Thursday, April 25, 2024

Northern Areas Council Australia Day Awards 2022

 Northern Areas Council Mayor Ben Browne, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Australia Day Awards, with the Citizen of the Year for 2022 awarded to Mr Eric Sommerville of Spalding.

Eric has been a valuable volunteer to not only the Spalding community, but the wider district for over 50 years. Eric is not the type of person to search for accolades, but across five decades he has ably donated his time to help others.

Eric has volunteered with the CFS since 1970, having served the Spalding Brigade as a Firefighter, Brigade Finance Coordinator for 5 years, Brigade Equipment Coordinator for 7 years, aswell as serving the Hallett Regional CFS Group as Deputy Coordinator for 8 years, Administration Officer for 5 years and Finance Coordinator for 14 years. He is the current President of the Spalding CFS, whilst he also serves on the Flinders, Mid North Bushfire Management Committee for the CFS.

Across five decades of service, Eric has been awarded with 10, 20, 30 and 40 year Service Awards, as well as the National Medal 1st, 2nd and 3rd clasp.

Eric also joined the SES in 1972, serving as Deputy Controller for several years, he also served as Administration Officer. During this service he has been awarded with 20, 30 and 40 year Service Awards in addition to a long service medal.

He was one of the foundation members of the Yackamoorundie Landcare Group when it was formed in 1998 and remains a current member. He is the current Membership Officer for the group and continues to be an active participant in workshops and information sessions. Following on from his hard work with Landcare, Eric then served as a member of the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board where he served as the Presiding Member for 4 years. He served as the NRM representative on the State Bushfire Co-ordination Committee, as well as the State Drought Committee.

Eric also served as an Elected Member of the District Council of Spalding from 1981-1990, he also served on the Jamestown Hospital Board, the Plant and Animal Pest Control Board, the Spalding and District Committee and is the current Vice President of the Spalding History Group. 

Eric has also been a long time volunteer at the Spalding Swimming Pool, attending numerous working bees aswell as volunteering as a Pool Supervisor. He was a competitive swimmer for Spalding, played Basketball for Washpool, Football for Spalding, and he played Tennis for both Spalding and Washpool, aswell as serving as President of the Burra and District Tennis Association for two years. 

For these and many other efforts across several decades, Eric’s will be awarded the Citizen of the Year at Spalding on Wednesday the 26th of January. 

The Young Citizen of the Year for 2022 has been awarded to Steph Lunn of Jamestown. She was one of the key members of Jamestown’s 150 year celebrations committee, aswell as being a key committee member of the Jamestown Show Society. 

Steph has been involved in several groups in the Jamestown community, since relocating to the area in 2017. It was then that she became involved with the Jamestown Gymnastics Club, where she has served as Assistance Coach and is the current Club Coach. She has also hosted come and try events for the wider community to encourage them to become involved. 

She has also been a key committee member at the Jamestown Show for the best part of five years, where she has served as Treasurer, assisted and participated in fashion parades, and is the current Junior Vice President. Her first year saw the event switch from a one day to a two day event and Steph has been involved with helping the show become one of the premier wool and sheep events in South Australia. 

In 2019 she was involved in traveling to Dubbo to help the committee lobby for hosting rights for the National Speed Shearing titles, which were scheduled to be held in 2021, but have now been pushed out until 2023 due to Covid related issues. 

Steph was a key member of the Jamestown Sequi-Centenary (150 year) anniversary committee, who were tasked with planning and undertaking 150 year birthday celebrations for Jamestown in 2021. This included many community events and the production and launch of the 150 year book. 

She has served as a volunteer on the Ladies on the Land Committee, run the local Active Farmers group fitness classes and has been a keen netballer with the Jamestown Peterborough Magpies. Her modest and approachable nature is what makes her a very deserving winner of the Young Citizen of the Year. 

For the second year in succession, Council will be presenting the Active Citizenship Award, which is presented to a group or individual who has delivered outstanding work for an event or cause. This year will see that award presented to the Jamestown based Northern Highlands Soropromists, for the “BeWigged Wig Library” based in Jamestown. 

This library offers wigs to people who may suffer hair loss due to a medical condition such as cancer treatment from chemotherapy. In a number of cases the need for a wig may be short term and with the cost of purchasing being prohibitive, being able to hire locally is a significant benefit. 

Since its inception the Wig Library has also assisted people from the wider region including Yorke Peninsula, Port Pirie, Clare Valley and the wider Flinders Ranges. 

The wig library was recently named runner up in the Health Section of the Premier’s Community Service Awards, recognising the difference this initiative can make for people when they are going through difficult times. 

The Community Event of the Year has been awarded to the Jamestown Sesquicentenary Committee for the highly successful celebrations of 150 years of Jamestown’s. 

For over two years, the community of Jamestown lead by the Sesquicentenary Committee or J150 Committee as it came to be known, worked incredibly hard to plan a series of events to honour the 150th anniversary of the town. 

The first celebration was held in late March 2021, titled the “Back to Belalie Cricket Bash” where over four hundred people came together to celebrate that cricket was the first sport played in the Jamestown District and is still played at the same place today, Victoria Park. 

But the major events occurred later in the year when the community came together over the first weekend in November. Across the weekend events consisted of an Art Exhibition at the Belalie Art Gallery, dedication of the Canowie Belt World War I and II Honour Rolls at the former Canowie Belt Oval, the opening of the refurbished Jamestown centenary sign and upgraded information bay, the placing of a time capsule at that site aswell as Saturday night entertainment with fashion through the ages, attended by over two hundred patrons. 

Celebrations culminated with a community day on the Sunday, with a combined church service, unveiling of the Belalie Mail Station plaque, official opening of the town entry sign on RM Williams Way, before people came together for a community lunch and the launch of the book “Our Remarkable Story”, detailing history of Jamestown and Districts from 1971-2021, a successor to the previous Jamestown Centenary Book from 1971. 

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