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Australia Day award winners celebrated in Manilla

The Manilla community came out in force at Pioneer Park to celebrate each other’s achievements as part of the annual Australia Day Award celebrations which included a community breakfast and competitions of best damper and Australia Day-themed hat.

Tamworth Region Mayor Russell Webb said that he is pleased to see the Manilla community spirit as strong as ever following a challenging twelve months “I would like to congratulate each individual and community group who was nominated for or won an award at the celebration this morning,” he said.

The Manilla 2021 Citizen of the Year was Mr Ross Knight. Described as a quiet achiever, Mr Knight has volunteered at the Manilla Heritage Museum for the past fifteen years. As part of his role as supervisor with the Department of Correctional Services, he has been able to organise additional labour through community service and the Working for the Dole program. Mr Knight is also a talented builder who has helped out with a number of renovations around the museum.

The Manilla 2021 Young Citizen of the Year was Ms Rayah Fletcher. She recently represented the Manilla community with dignity at the Lions Youth of the Year competition. Described as an outstanding role model at school, Ms Fletcher completed her school-based traineeship in Human Services Certificate Assistance III at Manilla Health One. For her efforts, she received a Highly Commended award for School Based Trainees in the New England Region.

Manilla Fire and Rescue Crew were awarded the 2021 Community Event of the Year for their efforts in planning the Annual Christmas Run event.

The event brought in the Christmas cheer for children and families, with Santa himself making an appearance on the Fire and Rescue wagon which the community loved. The crew were commended for their dedication towards the event outside of their responsibilities in protecting our community.

The 2021 Manilla Achiever of the Year was Mr Jake Davey. He is well known for his determination and hard work, and can be found most days at the RSM Rifle Club in Inverell, where he has a passion for metallic silhouette shooting. His dream is to shoot for Australia and in 2019,

he was extremely close to making the National Team. He is a reliable and trustworthy member of the Manilla Fire and Rescue Group and is a loving husband and proud father.