Congratulations to the 2021 Parkes Shire Australia Day Award recipients.

PARKES

Citizen of the Year - Michael Lynch

Michael is renowned for dedicating his daily life to helping others. He is an extremely active member of the St Vincent de Paul Society, assisting those in need and advocating tirelessly on a range of social justice issues. In this role he has been particularly active in drought assistance. Since 2018 he has visited over 1,000 farms in the Parkes Shire and beyond, offering both financial assistance and a listening ear. Michael is also extremely active with the Prostate Cancer Support Group, Parkes Veterans Golf Club and his church community. Michael looks for every opportunity to support his fellow citizens.

Young Citizen of the Year - Nicayden Greenwood

Nicayden was one of the 2020 Parkes High School Captains. He has represented the students as an elected member of the Student Representative Council (SRC) since Year 7. Nicayden led the school through the difficult year of COVID-19 restrictions, making motivational videos for the student body. Nicayden is an active member of the school community having represented the school in hockey, soccer, touch football, cross country and swimming. He is a proud young Wiradjuri man and has mentored younger students in traditional dance and volunteered his time to support students and adults attending the local community Wiradjuri language classes.

Community Event of the Year - Art of Resilience

Roger Kitson, Drought Relief Officer at Parkes Shire Council partnered with Ub Ubbo art group (Sean James Cassidy) and Parkes Neighbourhood Central to run an art competition for young artists. The Art of Resilience competition was  developed to highlight the enormous challenges faced by young people in the face of the drought, bushfires and COVID-19. This gave them a means to express their emotions using music, poetry, photography and art. Feedback from teachers indicated it was a great vehicle to talk about resilience and what it means. It was very successful, with 132 entries being received from the Parkes Shire.

Marie Bashir Academic Award - Chanell Jones

Chanell enrolled in a Certificate II of Business at the TAFENSW Parkes Campus in the middle of 2019. Excelling and enjoying her studies, Chanell returned at the beginning of 2020 to successfully complete the Certificate III in Business Administration. Working Part-time, and studying, didn’t seem to trouble Chanell so she then enrolled and successfully completed a Certificate III in Accounts Administration through distance learning. Chanell's teachers commented that she was always a pleasure to have in class as she contributed well to discussion topics, worked diligently on her set work and always encouraged other class members to do their best. Chanell has since gained a full-time position with a local Real Estate firm and has enrolled herself into the Statement of Attainment in Real Estate Practice.

Environment Award - Lachlan Valley Branch of National Parkes Association

The Lachlan Valley Branch of the National Parks Association have been operating for over 20 years. The group provides quarterly walks that show-case parks and reserves in the Central West region, whilst also providing a wealth of information to walkers. Amongst the group are local nature enthusiasts, who are keen to share their knowledge. Walkers not only benefit from the exercise, but they learn about the flora and fauna in a particular area during a walk.

Performance Award - Duncan Clement

Duncan has been recognised for his dedication to music performance in the Parkes Shire for various community and cultural events such as ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day and Australia Day. His display of music sustainability, excellence and persistence during the COVID-19 isolation period, through using computer technologies and social media to keep the Parkes Shire Concert Band rehearsing, performing and connected. He has also been acknowledged for his keenness to collaborate with regional town bands.

Literary Award - Sarah 'Sal' Mackean

Sal is a gifted writer who has assisted the writing community within the Parkes Shire in several ways. She has been an active member of the Parkes Writers' Group (aka Author-rised) and has been a mentor to a number of writers. She has also been part of the Big Skies Collaboration including being published in "Dark Sky Dreamings: An Inland Skywriters Anthology". Sal has participated in various writing festivals and writing competitions and is destined to have her work published in the near future.

Visual Arts Award - Margaret Lewis

Margaret is a member of the Parkes Painting Group, who helps to provide the Parkes community with a very successful exhibition each year. The exhibition brings together local and national artists to share their skills and knowledge with the Parkes Painting Group. Margaret has been recognised for her contribution to the success and growth of the Parkes Painting Group.

Cultural Lifetime Achievement - Warwick Tom

Warwick has been a long-time champion for the arts and cultural richness of the Parkes Shire. He is generous with his time, volunteering on many boards and committees to support and promote artistic endeavours, cultural events, and develop local creative talent. For more than 60 years he has been actively involved in the performing arts with the Parkes M&D Society. He is an active and committed member of the Cultural, Education & Library Services Committee and represents Parkes Shire Council on the Arts Out West board. Over recent years Warwick has been dedicated to bringing together the many arts and cultural groups to advise and talk with Parkes Shire Council as a collective, which has resulted in the establishment of the Parkes Shire Arts Advisory Council.

