s local Australia Day Ambassador, Steve Widders to present the awards. Mr Widders is a local Indigenous icon, and is a passionate advocate for those living with a disability, youth and children, refugees, and Indigenous Australians.

In addition to the awards, Armidale Regional Council was pleased to present 28 people with Australian Citizenship.


Senior Citizen of the Year: Diane Ruth Cherry – Ms Cherry has played a central role in the Armidale Senior Citizens Association and the Armidale University of the Third Age, and has dedicated many years to both organisations.

Environmental Citizen of the Year: Dr Tanya Howard – Dr Howard has worked tirelessly to raise public awareness of natural resource management, environmental sustainability and climate change. She is a passionate advocate for action on climate change, and is convenor of Sustainable Living Armidale and Climate Action Armidale.

Contribution to Sports and Recreation: Mark Bullen – Mr Bullen volunteers his time to coach local junior soccer teams and young cyclists. He also volunteers for annual charity ride Tour De Rocks, and is a life member of the Armidale Cycling Club.

Arts and Culture Award: Dr Alana Blackburn – Dr Blackburn works within the Music Department at the University of New England and is a Board Member of NECOM. Dr Blackburn has been a driving force behind getting teachers from the New England Conservatorium of Music to provide practical tuition to UNE students in 2020. She also assists with the annual Armidale Choral Weekend, and the UNE Chamber Ensemble Programme.

Community Service Award: Ian Garske – Mr Garske has run the Rotary Book Fair fundraiser for the past 20 years, and has been a huge contributor to Rotary Central.


David White – Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year, Community Service Award

Dr Alana Blackburn – Citizen of the Year

Lorie McLennan ­– Senior Citizen of the Year

Tony Sorensen – Senor Citizen of the Year

Kathy Clare – Community Service Award

Louise Moffat – Community Service Award

Gaylia Bigg – Community Service Award

Wendy Peterson – Contribution to Sports and Recreation

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