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Northern Rivers Local News

Richmond Valley Council Australia Day Awards recipients

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Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Richmond Valley Council Australia Day Awards recipients

Each year our nation celebrates the achievement and contribution of Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards.

They inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Australia and for us, a better Richmond Valley.

The efforts made by these individuals to excel in sports, to volunteer, to lead, educate or inspire the Richmond Valley community is to be commended.

All nominations were assessed and judged by an Australia Day selection panel consisting of five members of the Richmond Valley community.

The first category is Young Sportsperson of the Year. I would like to call on Mayor Robert Mustow to come forward and announce the winner and to present a gift.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
This was a difficult decision to make and we received some wonderful nominations. However, the sporting talent and commitment of this young individual goes far beyond their years. I have the pleasure to announce the Young Sportsperson of the Year Award goes to:

Abbie Yourell

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Abbie Yourell

Abbie is a dedicated young lady who trains hard, swims hard and gives everything to the sport of Open Water Swimming. She loves competing and representing the sport at a local, State and National level.

Abbie started training and competing at swim club when she was four years old. At the age of 10, she started competing in Mini Ocean swims at Yamba and Byron Bay, and also competing for the Evans Head Casino Surf Lifesaving Club at Nipper Carnivals.

Abbie is a keen member of the Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club and has been the Evans Head Casino Niperette of the Year for the past three years for her sporting abilities, volunteering and contribution to the club.

Last year was a long and difficult year for athletes – training was interrupted, events were cancelled, but through it all Abbie has shown tremendous resilience.

In early January of 2021, Abbie competed and came second at the Yamba Ocean Swim in the 12-15 year old girls 2km race and 10th overall female competitor.

After competing at NSW State Open Water 5m race in Sydney in late January, where she did a massive seven minute personal best and finished 11th place, Abbie’s training increased to nine sessions a week to be ready for the rescheduled Swimming Australia National Open Water Championships, which were held on the Sunshine Coast.

Abbie is a quiet but determined young woman who strives to be the best she can be at everything she does. She is a high achiever in all aspects of life and is always striving to improve and help others achieve their goals.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you. This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

We will now move on to the Richmond Valley Australia Day Sportsperson of the Year Award.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
We only received one nomination in this category, yet it was for a very worthy sportsman. The winner for Sportsperson of the Year is:

Noah King

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Noah King

Noah has been the Casino Cougars most consistent player for the past three seasons. His is dedicated, leads by example and has the respect of his teammates.

Noah is a committed club person who puts his hand up to assist whenever he can. His performance on the field is outstanding and was awarded all major awards for the Casino RSM Cougars in 2021.

Noah was selected in the Northern Rivers Titan Opens Representative Side and was rewarded with a train and trial contract with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.

Noah is a dedicated and good role model for the Casino RSM Cougars Juniors and is respected by his teammates and opposition.
Richmond Valley Council congratulates you. This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

Our next award is for Young Volunteer of the Year.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
Volunteering at such a young age is a credit to youth in our community. It is generally a thankless service which helps the people in our Valley greatly and contributes in making this area one of the greatest to be part of. The recipient has not only given invaluable time to the community but to those younger than him within the volunteer organisation.

The winner of Young Volunteer of the Year is:

Jacob Yourell

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Jacob Yourell

Jacob is an outstanding young volunteer in all aspects of the Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club. He is an active patrol member, provides water safety at Nippers and carnivals and helps with fundraising.

Jacob has been a member of Evans Head Casino Surf Club since 2007. He began as a Nipper, and then continued to gain his Surf Rescue Certificate and Bronze Medallion and became a patrolling member of the club.

Jacob is a well-mannered, polite, and a respectful young man with great family values.

Jacob has been patrolling now for six seasons and has matured into a highly valued member of his patrol team. He is a strong swimmer, excels on the rescue board and has courage in the surf.

To ease the burden on its members, Evans Head Casino SLSC has a structure of voluntary patrols throughout the season and top of his normal patrols, Jacob committed to a third of those patrols, including a good part of Christmas Day, amassing 69 hours of patrol.
On patrol, Jacob is always looking at being engaged in the water, communicating effectively with his Patrol Captain and other team members.