Sportsperson of the Year - Mariah Williams (Hockey) and Kurt Lovett (Hockey)

During 2020, Mariah was again selected in the 2021 Hockeyroo's squad. Mariah has continued to be a standout performer for the national team and since making her debut, she has scored 15 goals from her 83 appearances. She continues to train with the Australian Ladies team as they prepare for the Hockey Australia Super Camp.

In February 2020, Kurt made his debut for Australia against Great Britain in the International Pro League Tournament. The next month, he played two games for Australia in India against the Indian team in the International Pro League Tournament. He continued to train with the Australian Men's Squad and prepare for the Kookaburras Super Camp for 2021 National selection. Late last year, Kurt was presented with a plaque to congratulate him being the 431st player to represent the Australian Kookaburras

Junior Sportsperson of the Year - Henry Kross (Squash)

Henry had an outstanding year on the squash court during 2020. He won the NSW Under 11's 2020 Junior State Squash titles and then represented NSW at the Australian Junior Championships held on the Gold Coast in December. Henry won the title at the National Championships, which is the highest ranked junior tournament in Australia, claiming the boys under 11 division.

Team of the Year - Parkes Boars First Grade Rugby Union

The Parkes Boars First Grade Rugby Union team took out the New Holland Cup in 2020, defeating the Mudgee Wombats 21-18. In what was a tough year, where there was so much uncertainty and the possibility of cancellation lingered over the majority of the season, the Boars players, trainers and the support crew showed true grit and determination to win the 2020 New Holland Cup.

Referee, Umpire or Official of the Year - Jay Cross (Squash)

Jay plays a pivotal role in officiating and umpiring squash competitions both at local and regional levels. During 2020, Jay was the tournament director of the NSW Junior State Titles and coordinated the Western Region Squash competitions for both Juniors and Seniors. Jay is an excellent ambassador of squash and places a significant emphasis on junior development pathways.

Coach, Trainer or Manager of the Year - Meghan Kempson (Soccer)

Meghan is setting the path for other female coaches in the region to follow. While massive strides have been made over the past decade in regard to the participation, pathways and professionalism of women's sport, coaching has lagged behind somewhat. Megan has previously coached Western NSW and helped established the women's football side at CSU Bathurst, coached the Parkes Cobras in their inaugural season this year - the only female coach in the league. Her ability to maintain a positive stance and give effective feedback cannot be taught. When she spoke, everyone listened and that's hard to do with a room full of frustrated young men.

Long Service and Dedication Award - Graeme Hando

A pillar in the Parkes Shire Community. He has been involved over the years as a Peak Hill Harness Racing Committee Member, the Peak Hill Harness Racing Vice President and President, a Western Districts Committee Member, where he advocated for Harness Racing to stay in the western area, Sponsor of the Peak Hill and Parkes Harness Racing, the Peak Hill Showground Trust Committee Member and a facilitator of the new Peak Hill Showground Amenities. He is a humble man and you will find very few pictures or interviews with Graeme Hando, as he is always working behind the scenes.

Administrator of the Year - Andrew Thomas (Junior Rugby League)

2020 was a challenging year for all sports including Parkes Junior Rugby League. Andrew did a fantastic job in coordinating and administering the junior rugby league competition in challenging circumstances. Without the determination, persistence and hard work demonstrated by Andrew, Parkes would have struggled to enter teams into the local competitions. He has also been a driving force in delivering improvements to the Pioneer Oval facility.

Ron Harrison Sports Bursary - Henry Kross (Squash)

Order of Australia - Donald Chisholm

The late Donald Chisholm, a former president of the Parkes Rotary Club, has been honoured with an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his amazing dedication and contribution to a variety of communities across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "Donald is extremely deserving of receiving an OAM. He was incredibly hard working and extremely involved within the community, particularly through his work with the Parkes Rotary Club - he was an asset to our community."

PEAK HILL

Peak Hill Sportsperson of the Year - James Robinson

Certificates were awarded to community groups, organisations and individuals who had shown outstanding persistence and support within the Peak Hill community during what was a difficult year.

TRUNDLE

Trundle Australia Day Award - Trundle Progress Association

Trundle Sports Award - Trundle Junior Cricket

Additional certificates were awarded to community groups and individuals who had assisted the community throughout 2020.

TULLAMORE

Tullamore Australia Day Community Service Appreciation Awards

+ Staff of Tullamore Central School

+ Staff of Tullamore Pre-school and Childcare Centre

+ Staff of Tullamore Multi-purpose Health Centre

+ Stall of Tullamore Medical Practice

+ Tullamore Local Police Officer and Supporting Officers

BOGAN GATE

2021 Bogan Gate Flag Raiser and Official Welcomer - Amber Roach and Cooper Bond