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Australia Day award winners celebrated in Manilla

              A man described as having a commitment to Manilla “above the call of duty” has been honoured as Manilla 2022 Citizen of the Year at a formal ceremony at Manilla Showground last Wednesday evening, Former Tamworth Regional Councillor, Jim Maxwell, has many years of service to Manilla with no less than nine current community group roles including Manilla Lions, Manilla Men’s Shed, Manilla Show Society President and Foundation Member of the Manilla Historical Society.

              Mr Maxwell was also Mayor of the former Manilla Shire Council from 1993 to 1998 and served 41 years with the Halls Creek Rural Fire Service, including 18 years as captain.

              The Manilla Showgrounds were buzzing on Australia Day Eve (January 25) for the annual Australia Day celebrations which included live entertainment and the announcement of the 2022 Australia Day Award recipients.

              Master of Ceremonies for the evening were Emily McDonald and David Ridgewell. Acknowledge ment of Country was presented by Chris Allen while David Ridgewell read the Australia Day Affirmation.

              Manilla’s Australia Day Ambassador Suzanne Hopman was introduced prior to the presentation of the Australia Day Awards. Suzanne spoke on the work of her charity ‘Dignity’ that provides assistance to the less fortunate in our communities with housing, meals and advice.

              The Manilla 2022 Young Citizen of the Year was shared between Ms Ellie Jarman and Mr Albert Griffiths. Ms Jarman has made outstanding contributions to the Manilla community as Manilla Central School Vice Captain, creating a range of murals across the school, holding fundraisers for charity, and establishing special interest groups including book club and gaming club. Mr Griffiths is an active member of the Manilla community, and enjoys volunteering at Manellae Lodge and visiting the aged residents. He works at the Manilla Bakery and joined the Tamworth Highland Society Pipe Band after they called for new members.

              The Manilla Men’s Shed Open Day was announced 2022 Community Event of the Year, after being selected by the Australian Men’s Shed Association to hold the official open day for Men’s Shed Week. Over 60 people from visiting Men’s Sheds and the community attended to hear from guest speaker Stuart Torrens, learning about men’s issues and the importance of Men’s Sheds.

              Ms Rosie Ferguson was awarded 2022 Manilla Achiever of the Year. She is a talented Rugby Union player, and the current Captain of the Women’s Pirates Rugby team, plays with the Central North Women’s team and was selected for the NSW Country Women’s team. Ms Ferguson has also been selected in the NSW Waratahs extended squad, travelling twice a week to Sydney to fulfil her training commitments while working at Manilla Central School.

              Tamworth Region Mayor Russell Webb said the calibre of Australia DayAwards nominees this year in Manilla was a credit to the community spirit of the town.

              “We are fortunate to have thriving communities in our region, and Manilla is no exception. I would like to congratulate all of our winners and nominees this evening,” he said.

2022 Community Event nominees left to right Mike Rowland representing the Light Horse Association  Beersheba Day, Brian Goodall representing the Men’s Shed Open Day, Ambassador Suzanne Hopman, Ben Bowman representing the Northern Steer Show,
Ambassador Suzanne Hopman with Young Citizen of the Year nominees –  and equal winners Albert Griffiths and Ellie Jarman
Australia Day Ambassador Suzanne Hopman cutting the cake with 2022 Citizen of the Year Jim Maxwell
A paraglider landing at the ceremony