He has a sense of wanting to give back to Nippers and regularly provides water safety to ensure their activities are not only safe, but fun for all involved.

Despite having many of his own personal barriers, Jacob’s steadfast commitment to the success of Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club is apparent to all members, and he is a valued asset to the Surf Club and the community he lives in.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you on your nomination, which is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

Our next award is for Volunteer of the Year

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
Again, this was a difficult category and these individuals have contributed significantly to the community through volunteering. The amount of time and effort these individuals put in across a wide variety of needs is astonishing. You are all worthy of this award. The winner for Volunteer of the Year is:

Dorothy Sullivan

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Dorothy Sullivan

Dorothy is a long standing and highly motivated local volunteer with a drive and capacity to help and support other organisations and local formal and informal groups. Dorothy’s volunteering commitment is to be commended as it spans more than 50 years in the Richmond Valley.

For the past eight years Dorothy has been a volunteer at the Casino Historical Society, where she is the Bulletin Editor and administrator of the Facebook page promoting the museum.

Along with her many volunteer hours on the roster she also fundraises through raffles and barbecues, as well as researching history.

Dorothy has written three books, two family and one published on The Mayors of Casino from 1880 to present, which resides in the museum.

Dorothy has had many volunteer roles over the 50+ years, including P&C committees, school canteens, Casino Show Society, of which she is a life member, the Anglican Op Show for more than 30 years, Westpac Rescue Helicopter for 10 years, Casino Beef Week for more than 30 years and Friends of Windara for more than 20 years.

She assists organisations in a wide variety of ways, including administration of Facebook pages for Casino and District Historical Society, Northern Rivers Military Museum and Good Old Days in and Around Casino.

Dorothy is a highly respected, reliable, hardworking, and trusted member of the community.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you on your nomination, which is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

Our next award is for Young Citizen of the Year.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
This person, although young, has shown leadership and commitment to our country. Their achievements are outstanding and beyond their years. This person is an amazing representative for our youth in rural NSW and looks to have an amazing career ahead of them. The winner for Young Citizen of the Year is:

Isabella Ennever

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Isabella Ennever

Isabella has exhibited excellence and outstanding dedications to her passions of education, gender equality, community involvement and STEM over many years.

She has been an enthusiastic representative of the Richmond Valley through sporting, cultural and science pursuits. After overcoming many personal hardships, Isabella’s perseverance and continued application to her educational goals and aspirations should be acknowledged and recognised.

Isabella has been recognised locally through the Southern Cross University Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence and the Casino High School’s P&C Student of the Year Award.
Her academic success eventuated in her obtaining the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship with the Public Education Foundation, a scholarship with the Harding Miller Education Foundation, a scholarship with the Youth of the Streets Foundation and, most recently, a Susan and Isaac Wakil Scholarship.

Her academic awards illustrate her hard work, but also demonstrates the many available pathways for other young rural people to fulfil their potential.

Isabella has been a positive ambassador for the Richmond Valley through participation in the National Youth Science Forum and Professor Henry Messel International Science School, providing a role model to encourage other young, rural individuals to strive for excellence in education. Within these prestigious programs, Isabella has represented the Richmond Valley with integrity and excellence.

Through adversity and challenges, Isabella has excelled in many facets of her adolescent life, proving her endurance and determination to achieve her goals. She demonstrates the resilient, adaptable character of the Richmond Valley and shares the community values central to the organisations she is involved in.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you on your nomination, which is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community.

Our last but by no means least award to be presented is Citizen of the Year.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
Nominees in this category lead from in front and are evidently passionate about the place they live and we, as a community thank them. This was an extremely difficult decision to make and this year there are two winners. The first winner of Citizen of the Year is:

Michael Pontefract

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Michael Pontefract

Michael gives unselfishly to the community through many organisations in the Richmond Valley. He is someone who embodies community values, spirit and civic pride.

This award is to recognise Michael’s long-term and sustained commitment to the communities he has lived in over the past 40 years and, in particular, the communities of Casino and Evans Head for the past 15 years.

