Julie McRae (Tottenham), Bonita (Bonnie) Gwyn (Condobolin), Mark Whitla (Condobolin), 2023 Lachlan Shire Australia Day Ambassador Carolyn Mee, 2023 Lachlan Shire Citizen of the Year Karen Tooth, NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway, Lachlan Shire Mayor John Medcalf OAM, Lachlan Shire Councillor Dennis Brady, Susan Bennett (Condobolin) and Lachlan Shire Councillor Melissa Rees. Image Credit: Melissa Blewitt.

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

The 2023 Australia Day Award Ceremony was held at the SRA Pavilion in Condobolin on Thursday, 26 January.
Karen Tooth from Condobolin was recognised as the Lachlan Shire Citizen of the Year for 2023. Other nominees for the Lachlan Shire Council 2023 NSW Local Citizen of the Year Awards included Susan Bennett (Condobolin), Julie McRae (Tottenham), Karen Tooth (Condobolin) and Mark Whitla (Condobolin).
Susan Bennett’s citation read: “As unit commander of the Condobolin SES and member of the Condobolin Rotary Club, Susan has been nominated for her outstanding contribution to the Lachlan Shire. Susan was on the front line during the 2022 flood events, working alongside other Emergency Service agencies to coordinate flood crisis management to keep the community safe. Susan and her SES team played a vital part in flood disaster search and rescue efforts, resupplying locals cut off by the flood waters, rescuing livestock and communicating safety updates and messages. As a Rotarian, Susan is incredibly active and has been involved in many events and projects throughout her time as president including supporting youth forums, organising lunch fundraisers, sourcing funding, installing seating along Gum Bend Lake, the Rotary and Annual Christmas markets. Her level of commitment to the community is truly selfless.”
Julie McCrae’s citation read: “Julie has been nominated for her volunteer work, and is often called upon to support families in their darkest days. Her compassion and commitment are to be applauded as she works tirelessly to support her community, and honour the person who has passed. She is devoted to her community, and is an inspiring individual whose selflessness and faith are greatly appreciated by the Tottenham community. Julie is certainly another unsung hero.
Mark Whitla’s citation read: “Mark has been recognised for the work he performed during the recent flood crisis. He spent many hours monitoring flood water, checking levy banks, fueling pumps to dispel water and boating supplies to isolated residents. The community has nominated Mark for this award to publicly acknowledge his dedication, commitment and willingness to give freely of his time to support the Derriwong community.”

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