Local icon and motivational speaker Steve Widders has been named as this year’s Australia Day Ambassador for the Armidale Region.
Mr Widders is a local Aboriginal man descendant from the Kamillaroi and Anaiwan people of Northern NSW. He has lived and worked on the ancestral ground of his people most of his life and has great pride in his identity as an Aboriginal Australian.
Despite Mr Widders being declared medically blind in 1990, he remains an active member of the community, and is a strong advocate for children and youth, people living with physical and intellectual disabilities, and is also passionate about helping new refugees who have settled in Australia.
He has served as a member of the NSW Disability Council, National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC), and is currently a board Member of Multicultural NSW.
Additionally, Steve is Chair of the Newara Aboriginal Corporation, the Anaiwan Language Revival Group, he is a board member of Armidale AM Rotary Club, a Paul Harris fellow, and is a cultural and heritage advisor to local organisations.
On top of this, Steve has achieved many personal triumphs, including becoming one of the first blind men to walk the Kokoda Track. He has also completed several tandem bike rides to raise funds and awareness for Men’s Health concerns.
Despite these achievements, Steve says he is most proud of raising his famil. He is married to his wife Sandra, and has 3 children, 16 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
Mr Widders will speak at both of the region’s events to be held in Guyra and Armidale on Tuesday 26 January.
The Guyra Awards Ceremony will run from 9am at the Guyra Council Administration Building followed by Armidale’s Awards Ceremony at the Armidale City Bowling Club from 11am.
28 people from the region will be named Australian Citizens at this year’s event.
Unfortunately this year’s celebrations will be invite only to comply with current COVID-19 restrictions.