Wellington Australia Day award ceremony for 2020 winners

About 200 people turned out to attend the 2020 Australia Day ceremony in Wellington on Sunday at Cameron Park.

The day commenced at 9am with a barbecue breakfast prepared and served by Wellington Rotary Club.

At 10:30am the official ceremony started with a welcome to country, introduction, the national anthem and Dubbo Regional Council mayor Ben Shields presenting his mayoral address.

Wellington's Australia Day ambassador for 2020 was Paul Featherstone who spoke about his time in the NSW Ambulance Special Access Casualty Team assisting in emergency management events such as the 1997 Thredbo Disaster, the Bali Bombing and Waterfall Rail Disaster in 2003.

Afterwards the awards were presented.

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The winners of the award were:

Citizen of the Year - Aunty Joyce Williams

Aunty Joyce

Aunty Joyce

Aunty Joyce was named the Citizen of the Year at this year's event.

Speaking with Australian Community Media after the ceremony, Aunty Joyce had tears in her eyes explaining that she didn't know what to say to the crowd who clapped and cheered when her name was announced.

Aunty Joyce said it was lovely to have received the award adding that she had many friends in town.

"A lot of people say hello to me down the street and I don't even know them - even the little kids - it's lovely to be recognised," she added.

The proud Wiradjuri woman has had a role in promotion of cultural needs in Wellington for many years, her citation said.

"She has actively assisted the Aboriginal Protection Board in determining the archaeological aspects of Aboriginal settlement from 1897 to 1970 for the Wiradjuri region," it said.

"Her contribution to this research was in relation to her life, her family's life and the community of Wellington.

"She is a strong voice for Aboriginal people, not only in and around Wellington but in other areas of NSW After the 1967 referendum she helped with changes for the human rights of Aboriginal people to make sure the concerns and needs of the people were heard to a much wider audience and a much higher influence than of the local law maker of the day.

"This recipient started the Aboriginal Corporation Health Service centres around NSW and was the founding member of the Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service, we now know as WACHS.

"Her plight was to fight for the better health outcomes for the Aboriginal people. Her holistic view for good health was to not only focus on the area of health, but for the wellbeing of the family unit as a whole."

Aunty Joyce has been a member of the local Aboriginal Land Council and a member of several local Aboriginal groups and committees and also regularly participates with local Aboriginal Elders groups and has been a member of the Wellington Australia Day committee.

In 2006 she was named as Wellington's Senior Citizen of the Year and ever since has continued working for her community.

In 2019, at 93-years-old, Aunty Joyce retired from active service.

"She is a generous individual who continually contributes to the community."

Young Citizen of the Year - Liam Miller

Liam Miller.

Liam Miller.

The Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Liam Miller with his citation revealing he is a dedicated cadet with St John Ambulance Australia.

Liam has volunteered over 90 hours at local events, assisting members to deliver health services at events.

This year alone, Liam has attended over 40 hours of training to better himself and to hone in his skills.

"He is the first to put up his hand to assist with pre-event logistics, including restocking first aid kits, packing vehicles for events and assisting with support tasks," his citation said,

Early last year, Liam's dedication was recognised when he received a NSW Volunteering award for the Orana region, which recognised his service to Dubbo, Wellington and surrounding areas.

"Without this young mans dedication and service to St John's Ambulance Australia, Orana combined would not have been able to fulfil their potential and continue to grow their cadet program," the citation read.

"When he isn't volunteering, he is a member of the Wellington High School read Madrid soccer team and was selected as one of 20 students to travel to Madrid in the October 2019 school holidays to participate in the real Madrid Sports High School program.

"He plays soccer as part of a loacl team and he also umpires junior games."

Sportsperson of the Year - Ben McGregor

Ben McGregor.

Ben McGregor.

Wellington Cowboys veteran forward Ben 'Chops' McGregor is Wellington's Sportsperson of the Year.

Having played for both the first and reserve grade teams, McGregor was instrumental in helping the each side win their premiership matches against the Dubbo CYMS in 2019.

In his citation it read that McGregor is an inspirational rugby league player who has devoted his career to the Wellington Cowboys, adding the he epitomises all that is good about country sports people.

He has attained representative honours in juniors and seniors and has many qualities to his game.

"He is a true leader, always leading by example and not asking anyone to do anything that he wasn't prepared to do," it read.

"He is a quiet and humble man who would do anything for anyone. He has played many years of rugby league but most of all he has displayed incredible loyalty to the Wellington Cowboys."

That citation added that despite having offers to play elsewhere, the staunch club man has never abandoned his hometown and that Wellington was grateful to have him as part of the club and history.

"His early sporting career began playing rugby league for the Stuart Town Ironbark's, he also played cricket for Stuart Town and Wellington and the Macquarie Valley Western Zone representative teams," it read.

"He was playing junior rugby league, where he played under 18s when he was just 16 and he is still going at the ripe age of 40.

"He represented Group 11 All Stars against Indigenous All Stars in 2013. He has represented Group 11 seniors many times over the past 20 years.

"Last year the recipients capped off an almighty career when he capped off his first Group 11 premiership medal. After years of commitment the old man of the team played in reserve grade and was given the honour of playing out the final minutes as first grade won its very first grand final title in 25 years.

"He is a proud man from Stuart Town, a wonderful husband and father, who continuously demonstrates the quality of a role model that everyone should look up to."

In his address to the crowd, McGregor said he was thankful, although a little embarrassed to have won.

"You get these awards for doing something that you love and footy is obviously it," he said.

"I just want to thank the committee... for getting nominated and having received the award. I would like to thank my little fan club, my family for supporting me over the last 20 years. It will continue on.

"But most of all when you play a team sport, yes we did win two grand finals but you can't win it without the other 16 blokes that play with you in the team, so I'd like to thank the two coaches for giving me the opportunity to play in both those grand finals.

"Without the club, volunteers and our supporters you can't play the game that we love, so I just want to thank every body."

Junior Sportsperson of the Year - Lilly Clarke

Lilly Clarke accepting her award.

Lilly Clarke accepting her award.

Lilly Clarke was announced as the Junior Sportsperson of the Year for Wellington.

In her citation it explained that Lilly has been participated in the St Mary's Touch Football team and qualified for playing in regional and state touch football tournaments.

In order for Lilly to do this she participated in many fundraising efforts to enable all the teams to travel to touch football tournaments across NSW.

She has achieved outstanding personal achievements in touch football and while supporting her team mates she excelled in the sport while doing something she enjoys.

Her selection as captain of the NSW Touch Football team is a testament to her ability not only as a player but her skills to lead.

Her citation also added that Lilly exhibits high level sports kills and has the energy and dedication to support future success.

New Citizen award - Agnes Lourdusamy Batho

Agnes Lourdusamy Batho came to Wellington for love.

Originally from Malaysia, Agnes has lived in the town for five years.

She was officially welcomed as a new citizen at the Wellington Australia Day ceremony on Sunday.

Agnes said Wellington is a really nice place with really nice people.

"I love it, it's a small town but all the people are lovely and I love it," she said.