MERRIWA and district Australia Day Awards were held at the Cassillis Bowling Club with a large gathering leaving standing room only.
Ambassadors Lana and Roger Borg travelled from Penrith with their two children to attend the event, their foundation, the Mama Lana Foundation was born out of Mrs Borg providing hot meals for firefighters in 2013 and now has more than 80 volunteers providing meals for those in need six nights a week along with a host of other community projects.
There were two Citizen of the Year Awards given this year with a committee vote not being able to separate them.
Mike Gilder, recipient of one of the Citizen of the Year Awards capturing the essence of what Australia Day is all about and noted that the event was being held in Cassillis where the Sir Ivan fire disaster pulled the community together.
“This award is not about me….it is about the community of Merriwa, we live in a great community here, everyone is here to support and back people up when people are down,” he said.
“We are sitting in Cassillis, the site of the Sir Ivan fire, but as soon as something like this happens the district gets in behind you and backs you and supports you and pulls you out the other end.” said Mike Gilder
Award recipients for 2019 in Merriwa were:
- Merriwa District Citizen of the Year – Peter Saunders and Ita O’Regan
- Merriwa District Citizen of the Year – Mike Gilder
- Young Citizen of the Year – Clancy Martin
- Achiever of the Year – Cassandra McLaren
- Young Achiever of the Year – Darcy Taaffe
- Environmental Achievement Award- James Munro
- Business Sustainability Award – John Russell
School Academic Achievement Award: Shai Blackadder.
School Creative Arts Excellence Award: Teianna Taylor
Nominees for awards in Merriwa included: Maria Cameron, Kim Clydsdale, Mike Gilder, Cancy Martin, Cassandra McLaren, James Munro, Peter Saunders, Ita O’Regan, John Russell, Darcy Taaffe and Eva Towler