It was a morning full of reflection and optimism as the Cowra community gathered to celebrate the nominees and winners of the Cowra Australia Day awards.
The award recipients were announced this morning at the Civic Centre by Mayor Bill West who spoke highly of not only the winners but all the nominees who were up for awards.
“As a community, we are truly blessed to have so many note-worthy individuals and groups who continue to contribute their time, devotion and commitment to our shire,” said Cr West.
Cr West was joined by Cowra’s 2020 Australia Day Ambassador, restorative justice pioneer and thirty-year NSW Police Service veteran Terry O’Connell.
The Cowra Community Group of the Year was awarded to Cowra Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA). Operating in Cowra since 1993, RDA provides an opportunity for children with special needs to interact with and learn to ride horses. They currently have 40 children registered in the program, and hold activities every Wednesday with students from five local schools during school terms. The Cowra RDA volunteers care for 14 horses in total, with the horses trained and cared for off-site by the volunteers then transported to the Showground Pony Club paddocks every Wednesday.
“This incredible group of volunteers provide children with the most wonderful opportunity to ride horses. They ensure affordability is not a barrier to participation, providing all the necessary safety equipment for the children,” Cr West said.
The next category was the Young Citizen of the Year with Kate Price the 2020 winner.
Kate is a go-getter and actively involved in many Cowra activities including being current Deputy Chair of Cowra Youth Council; a UNICEF Drought Summit participant; volunteer in the Australian National War and Peace in the Pacific project in 2018; Festival Youth Ambassador in 2018; junior sport coach for swimming and soccer; winner of the World Peace Day Public Speaking Competition 2019; Ambassador for POW Breakout 75th Anniversary in 2019; St Raphael’s School Captain 2020 and Sports Captain 2019; winner of the Cowra Lions Youth of the Year Award, November 2019; and recipient of two education scholarships.
This extensive list is also on top of holding several casual jobs and participating in many local sports.
“Kate had the honour of being nominated for this award by two separate groups, showing just how remarkable and influential this young lady is” said Cr West.
The final category for 2020 was Citizen of the Year with Arthur Hogan selected from a very high calibre of nominees.
Arthur Hogan has spent over 60 years of his life contributing to community organisations within the shire. Arthur is or has been a member of Wattamondara Recreation Ground Trust, Wattamondara Progress Association, Riding for the Disabled, St Vincent de Paul Society, Antioch Youth Group, St Raphael’s Church and School, Cowra Trail Riding Club, Cowra Show Society, Cowra Jockey Club, Cowra Rugby League, Cowra Golf Club, Wattamondara Campdraft and Rodeo, Cowra Campdraft, Wattamondara Team Penning and Wattamondara Cricket Club.
“Arthur’s dedication to our shire community is truly outstanding and it is wonderful for him to be recognised on this day,” said Cr West.
“This is what this day is all about here in our shire, celebrating the generous work our community groups and individuals contribute daily” Cr West concluded.