Bega Valley Medallions were awarded to 14 outstanding members of the community at the Australia Day celebratory event at Littleton Gardens in Bega.
The medallions recognise important community members who have served within the Bega Valley community for an extended period of time.
Bega awardee John Stylianou of Bega for his was recognised for his volunteer support to a range of local sporting and community groups. He has supported grown the shire's reputation as a major national and international squash tournament destination.
He is also actively involved with the Tathra Mountain Bike Club, Bega Bowling Club, Tulgeen, the Bega Chamber of Commerce, recovery efforts following the Black Summer bushfires, and supports AFL, rugby union, cricket, swimming, surf lifesaving (George Bass) and university scholarships.
Cobargo awardee David Allen was recognised for his leadership during and after the Black Summer bushfires, particularly his actions and support in the community recovery process since the bushfires.
Eden Awardee Robin Wykes was honoured for her tireless and selfless volunteer work in the canteen for a range of sporting clubs, including Eden Tigers Rugby League, and for organising numerous community events over many years.
Amanda Shane of Bega was awarded her medallion for her volunteer efforts with the Tathra Rural Fire Service and Marine Rescue Merimbula.
Wallaga Lake recipient Robert Smith was acknowledged for his volunteer and mentoring services to BlazeAid since 2011, which includes assisting communities in and around Cobargo following the Black Summer bushfires and assisting disaster-affected communities in eight other areas across Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
Donna Flood of Bega for her volunteer service following the Black Summer bushfires, particularly in managing the Bega Showground Evacuation Centre kitchen and coordinating the feeding of thousands of bushfire-affected residents, visitors and emergency service workers.
Eden community member Bill Foxwell for his generous volunteer plumbing work and donation of equipment at Jigamy Farm, towards the Bega Valley Water and Sanitation Project and other shelter and water projects, and the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast's Life Raft project to provide refurbished caravans to bushfire-affected residents.
Mark Smith of Merimbula for his volunteer painting and plumbing draining services to local communities and communities in Timor-Leste, Cambodia and Vietnam, through his association with the Rotary Club of Pambula, Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste and the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast's Jigamy Farm, Life Raft project and Water and Sanitation Project.
Cobargo's Greg Holland, Ron Cole and Will Mead for their dedicated volunteer work to improve the facilities at the Cobargo Showground, including the near completion of the Showground's new dining room and kitchen facilities and forthcoming secretary's office, storeroom and first-aid room. The affectionately named Three Stooges have been members of the Cobargo Agricultural Pastoral and Horticultural Society for more than 20 years.
Bega's Christine Welsh for establishing a charity and team to manage the social enterprise, Sapphire Community Projects, including operating a community pantry, small coffee shop and offering computer training for over 55s.
The following two recipients could not be at the ceremony in person, but their contributions were acknowledged at the event.
Carolyn McColl of Pambula Beach for her more than 20 years of volunteer service as Board Director/Chair of Bega Valley Meals-on-Wheels and various senior volunteer positions with NSW Meals-on-Wheels.
Ruth Gilmore, formerly of Bermagui, for her dedicated and selfless volunteer and church work in the communities of Bermagui, Cobargo and Quaama, over the 20 years she lived in Bermagui, including the building and management the OK Shed at the All Saints Anglican Church and the revival of the Bermagui Playschool.
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