Australia Day

Australia Day
Australia Day


Awards ceremony Event funding Previous winners

Each year Council holds the Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony, to acknowledge some of the Tweed’s outstanding citizens and welcome new Australian residents to the Tweed.

In 2024, Council held the Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony on Thursday 25 January, in response to the Australian Government giving local councils the flexibility to choose when to hold their ceremonies.

Visit the National Australia Day Council website for more information.

2024 Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards ceremony

Council’s Australia Day Awards celebrate the contributions of individuals and groups who give back, make a difference in their community and make the Tweed an easy place to live and love.

Awardee nominations are submitted by members of the Tweed community and assessed by the Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards Selection Panel.

The Australia Day Award categories are:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Citizen of the Year
  • Community Event of the Year
  • Senior Ambassador
  • Sporting Achievement of the Year (individual and group)
  • Volunteer of the Year (individual and group)
  • Young Achiever in Community Service

Information on how to nominate a community member for the 2025 Australia Day Awards will be made available on this webpage and advertised in the coming months.

Australia Day Community Event Funding

Council offers financial assistance to community organisations across the Tweed who plan to hold small community events 3 days either side of Australia Day.

This year, Council financially supported 4 community events in the Tweed Shire:

  • Breakfast and community awards in Crabbes Creek
  • Community event in Murwillumbah
  • Family fun day in Tumbulgum
  • Ceremony and community awards in Tyalgum

Information on 2025 Australia Day event funding applications will be made available on this webpage and advertised in the coming months.

Winners of last year’s Australia Day Awards 

Citizen of the Year

Julie Lowe

An on-call firefighter for the past 17 years and now Deputy Captain of the Kingscliff Fire Station, Julie is a leader and problem solver who is exceptionally courageous, compassionate and driven in her duty. When she is not fighting fires, she runs her own disability support service in Kingscliff, where she dedicates almost all of her spare time to providing meaningful and innovative support for people in their daily lives.

Watch the video for Citizen of the Year winner – Julie Lowe.

Arts and Culture

Murwillumbah Festival of Performing Arts

This annual event fosters young talent and gives aspiring artists the opportunity to perform on a professional stage, chiefly in the form of speech, music and dance. Known as ‘the friendly festival’, the event has been held 90 times since 1923, with its century-long history only interrupted by wartime, natural disasters and a pandemic.

Watch the video for the Arts and Culture winner – Murwillumbah Festival of Performing Arts.

Community Event of the Year

Shepherd’s Purse Theatre Company – production of Shakespeare in Love

Now in its eighth year, the Midwinter Shakespeare Festival is one of the most popular events on Tyalgum’s annual calendar. Run by a group of volunteers, this production attracts audiences from far and wide, booking out all accommodation in Tyalgum and surrounds and bringing a boom to business in the village. The Tweed community actively contribute to the production’s success each year, resulting in glowing reviews, waiting lists and widespread demand for more performances.

Watch the video for the Community Event of the Year winner – Shepherd’s Purse Theatre Company.

Senior Ambassador

Heather McClelland

A recently retired therapist and published author on trauma therapy, Heather plays vital roles in her local Uki community and the broader Tweed. She is a key organiser of several local events; a practising artist and active member of the organising committee of the Images of Uki art exhibition; a founding member of the Uki Refugee Project and an influential member of a local Tweed Valley book club, the Murwillumbah Philharmonic Choir and her local church.

Watch the video for Senior Ambassador winner – Heather McClelland.

INAUGURAL YEAR – The Senior Ambassador category was introduced following a unanimous motion at Council’s Meeting on 22 June 2023, to introduce an Australia Day Awards category that promoted awareness of seniors’ positive contribution, by recognising a nominee over the age of 65 years who has made a significant contribution to the Tweed community.

Sporting Achievement of the Year – Individual

There were joint winners for the 2023 Sporting Achievement of the Year – Individual award.

