Nominees announced for 2023 Ballina Shire Australia Day Awards

The Ballina community has banded together and shown its true Australian spirit recovering from a pandemic and last year’s devastating floods.

This Aussie spirit will be recognised at the Australia Day Celebrations hosted by Ballina Shire Council on Thursday 26 January 2023.

Ballina Shire Council is inviting the community to come along and congratulate this year’s Australia Day Award nominees and winners, welcome our newest Australian citizens, and reflect on the Australian story.

The celebrations will be held at Lennox Head Cultural Centre commencing at 9am and will feature the citizenship ceremony, the Australia Day awards, and performances by singer Katie Rutledge and young Alstonville singer and songwriter Levi Maxwell.

Ballina Shire Council is delighted to have both Liz Ellis and Sandra Jackson return as co-hosts for this year’s ceremony.

Liz is one of Australia’s elite athletes and most successful netballer ever. Liz was captain of the Australian Diamonds and the Sydney Swifts netball teams and holds the record for the most test matches played for Australia. Liz is a sports and current affairs commentator, author, mother and resides in Ballina Shire.

Sandra is a well-known face and voice in Ballina Shire. She has been on our airwaves as a radio announcer with Paradise FM for over 20 years. Sandra is also Ballina Shire Council’s Events Support Officer and has hosted many community events and Australia Day awards ceremonies.

Australia Day Award Nominees

Over fifty nominations received across the categories of Sporting Achievement, Arts and Cultural, Volunteering, Young Citizen, Senior Citizen, Community Event, and Environment will be recognised and celebrated on the day. The nominees are:

Senior Citizen of the Year

  • Anna Dicker
  • Kerrie Gray
  • Brian Alston
  • Joyce Emmett

Volunteer of the Year

  • Ballina State Emergency Service
  • Bonita Avery and Cheryl Morton
  • Douglas Townsend
  • Emma Tiaitia
  • Ballina Shire Flood Recovery Distribution Hub
  • Garry, John and Joshua Joblin
  • Helga Hawkes
  • Jackson Connellan
  • Joan Gibson
  • Kelli-Ann Potts
  • Lennox Head Lions Club
  • Mark Ross
  • Michele Robertson
  • Rex and Di Farrell
  • Robyn Hargrave
  • Ruth Henderson
  • Sue Chapman
  • Terry Hodgetts

Young Citizen of the Year

  • Chai Healy
  • Illarah Roberts
  • Jackson Connellan
  • Lachlan Jones

Community Event of 2022

  • Ballina Shire Meals on Wheels Social Activities Program
  • Community Mental Health Symposium – Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond
  • Dementia Inclusive Ballina Alliance Advisory Group Weekly Activities
  • Lennox Head Lions Club Flood Relief and Recovery
  • Quota Alstonville Craft & Garden Fair
  • Resonator Music – School Showcase 2022

Sports Achievement

  • Alexander Crimmins – Athletics
  • All Girls Surfriders Lennox Head
  • Alstonville Water Polo
  • Briony Leonard – Little Athletics
  • Emma Tiatia – Volleyball
  • Julie Davies – Netball
  • Kim Pickering – Pickleball
  • Lennox Beach Line Dancers
  • Mary Davis – Dragon Boat Racing
  • Team Butcher Off Road Racing Team
  • Tyler Dogan – Athletics

Arts and Cultural Award

  • Daniel Roberts, Marcus Ferguson and Tania Marlowe – Ballina Airport Public Artworks
  • Tania Marlowe and Debra Cole – Jugan Dandii Weaving Collective
  • Marcus Ferguson – Nyangbal Cultural Knowledge Holder and Teacher

Environmental Award

  • Empire Vale Public School – Reusable Cup Trays
  • Marlon Denning – Rock Pool Waltz Nature Documentary
  • Rotary Satellite Club of Ballina Lifestyle
  • The Wildlife Twins

The awards ceremony will conclude with the announcement of the 2023 Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year.

Transportation is available for community members unable to drive to the venue. For details contact Council’s Communications Team on 1300 864 444.

The event will also be livestreamed, to watch visit Ballina Shire Council’s website at

This event is proudly supported by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council, NSW Government’s Reconnecting Regional NSW Community Events Program and

Ballina Shire Council.

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