RIVERINA MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says this year’s Australia Day Award recipients are a testament to the community spirit for which regional and rural Australians are renowned.

“Communities may be built of bricks and mortar, roads and footpaths, shops and services and other vital infrastructure, but what really builds them up, what really makes them grow and thrive is the selfless work of their people,” Mr McCormack said.

“On future Australia Days, you who have received an award can look back on this evening with great pride knowing your outstanding community service has been recognised.”

Among those in the Riverina and Central West who have been recognised are:

·         Emiritus Professor James Edward Pratley (AM, Wagga Wagga)

·         Mrs Catherine Ann (Ann) Adams (OAM, Gumly)

·         Mr William Alexander Cameron (OAM, Young)

·         Ms Corona May Collier (OAM, Trundle)

·         Dr Peter Ian Davidson (OAM, Cowra)

·         Mr David Gill (OAM Wagga Wagga)

·         Mrs Ellenor Amelia Hetherington (OAM, Parkes)

·         Mrs Barbara Johnston    (OAM, Currawarna)

·         Mrs Nicole Maree Kiss   (OAM Cowra)

·         Mrs Heather Mann (OAM Forbes)

·         The Reverend Neil Andrew Percival (OAM Young)

·         Mr John Pizarro                (OAM, Parkes)

“Congratulations to all those who have been bestowed an award in the Australia Day honours and those announced as citizens of the year,” Mr McCormack said.

“It is also especially pleasing to attend Australia Day events in the region and to see so many deserving recipients of community awards being recognised.

“To receive a Citizen of the Year Award is a particularly special achievement and acknowledges a great love of community and local people.

“It takes a special kind of person to dedicate themselves to the communities in which they live and I am proud to represent such upstanding members of rural and regional Australia.

“Your contributions and the contributions of hundreds, indeed thousands, of other residents to help their fellow residents in countless other ways help make this region such a great place to live.

“I am also delighted to welcome all those who pledge their loyalty to Australia and become citizens on this special day.

“Always remember, in this great land of ours the things that unite us are far greater than those which divide us.”

Shane Manning