Revisiting Australia Day 2017 at Narooma

Perfect weather and the stunning setting of the Narooma Surf Life Saving Club saw 300 breakfasts served up before the Australia Day award ceremony. 

Aboriginal elder Susan Heycox-Stewart gave the Welcome to Country on behalf of the Yuin people, noting the black duck was their totem and that they were saltwater people tied to the ocean. She said Australia Day was a day for everybody.

Dr Jenny Wray gave the VIP address talking about the living in a healthy community. She made mention that Narooma High School had graduated four young female doctors in recent years and she had been involved in improving the lives of young people through mentoring and scholarships. 

Narooma High School SRC president Ashleigh Russell, who was also nominated for Young Citizen, welcomed the crowd. “We are blessed to be living in a country with no war and freedom of speech and be part of a country that is so generous.”

Narooma Citizen of the Year nominees were Frank Eden, Gilly Kearney, Adrian Cooper and Jon Lodge, with Adrian Cooper taking the award for his service with the Narooma RFS brigade.

The Narooma Local Legend special award went to a well deserved Merinda Hurren, choir director and music instructor, who together with her husband Bob is moving up the coast. 

Narooma Senior Citizen of the Year nominees were Alan Wood, Yve Robinson and Ken Burke, and collecting the award on behalf of his father was Russell Burke.   

Narooma Young Citizen of the Year nominees were Cyann Vlatkovic, Ashley Walpole and Ashleigh Russell, with Ashley taking the award for her service on the Narooma SRC and also involvement in swimming.

Narooma Community Event of the Year award went to the Red Poppy Ball and campaign, which was collected by Paul Naylor of the Narooma RSL sub-branch and also Trevor Bennett, Gilly Kearney and Jess Crosier from Narooma Golf Club.   

The other nominees for community event were the AWL Tailwaggers Walk, the Narooma Renewable Energy Expo and Summer Safety Expo.

The Narooma Community Group of the Year went to the Narooma, North Narooma, Kianga and Dalmeny Landcare Group picked up by Heather McMillan with other nominee being Riding for the Disabled Eurobodalla.

The Narooma Sporting Hero award went to Wade Mongta, who recently ran the New York City Marathon with the Indigenous Marathon Project.

The Rotary Tertiary Scholarship award went to Sabine Kildea, who graduated from Narooma High School this year and who plans to study international law. 

Winning the Quota club best dressed award at the Narooma Australia Day event again were Bella Davis, Rogue, Hallie and Jett Constable, while also receiving the award was Matthew Elliott.