Last year was Michael’s 40th year as an active patrolling lifesaver. Michael is a trainer and assessor across all awards within surf life saving and 2021 was Michael’s 30th year as a Training Officer and 32nd year as an assessor. He is as passionate today about providing quality training, particularly power craft, as what he was when he first started.
For the past eight years Michael has been the Captain of Evans Head Casino Surf Life Saving Club. He is a member of the Surf Life Saving Far North Coast Board of Education, a position he has retained for 15 years.

He is the only Rescue Jet Ski workplace trainer and assessor north of Woolgoolga, training every operator in the region from Yamba to Kingscliff.

For the past nine years Michael has been the Carnival and Competition Coordinator for Casino Swimming Club and before this was treasurer for seven years.

Michael is also the Coordinator and Treasurer of the Charcoal Inn Charity Club, a role he has undertaken for the past 14 years.

Michael has been recognised over the past three years as the Far North Coast Life Saver of the Year, Facilitator of the Year and the prestigious President’s Medal. He was most recently recognised as Surf Life Saving’s NSW Patrol Captain of the Year.

Michael is someone who embodies what community service is all about and lives these principles and values every day. Ultimately, he ensures everybody feels included, has a role to play and feels like they belong.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you. This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community. Your can-do attitude, professionalism and commitment to the people of the Richmond Valley makes you a worthy recipient of the Richmond Valley Citizen of the Year.

MAYOR ROBERT MUSTOW
The second winner for Citizen of the Year is:

Patrick Power

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Patrick Power

Pat has given outstanding service to the community of Casino as a school teacher, serving as a medical officer for Casino Rugby for 43 years, acting as a mentor for young players, supporting the Casino Women’s Rugby team, as well as also playing rugby for many years.

In 1978, Pat began as a project officer with the then Casino Youth Group at the El Gronda Theatre site. This operated after school hours and Pat was working full time as a school teacher at Casino Public School at the time.
As a teacher at Casino Public School, Pat introduced junior rugby to the sporting curriculum and coached the team for seven years. He was an educational leader in personal development and a curriculum innovator. Pat was playing rugby for Casino at the time and continued to play for many years.

In 1980 Pat introduced the award for the Casino Junior Rugby Player of the Year, that award still exists, and Pat presents the trophy each year at the Casino Rugby Union Club end of year presentations. Pat still encourages young men to rise above themselves in giving back to the community.

For his service to the club in Casino, Pat was honored with a testimonial dinner in 2010.

Pat has also been a fundraiser for the Heart Foundation, St Vincent’s De Paul and the Red Shield Appeal.

Pat has given numerous motivational talks to younger rugby players and has taken a great interest in their personal development and character training, encouraging them to be the best player they can be and as a result, many young players – both male and female – have gone on to represent the Far North Coast. Pat is proud of the young men and women he has mentored and still attends all home games of the club.

Richmond Valley Council congratulates you. This award is recognition of your invaluable contribution to our community. Your can-do attitude, professionalism and commitment to the people of the Richmond Valley makes you a worthy recipient of the Richmond Valley Citizen of the Year.

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards recipients

We would like to acknowledge all the wonderful nominees who we received as part of the Richmond Valley Australia Day Awards and ask as your name is called to please come up and accept your certificates.

• Hayden Griffen
• Travis Dhu
• Graeme Rooney
• Teena Redman
• Terry Smith
• Iris Hobbins
• Jackson Whitney
• Mark Scofield and
• Fiona White

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Clarence Valley News

Community group’s council audit delayed

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NSW-Northern-Rivers-Breaking-News

Community group’s council audit delayed

 

By Tim Howard

A community group supposedly the target of a Clarence Valley Council audit in February 2024 over the cost of its interactions with council has pointed out the audit has not been completed. The General Manager, Laura Black commented, “I anticipate it will take a couple of months.”

The secretary of Yamba Community Action Network (YambaCAN), Lynne Cairns, said this week’s council business paper included a report, Council Meeting Checklist – update on actions taken.

The report revealed staff had not completed the action, the result of a council resolution at the February 2024 council meeting.

“On page 175 of the business paper there is a note next to the item,” Ms Cairns said.

“It reads: ‘Staff responsible for collating information have been diverted to prepare and respond to legal action taken against council by an executive member of YambaCan’.”

Ms Cairns said this was incorrect as no-one on the YambaCAN executive had taken legal action against the council.