Brendon Moore

A professional tennis player who runs his own tennis academy in Terranora, Brendon dedicates most of his time, including weekends, teaching the next elite juniors who travel from across Australia for his expertise. Early in 2023, Brendon travelled to Turkey for the ITF Masters Tour World Championships, where he represented Australia in the Teams event and went on to win the Singles event, becoming the world champion and world number 1 in the 35+ category.

Watch the video for Sporting Achievement of the Year – Individual winner (joint) – Brendon Moore.

Damien Delgado

A member of the Bowls Australia Jackaroos Para Squad, Damien was recognised for his outstanding achievements and commitment to his sport. After representing Australia and taking home the silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games for Men’s Para Pairs, Damien was selected for the World Bowls Championships on the Gold Coast in 2023. At this event, he took home the first ever World Championship Gold Medal for Men’s Para Pairs Lawn Bowls.

Watch the video for Sporting Achievement of the Year – Individual winner (joint) – Damien Delgado.

There was an Honourable Mention awarded in this category to Liam Gregoraci for his outstanding contributions and achievements in the sporting community.

Sporting Achievement of the Year – Group

Centaur Primary School Netball team

Aged from Year 4 to Year 6, the Centaur Primary School Netball team competed at the 2023 NSW Primary Schools Sports Association Netball Knockout in Wollongong where they secured second place out of more than 800 public schools. Late last year they also dominated the 2023 NSW Netball All Schools Netball Competition, where they were declared Far North Coast Champions and ultimately won the championship grand final at Sydney Olympic Park. They often travel long distances to compete in round matches, gala days and regional finals, yet this does not hinder their determination to succeed in their sport.

Watch the video for the Sporting Achievement of the Year – Group winner – Centaur Primary School Netball team,

There was an Honourable Mention awarded in this category to Murwillumbah Rowing Club for their outstanding achievements at the Australian Masters Rowing Championships in Sydney last year, where they won 19 medals in total.

Volunteer of the Year – Individual

Kate McKenzie

Kate was co-founder of Fingal Head Coastcare in 1986 and has been a volunteer with the group for 38 years. Her many years of dedication leave an inspiring legacy: not only co-founding an active and successful environmental group, but also helping to re-establish 32 hectares of native vegetation – including coastal woodland, littoral rainforest, dunal and headland vegetation – which provides habitat for native flora and fauna, including many endangered species. Kate is an environmental educator and activist, imparting her extensive botanical, ornithological and bush regeneration knowledge to group members, educational institutions, and the broader community.

Watch the video for the Volunteer of the Year – Individual winner – Kate McKenzie.

There was an Honourable Mention awarded in this category to Kalindi Godden for her volunteering contributions to various community causes, including flood recovery, youth mentoring and community events.

Volunteer of the Year – Group

Chinderah Donation Hub

This group was awarded for their diligent work over the past 18 months to provide essential support and services to flood-affected members of the Tweed community, particularly to the vulnerable population housed across eight residential caravan park communities in Chinderah. Since the 2022 flood event, the Chinderah Donation Hub has provided a range of complementary community support, including emergency delivery of supplies, food hampers, seeking and distributing grants and providing legal aid and advocacy support.

Watch the video for the Volunteer of the Year – Group winner – Chinderah Donation Hub.

There was an Honourable Mention awarded in this category to Support for New Mums for the valuable support they provide to mums and their babies, to ensure they are healthy, connected and empowered.

Young Achiever in Community Service

Tomas Bowie

A former School Captain of Kingscliff High School, Tomas joined the Australian Army Cadets in 2017 and after a decorated stint, was awarded 2023 Cadet of the Year and Brigade Regimental Sergeant Major of the Year for NSW. He has actively fundraised for prominent community organisations, including raising $10,000 for the Kokoda Youth Foundation and $7,000 for the National Servicemen’s Association. For his leadership and community contributions, Tomas was recognised with the Youth Community Service Award of NSW by the Governor of NSW in Sydney last year.

Watch the video for the Young Achiever in Community Service winner – Tomas Bowie.

There was an Honourable Mention awarded in this category to Chilli Mae Powell for her unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation, in particular the Tweed’s endangered Bush-stone curlew population at Pottsville.

Source: tweed.nsw.gov.au

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *