Winners of the 2018 Cowra Australia Day Awards were announced during the Australia Day service at the Civic Centre today. With a quality list of candidates, each category presented the judging panel with difficult choices.
Mayor Bill West congratulated all of the nominees. "As always, I am impressed with the calibre of nominations," he said.
"Each of the 2018 award winners has made a valuable contribution to the Cowra Shire community and are deserving of such recognition. We are fortunate to have such exceptional members in our community," said Mayor West.
Mayor West was joined by Cowra's 2018 Australia Day Ambassador, motivational speaker and mental health advocate Nic Newling, to announce the winners.
Community Group of the Year
Cowra MIPS Aquatherapy
The volunteers at Cowra MIPS Aquatherapy put in hours teaching strengthening, balance, fitness and mobility improvement to Cowra Shire residents. The program is hosted by Cowra Community Health and survives on the commitment of the trainers. Each MIPS program leader has to complete training prior to leading a class. The leaders are all voluntary and have continued their training and teaching for over 20 years. The aquatherapy program doesn't only help with exercise; it is known as a place to meet friends, enjoy a social gathering and be welcomed.
Dr Warren Whiley Memorial Award
Dr Lois Foster
Dr Lois Foster doesn't ask for recognition, she goes about her volunteer duties in a quiet, unassuming manner. She has been a part of many cultural organisations over an extended period. Her largest contribution is to the Cowra Eisteddfod as a volunteer for many years. Dr Foster's nomination stated that she has a "can-do" attitude, no matter the task. She is a friendly and helpful part of each organisation she joins.
Young Citizen of the Year
Olivia Perkins is one of Cowra's high achievers. When Olivia sets her mind to a task, it gets done. She joins sports, community and school groups to make a difference to the society in which she lives. Olivia is known for her intellect and considered opinion among Cowra's young people. As a member of the Cowra Youth Council she has participated in many local initiatives. Her contributions have been recognised with her recent selection in the 2018 Global Young Leaders Conference in New York and Washington, with 10 other Australian young people.
Cowra Citizen of the Year
Diane Graham provides so much more than her job requires. Her clients and their families cannot speak highly enough of the assistance she provides through her work at Cowra Special Needs Service, particularly in her own time. She has spent over a year preparing her clients for the NDIS changes, seeking information otherwise lost to them. She has offered her time on weekends during the year to ensure that families understand what changes are occurring, many hours in some instances. Di hasn't asked for any recognition or increased remuneration for this, she just wants to help others. Diane Graham is truly a community-minded person.