She was aware of some matters concerning the council a member of YambaCAN had taken to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

“These matters were not matters concerning YambaCAN and the member who brought them was not acting for YambaCAN,” Ms Cairns said.

“I’m concerned this is some disinformation that somehow YambaCAN is responsible for delaying council’s investigation of its actions.

“YambaCAN is requesting an apology from council for the incorrect information in the business paper.”

The resolution read: that the general manager advises, by way of a report the:

1. allocation of resources required to respond to GIPAs submitted by YambaCan since January 2022.

2. allocation of resources required to respond to RFI (Request for Information) submitted by YambaCan since January 2022.

3. any cost implications of delays to delivering the Yamba Community Precinct project since January 2022.

The matter was passed 5-4, but debate was fiery.

Cr Karen Toms brought it as a notice of motion to alert the public to the costs the group’s GIPA requests and requests for information were incurring.

But other councillors said these costs were part of council operating openly and transparently.

Cr Greg Clancy was concerned the motion focused on just one group when council records showed it was responsible for a fraction of the requests.

“As seen in the listing of GIPA applications on council’s website, there are 22 GIPA applications and only six of these refer to YambaCAN,” he told the February meeting.

He also revealed YambaCAN had lodged a request for information, however were informed that there were 290 requests for information previously lodged by others that were waiting to be processed.

Ms Cairns was concerned that with the council going into caretaker mode on August 16, ahead of the September local government elections, council could not effectively decide on the matter.

There will be report on the outcome of this matter and other matters at council in next week’s edition of The Northern Rivers Times.

 

For more Yamba news, click here.

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Grafton News

South Cup rising to top in July

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South Grafton Cup Winner

South Cup rising to top in July

 

By Tim Howard

The South Grafton Cup has risen to challenge the Grafton Cup and Ramornie Hcp as the leading races at the Grafton July Racing Carnival says CRJC executive officer Michael Beattie.

Beattie said the numbers showed that since the race became a qualifying event for the Big Dance, South Cup Day was now a legitimate third big day for the carnival.

He said the South Grafton Cup winner, Cepheus, came to the carnival with a benchmark rating of 106 points, while the Grafton Cup winner was rated 105.

“It means the highest benchmark rated horse that race at the carnival, would show, from a technical perspective, that the South Grafton Cup has become the strongest race,” he said.

Beattie described the change as “very positive” and indicated the carnival was developing away from a two big day event to a carnival with three main days.

He was also excited at the number of big metropolitan stables sending teams to the carnival.

“You’ve got the likes of Chris Waller, Peter and Paul Snowden, Chris Lees, Chris Munce, Annabelle Neesham,” he said.

“You’ve got this depth right through the carnival when these people are supporting its major events.”

Beattie said from a racing purist’s perspective the Grafon Cup winning ride of Blake Shinn on Deny Knowledge turned a good race into a great one.

“It was a sensation race and made better by one of the best tactical rides you’ll ever see to win a Grafton Cup,” Beattie said.

“I suppose the best jockey in the race was on the best horse in the race, but he gave the best ride in the race.

“By the time the race got to the 1200m it was the end of the penny section, because he had outmanoeuvred them all.”

Beattie said the result in Ramornie was also a pleasing outcome that could have been unfortunate.

“He suffered severe interference mid-race, Ka Bling, and if he had been beaten, would have had a real hard luck story,” he said.

“He was able overcome that interference and still pick them up and beat them, so it was one of those situations you love to see.

“In fact I think it was great that all three winners in the Grafton Cup, Ramornie and South Cup were the best horses in the race on the day.”

Beattie said that away from the racing the carnival was a highly successful social occasion with good crowds enjoying a friendly atmosphere.

He said the development of Grafton Cup Day’s Fashions on the Field into a signature event attracting people in its own right was the result of careful planning.

He said the South Cup and Grafton Cup days once shared fashion events, but a decision to focus on Grafton Cup Day as the fashion day was working.

“A few years ago we asked our customers, especially female customers, and they indicated to us that that situation wasn’t suitable to them,” Beattie said.

