Community members and Jerilderie residents gathered together at Luke Park on Sunday evening to celebrate Australia Day and its annual awards ceremony.January 30, 2014 4:18am
The proud group of citizens were on hand to congratulate those recognised for their contributions to the community.
The coveted Citizen of the Year saw committed volunteer Richard Wright honoured with the award.
Lachlan Taylor-Nugent was awarded this year’s Young Citizen of the Year title, displaying many commendable qualities and proving to be an asset to the Jerilderie Shire.
His achievements date back over many years, with academic and sporting achievements throughout his school years.
The nomination read that Mr Taylor-Nugent’s ‘‘leadership, academic, sporting and personal achievements are a credit to this young man’s dedication and drive, and he has shown himself to be someone the younger members of our community can look up to’’.
In a year that saw Jerilderie’s Aaron Purcell kick more than 200 goals playing for his beloved Jerilderie Demons, it was no surprise he was awarded the 2014 Sportsperson of the Year.
Mr Purcell, made a huge contribution to sport in 2013 and has, for many years, been influential in his chosen sport.
In 2013, Mr Purcell’s individual achievements included the Jerilderie Football Club Best and Fairest award and Picola District Football League Runner-Up Best and Fairest award.
Throughout the season he kicked 222 goals in 20 games, this achievement earning him the top honour of Australia’s leading goalkicker.
He was selected to play in the Ted Whitten Legends Game in Melbourne and this, combined with his massive goalkicking achievements, served to provide Jerilderie with national media coverage.
Around the club, he is a popular identity and a strong footballer who constantly performs at the highest level.
Two special Little Aussie awards were also presented during the ceremony.
The Little Aussie Award recognises the commitment and endeavours of younger community members and is awarded to one student from both Jerilderie Public School and St Joseph’s Primary School.
Jerilderie Public School recognised Grace Leeds as a student who shows the true qualities of a ‘Little Aussie’, saying she displays maturity and diligence in all facets of school life.
‘‘She has been a keen participant in extracurricular activities, and has represented the school in sporting events at district and regional levels, and also at creative and performing arts camps,’’ the nomination read.
‘‘As a young community member, she has been involved with the Jerilderie Netball Club.
‘‘Grace is a model student who has willingly assumed additional roles and responsibilities around the school, often putting the needs of others before her own.’’
St Joseph’s Primary School has identified Mardie Hamilton as a student who exemplifies the ideals for the award.
‘‘Mardie displays outstanding leadership qualities, uses initiative, and is a creative problem solver,’’ the nomination read.
‘‘She is a responsible and self motivated young lady, who is committed to her school work, and possesses many academic and sporting talents.
‘‘She has represented St Joseph’s Primary School in many sporting events, and in 2013 was part of the NSW Catholic Schools Girls Cricket Team, the only girl from a country region to be part of this team.
‘‘Mardie is a well liked student, who has been both an inspiration and an outstanding role model to her peers, and justly deserves her award of Little Aussie 2014.’’
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