Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Northern Areas Council Australia Day Awards 2023

Northern Areas Council Mayor Sue Scarman, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Australia Day Awards, with the Citizen of the Year for 2023 awarded to Mr Leith Cooper of Jamestown.

Leith has been a highly valued contributor to not only the Jamestown community, but the wider region for several decades.

Leith’s contribution has extended from community and sporting organisations, local history and various historical celebrations, through to education and key leadership roles in the agricultural industry.

Leith has volunteered his time at the Jamestown Show for the best part of 70 years, serving many roles including multiple stints at President, served as Horses in Action Secretary from 1962-1970, has served as Gate Manager since 1976, has been a member of the Executive Committee since 1978, was awarded Life Membership in 2001 and also served as Northern Areas Shows Association President from 1989-1991.

He was an inaugural committee member of the Victoria Park Trust, when it was setup in 1968 to oversee the management of the Victoria Park Sporting and Showgrounds in Jamestown. He remains a committee members to this day, some 55 year later. In that period key projects undertaken included the turfing of the oval, multiple irrigation upgrades, the establishment of multi purpose courts, the grandstand replacement and in recent times the construction of the regional stadium. He also served terms as President and Secretary of the Belalie Cricket Association, in that time helping setup North Eastern Shield inter association cricket aswell as helping setup and coach the Jamestown Junior Cricket Colts side.

Leith has played key roles in the recognition of the history of the Jamestown District having served as the President of the Jamestown Centenary Celebrations Committee (which took place in 1971), as well as serving as a Committee Member 50 years later for Jamestown’s 150 year celebrations in 2021. He was also the Jamestown Jubilee 150 Committee, celebrating 150 years of South Australia in 1986.

He has also been a key historian, publishing multiple books on the history of the Jamestown District, in 1975 he produced “Changing Boundaries” detailing the history of a century of local government in the local area, while in 1978 he produced “Jamestown: A Photographic Study”. He also assisted Nancy Robinson with research for the book “Change on Change” which was launched at the Jamestown Centenary in 1971. Whilst he also assisted with the production of the book “Our Remarkable Story – Jamestown and Districts 1971-2021”, compiling several sections. While he currently compiles the “From Our Past” section in the monthly editions of the Jamestown Journal.

Leith has also been an active member of community service groups, having been a member and office holder of Rural Youth, before becoming a charter member of the Jamestown Apex Club when it was established in 1978. He is currently a member of the Jamestown Development Association and the Bundaleer Forest Community Areas Association.

He has also contributed significantly to the agricultural industry serving as a SACBH board member for 12 years, as well as serving as the SA/WA board member on the Wheat Export Authority and the Export Wheat Commission. He served on the SA Durum Growers Association committee for thirty years, including seven years as Chairman. He also served on the board of the Mid and Upper North Rural Counselling Service, served as branch President of the Jamestown branch of the Farmers and Graziers Association as well as several other agricultural committees.

For his decades of contribution, Leith will be presented with the award on Thursday the 26th of January at Memorial Park in Jamestown.

Mid North Suicide Prevention has been awarded the Active Citizenship Award for the highly successful Jamestown Golf Course Park Run. Commencing in February 2022, the Jamestown Golf Course Park Run was established as a means of encouraging community participation, physical and mental health and well-being for members of the community.

During 2022, just under five hundred individuals took part in the Jamestown Park Run with participants from not only Jamestown, but the Mid North region and at times some participants have made their way from the city.

Sixty eight different community members have volunteered their time to help with the Park Run, whilst the Jamestown Golf Club have been generous enough to enable the course to be used.

The success of the Jamestown Park Run in encouraging better health and well-being, in addition to volunteering has seen it duly recognised for their outstanding efforts.

The Community Event of the Year is the Laura 150 year celebrations, which took place across the October long weekend.

Over eighteen hundred people celebrated the sesquicentenary of the town of Laura, with people travelling from as far as interstate for the celebrations. Festivities included a parade from the Civic Centre to the Oval, where stalls and community activities were held, followed by a cabaret style dinner and band in the evening.

The Sunday saw over two hundred people attend a “back to school roll call” at the Laura Primary School, as well as the unveiling of the vintage stump puller at the site of the former foundary where it was built over a century earlier.

For their hard work coordinating the celebrations, the Laura 150 Committee have been recognised as Council’s Community Event of the Year.

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