“Their view was the biggest fashion day should be Grafton Cup Day and I think it’s telling that it’s getting bigger and better from a participation perspective.”
Beattie said it was too early to say turnover the five days of racing generated, but the raw figures suggested not a lot of difference from last year.

“In this economic climate, to be holding your own, is a situation not a lot of racing clubs would emulate,” he said.

He said the club would not be sitting on its laurels and there would be a debrief and assessment of what worked and what needed to improved.

“Overall I would say what we planned and put in place seemed to work,” he said.

“But you always have to try and make things a little bit better each year.

“We’ve extended the members’ area over the past few years and the popularity of that’s been amazing.

“So when the dust settles we’ll have a bit of a review and see what things we can change for the future.”

 

For more sports news, click here.

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Grafton News

Hit and run raid secures Cup

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Grafton Cup Winner

Hit and run raid secures Cup

 

By Tim Howard

Star jockey Blake Shinn’s hit and run raid on Grafton’s July Racing Carnival has netted him a third Grafton Cup.

Shinn showed why he is rated one of the country’s top riders, piloting Pride of Dubai mare Deny Knowledge to the lead in the $200,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m), galloping home strongly to win by three quarters of length.

Backed into $2.45 favouritism, the Irish born galloper did not have it all her own way, with the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Touristic piling on the pressure in the home straight. The Chris Waller runner Thalassophile was a distant third.

Shinn had kept enough in reserve and Deny Knowledge powered her way to the line.

The Victorian-based rider, who had flown into town just for this race, said he had confidence in the horse from the time she paraded.

“I thought she paraded really, really well, better than last time,” Shinn said in a post race interview.

“Therefore her manners out on the track and in the race were perfect and I was able to put her where I wanted to be in that first two furlongs, which set the race up nicely for the last part.”

Grafton Cup Jockey

Grafton Cup winning jockey salutes the crowd as he rides back to scale after a masterful ride on six-year-old mare Deny Knowledge to secure the cup for a third time.

During the race Shinn made the most of his ride’s abilities.

“She’s a natural leader and at 24(00-metres), we may have been a little suspect,” he said.

“If I was going to burn the candle at both ends it was going to be hard and the pressure in the first 300 was quite quick, so there was an opportunity to drop in and rest around that first turn.

“When they backed off, I made a decision to roll to the top and get her into a zone where she loves to be, and once I was able to find the top, I was confident a long way out.”

It is 11 years since Shinn’s first Grafton Cup win on the Ciaron Maher-trained Mr O’Ceirin.

He won again for Gai Waterhouse two years later on Bonfire.

It was Deny Knowledge’s second start for the Yulong stable where she is trained by Melbourne Cup winning duo Anthony and Sam Freedman.

Purchased at the recent Magic Millions for $500,000, she repaid her new owners $109,000 with her win last Thursday.

Deny Knowledge’s track rider Henry Jaggard accepted the trophy from the CEO of race sponsor Westlawn Finance, Mark Dougherty.

Deny Knowledge hits the line to win the $200,000 Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup from Touristic in second spot.

Deny Knowledge hits the line to win the $200,000 Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup from Touristic in second spot.

He revealed the six-year-old’s good manners trackside and during the race were a fairly recent development.

“She’s definitely a temperamental horse, but she’s worth working with,” he said.

Jaggard said he ride all her track work and has been building a relationship with the horse since she came into the stable.

“She’s a proper athlete,” he said. “That doesn’t make her easy to get on with, but any trainer would like to think they can get the best out of her.”

He said though she was not built like a traditional stayer, she was going to become a very valuable horse for the Freedmans.

Her winnings from her last two starts have taken her prize money close to the $1 million mark with an overall record of eight wins and eight placings from 34 starts.

Jaggard said Deny Knowledge also had promise as a brood mare and was not sure how long her racing career might continue.

“There are some races coming up for her in the spring, so we’re concentrating on those,” he said.

The final race on the program, the $75,000 Sir James Kirby Quality (1000m) provided a fitting end to a high quality day’s racing.

Compelling Truth scored a slashing victory enhancing his credentials for The Kosciusko, coming up in in October.

The Mack Griffith-trained galloper overcame an awkward start to power home, beating Bomarea by nearly four lengths with Immoral further back in third.

 

For more local Grafton news, click here.

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