PHOTO GALLERY: How Coffs has celebrated Australia Day

Coffs Harbour today welcomed 60 new Aussies from 19 countries at the North Coast Botanic Garden.
Coffs Harbour today welcomed 60 new Aussies from 19 countries at the North Coast Botanic Garden. Matt Deans

FROM early morning beach swims, fun runs, to barbies and of course welcoming our new Aussies here's how Coffs Harbour celebrated Australia Day.

Today 60 new Aussies from 19 countries gained citizenship, awarded certificates and gifted a native tree to plant by Coffs Harbour City Council.

Mayor Denise Knight extended a big warm welcome, with "hugs instead of handshakes" to the city's newest residents.

OAM honours were today awarded to a trio of Coffs Coast locals.

Transport icon Tom Lindsay, was recognised for a lifetime of generosity and support gifted to the local community.

Annette and Jean-Pierre Reifler of Glenreagh were also awarded OAMs for their work in community health at the Sherwood Cliffs Christian Rehabilitation Centre.

The drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility was founded in 1978.

Annette was also recognised for her work as chair of the Coffs Harbour Christian Community School from 2003-2018, her service with the Coffs Harbour Baptist Church, the Glenreagh Memorial Museum and WIRES.

Earlier in the day at Park Beach, the Aussie spirit was shared with the scent of Goanna Oil as runners pounded out 2km, 5km and 10km runs during the Optus Australia Day Fun Run staged by the Coffs Habour Surf Life Saving Club.

On the Jetty Foreshores, the Sunday markets attracted a huge crowd with an Australia Day theme, while the city's early morning swimmers followed up their dawn dip with a barbie.

Take 3 volunteers were also hard at it, collecting rubbish left in the wake of the Rolling Sets music festival at the Coffs Harbour Ampitheatre.

Nothing says Aussie spirit like volunteering your own time on a Sunday to help the environment.

Joining forces with Rolling Sets Festival, Take 3 hosted a community beach clean-up and free barbie lunch at Gallows Beach, paying respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on a day of such significance.

Here's the pictures from it all.

The recipients of Bellingen Shire's 2020 Australia Day Awards have also been announced.

Bellingen Shire Mayor, Cr King, said the Australia Day Awards provided the community with a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge the members of our community who give their time freely.

"That's why the Australia Day Awards Committee also created a new award category this year called 'Homegrown Heroes' to recognise the combined efforts of our Shire's Rural Fire Brigade Firefighters, who have been battling fires tirelessly burning in and around our Shire," Cr King said.

"I am also overwhelmed by the field of nominations we received across all of our traditional award categories, and given the calibre of this year's applicants, I think it's safe to say that all nominees should feel extremely proud of their achievements."


The individual category winners of the shire's 2020 Australia Day Awards are:

Junior Sportsperson of the Year Award (Joint Winners)
Modena Schofield-Foster: Modena has excelled in endurance horse riding and has started to mentor other young riders in the sport and has inspired other young riders to chase their dreams and enjoy horse riding.
Zara Leigh McLeish: Zara always participates in sporting events and always gives each event her best and she has worked hard to excel in high jump and athletics.

Sportsperson of the Year Award
Lily-Rose Meredith Powell: Lily has excelled in equestrian and dressage events and her contribution within the equestrian community and greater community through her volunteer work demonstrating a young person giving back to the community and understanding the importance of a young person's role in keeping sporting events alive and continuing for years to come.

Sports Team of the Year Award
Open Girls Football Team: Many of the players in the Open Girls Football Team are positive role models for younger players to aspire to.


Creative Arts Award
Blake Rowe: Blake has been welding since he was eight years old welds sculptures featuring scrap metal and old horseshoes and has previously won the Junior Art Prize at the 2018 Father's Day Sculpture in the Park Competition with his imaginative sculptures.


Community Event of the Year Award


Save Sight Community Challenge: In March 2019 Urunga Lions Club set a challenge to Urunga and the extended Bellingen Shire District to raise funds for the Sydney Eye Bank, through the Lions Save Sight and Public Health Care Foundation.
The physical challenge saw people running, swimming and walking to raise funds. The overall amount raised by the Urunga Lions Club for the Lions Save Sight and Public Health Foundation was $7,000 and was gifted to the Sydney Eye Bank.


Community Group of the Year Award


Urunga Lions Club: Urunga is very fortunate to have a service club dedicated to raising funds to assist all forms of needs in the local community and across the Bellingen Shire. Every Saturday the members are cooking in the main street of Urunga and every month they're at the markets. Every year they assist Rotary in the Cycle Classic and are instrumental in the running and clean-up of the Bowraville section of the World Rally.


Community Service Citizen of the Year Award


Marie Rowe: Marie has been volunteering in the Urunga community for the last 20 years and continues to deliver Meals on Wheels. Marie is an active member and Treasurer of Urunga's View Club. Marie also assists with costume making, performs with the Urunga Revellers, manages the Urunga Uniting Church's Opp Shop and regularly organises and prepares the church for events and activities.


Young Citizen of the Year Award

Stella Rees: Stella Rees is a young environmental leader who has demonstrated outstanding civic leadership during 2019. She advocates, embodies and achieves many of the community's aspirations outlined in Bellingen Shire's 2027 Community Vision by being actively involved and driving opportunities that foster intergenerational learning about climate change.


Citizen of the Year Award (Joint Winners)


Jo Brotherton: Jo is a tireless worker for the local community. She is an executive member of the Urunga Mylestom Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of the Urunga Lions Club. Jo has boundless energy and is very passionate about Urunga and the Bellingen Shire. Over the last five years, Jo has spent countless weekends and lots of her spare time, fund raising for both the Chamber and the Lions Club.
Barbara Moore: Barbara has spent many hours assisting Bellingen Hospital Management, Bellingen Bush Regenerators and Bellingen Landcare. She continues in her position as President of the Bellingen Health Action Group (BHAG). She was officially recognised by the SES in a Commissioners Letter of Appreciation for her work with community engagement over many years.


The 'Homegrown Heroes' winners for our Shire's 2020 Australia Day Awards are:
Boggy Creek Rural Fire Brigade, Bostobrick Rural Fire Brigade, Brierfield Rural Fire Brigade, Darkwood Rural Fire Brigade, Deervale Rural Fire Brigade, Fernmount Rural Fire Brigade, Gleniffer Rural Fire Brigade, Hydes Creek Rural Fire Brigade, Kalang Rural Fire Brigade, Megan Rural Fire Brigade, North Bellingen Rural Fire Brigade, Repton Rural Fire Brigade, Scotchman Rural Fire Brigade, Thora Rural Fire Brigade, Urunga Rural Fire Brigade, Valery Rural Fire Brigade, Group One's Cliff Last, Group Two's John Worrad, District Manager Superintendent Sean McArdle, District Coordinator Ms Rachel Eggins and District Officer Inspector Michael Brougham.