Bingara acknowledges its volunteers on Australia Day

February 4, 2017

A large crowd turned out to celebrate Australia Day at the Bingara Historical Society Museum last Thursday.

Australia Day Ambassador Liz Deep-Jones, proved a hit with the crowd, announcing she had made several ‘new best friends’ during the morning.

Bingara Lions Club turned out in force to serve the traditional breakfast while Tony and Helen Cornish entertained before the MC Linda McDouall took to the stage and the formal part of the morning began with a recording of the Bingara Central School children singing Advance Australia Fair, followed by Primary Captain and Vice Captain Brody Michell and Digby Munro delivering the acknowledgement of Country, and flag raising by School captain and Vice Captain Lachlan and Dylan Butler.

Ms Deep-Jones, whose parents migrated to Australia from a village in Lebanon, spoke with passion about her love for Australia, and how her parents had instilled in her a responsibility to contribute to the country which had been welcoming to them.

The Bingara RSL Sub Branch used the Australia Day celebrations to present the Bingara Historical Society members with a cheque for $5000, to help fund building to house memorabilia the Sub Branch has collected over many years, pertaining to Bingara Servicemen and women.

For the first time, nominations for the Event of the Year, Young Citizen and Citizen of the Year were announced beforehand, with the nominees invited to attend the Australia Day celebrations.

Winner of the Bingara Local Community Event of the year was the Unleash the Black Dog Black Tie Ball, organised by Sarah Crawford-Crump, Angie Pritchard and Amanda Rose.

This event, which was well supported by Bingara, the wider community, and included state and national involvement attracted over 150 participants.

Sarah, Angie and Amanda took on the organisation – the advertising, catering, hospitality, entertainment, sponsorship, fund raising plus the hosting of the event.

This fantastic event raised $22,945.00 to assist with programs targeting mental health, particularly the prevention of depression and anxiety. Local organisations will also benefit from their generosity.

The 2016 award for Bingara Young Citizen of the Year is Rosalie Carr.  Rosalie has been an outstanding role model for fellow students at Bingara Central School, and embodies the school’s agreed values of Pride, Respect and Honesty.

As a school based trainee with Hunter New England Health, at the Bingara MPS, the Rosalie has found her calling in a nursing career.  At the MPS she is a valued member of staff where her services and commitment is enjoyed and where she is esteemed by staff, patients and residents.

Rosalie’s significant contributions and achievements include: Vice-Captain and Student Representative Council member of Bingara Central School, Completing a School based traineeship with Hunter New England Area health over two years, a finalist in the Regional category of State Training Authority Training Awards, Gwydir Vocational Student of 2016 at the Gwydir Vocational education and Business Awards; received Bingara Central School highest recognition – a Platinum Merit Certificate; represented the school at many official and community functions including ANZAC DAY, Remembrance Day, Australia Day and the Orange Festival; rank first in all her HSC subjects for the year 2016 at Bingara Central School.

Susanne Hughes, who has been an active volunteer in the community for well over 30 years, was named Bingara Citizen of the Year. Susanne is passionate about the Bingara community and does not think twice about lending a hand.

“If you want someone who will Roll up their shelves and get involved – someone who doesn’t mind if it is serving meals or standing at the sink washing up – someone who will muck in, to get the job done, then (Susanne) is that person,” her citation read.

Everything she is involved in, is for the greater good of the Bingara community, there is seldom a week that goes past that Susanne doesn’t put in at least a day or two of volunteer hours.
Susanne has been involved with extensive list of local community organisations including:-

  • The former St Mary’s School P&C
  • Bingara Central School P&C Various Ball committee
  • Girl Guides
  • Bingara Show Society
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Bingara & District Vision 20/20 and various business committees in past years
  • Touriandi Fund Raising committee to establish the facility
  • Bingara Special Events committee
  • Roxy Theatre volunteer
  • Bingara Visitors Information Centre volunteer
  • Current Friends of Touriandi committee
  • Currently Bingara Senior Citizens committee
  • Running her own business 25 years gave Susanne the opportunity to promote the town, and for well over 20 years she held various executive positions on the Gwydir Industry Education Links Committee.