Margaret Grills named top citizen

Citzen of the Year nominees (l to r) Robyn Godlonton, John & Barbara Ross, Margaret Grills (winner), Wendy Mulligan, Sharon Bowles, David Kanaley and Australian Day Ambassador Michael Crossland.
30th Jan 2024

Outstanding community service was recognised at the 2024 Australia Day Awards dinner held in Guyra on January 25th.
Margaret Grills was announced as Guyra’s Citizen of the Year for 2024, ahead of a strong field of five other nominees.
Margaret’s received her award for her volunteer work at the Guyra MPS over the last 11 years. She has a history of going above and beyond in services to individuals and community.
Many successful activities conducted through diversional therapy are thanks to her efforts and support. Margaret has a great relationship with the residents and staff and is loved and respected by all.
Other nominees in this category were David Kanaley, Robin Godlonton, Sharon Bowles and two joint nominations, Barbara & John Ross and Wendy Mulligan, David Kanaley & Sharon Bowles.
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Sam Coupland was joined by this year’s Australia Day Ambassador, Michael Crossland, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, and ARC General Manager James Roncon to present the awards.
Other award winners:
Young Citizen of the Year: Brianna Marshall – Brianna was nominated by St Mary of the Angels Primary School. They described her as an extraordinary student who puts her heart into achieving academically but places a strong emphasis on supporting others within the school community. She received many outstanding accomplishments in 2023, ranging from top performer in the Australian mathematics competition, numerous other academic achievements, to swimming awards and representing the school in a leadership role.
Community event of the Year: Memorial Park Opening, jointly organised by the Garden Club, CWA and Rotary.
Noted for its evolution from intent (in 1951) to reality (in 2023, the Remembrance Day opening celebrated the completion of a long term plan. The day included a Remembrance Day service, walk through the avenue of trees, unveiling of the Memorial Stones and opening of the Mandal Garden and Rotunda.
Also nominated in this category was Guyra TroutFest and the Guyra Garden Club.
Art and Culture Award: Nancy Prisk. Nancy has voluntarily conducted and led the Guyra Community Choir for 25 years. Nancy’s dedication and knowledge brings the community together to experience the joys of group harmony singing and performing, whilst also providing and avenue to self-expression and general well-being.
Also nominated in this category was Lynne Chapman for the TroutFest Art Show.
Contribution to Sport and Recreation: Guyra Bowling & Recreation Club - The club hosts sporting and recreational activities and also supports a number of local groups through sponsorship and donations.
Sports team of the Year: Shamrock Hockey Club – The club fields junior and senior teams in the Hockey New England competition. In 2023 they made the grand final in women’s 1st and 2nd grade along with men’s A and B grade. The club demonstrates sportsmanship and dedication to supporting junior members to develop the game.
Sportsperson of the Year: Charlie Ward – Charlie has been a member of the Guyra Pony Club for 12 years. In 2023 Charlie was captain of the area 3 Showjumping team at the Sydney Royal and also achieved numerous Showjumping and Pony Club awards. She also participates in Clay Target shooting and was the U18 Ladies National Champion along with National, Northern Zone and NSW State awards.
Also nominated in this category were Flynn McFarlane, Isabella Purvis and Brooke Newberry.
Community Service Award: Guyra Garden Club – They play a significant role in making Guyra a more attractive and interesting town through their work by maintaining McKie Park, and their recent involvement in the Memorial Park and Mandala Garden. They are one of the largest and most active garden clubs in the New England.
Also nominated in this category were Nancy Prisk and John and Barbara Ross.
Environmental Citizen of the Year: Lesley Patterson – Lesley is not only building her personal knowledge in association with the dedication, love and interest in environmental education through the Banbai Rangers, but is willing to share through outreach education.

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