Shire Citizens Celebrated at 2023 Australia Day Awards

27 January 2023

Shire Citizens Celebrated at 2023 Australia Day Awards - Post Image

Warren Shire has celebrated the positive impact of several remarkable citizens and businesses, with the presentation of the 2023 Australia Day Awards on Thursday 26 January. 

This year’s highly anticipated Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Dr John Burke for his foresight, drive and commitment to restoring the former Colliers Tyre Service into a museum and gallery space for locals and visitors to enjoy.

Across all categories, the following award winners were recognised for the significant contribution they have made to our local community:

  • Citizen of the Year: Dr John Burke 
  • Business House of the Year: The Rural Trader
  • Young Sportsperson of the Year: Nicholas Christian
  • Sportsperson of the Year: Tim Whiteley and Jo Noonan 
  • Young Achiever of the Year: Bianca Fuller
  • Community Event of the Year: Warren Street Christmas Party
  • Community Services Award: Warren Golf Club Volunteers
  • Young Citizen of the Year: Daisy McKay

Mayor of Warren Shire, Councillor Milton Quigley, said the volume and calibre of nominations received this year are reflective of the talent and dedication of the Warren Shire community.

“We had a great number of nominations for this year’s Australia Day Awards, which goes to show how involved and accomplished our locals are,” says Mayor Quigley. 

“There were a number of worthy recipients nominated for each category, all of whom have made a valuable contribution to our community.

“I commend all of the 2023 Australia Day Award nominees and recipients for their outstanding achievements.”

Our 2023 Warren Shire Australia Day Award Winners: 

1. Citizen of the Year: Dr John Burke

Dr John Burke has played an instrumental role in the restoration of the former Colliers Tyre Service into a museum and gallery space. 

Following a successful grant application in June 2020, and with the support of an enthusiastic committee, the program is now well on the way to completion. 

As Project Coordinator, Dr Burke’s tireless commitment to the project has created something for all of us to enjoy – both now, and for generations to come.

A man of many achievements, Dr Burke is also involved in the Warren MPHS Health Council, Warren Rotary, Warren Health Action Committee, Warren Historical and Family History Society, and Warren Chamber Music Festival.


2. Business House of the Year: The Rural Trader

Kat Porter saw the vacant ‘Old Bell’s Store’ as an untapped resource in Nevertire, but not long after she purchased the building, a storm in November 2020 caused damage to its structure - temporarily halting her dream. 

A year later, Kat went on to win the Buy From The Bush Big Break ‘People’s Choice Award’, allowing her to finish the necessary renovations and repairs, and turn the building into a fully functional, boutique shop. 

Now, The Rural Trader is the perfect spot for locals and visitors to enjoy a coffee and a snack while browsing the stunning clothing, gifts, jewellery and homewares on offer.


3. Young Sports Person of the Year: Nicholas Christian

Nick competes as part of the World Raw Powerlifting Federation, meaning that - other than free weights -the only equipment he uses are straps to support his knees. 

At just 14 years old, Nick has already completed a 100kg squat, 60kg bench and 122.5kg deadlift.

He achieved three world records in powerlifting during the 2022 World Raw Powerlifting Federation Nationals held in Melbourne and was also invited to take part in the 2022 World Championships in Russia.


4. Sportsperson of the Year: Tim Whiteley and Jo Noonan

Tim Whiteley and Jo Noonan, who are the President and Secretary of the Macquarie Emus Junior Rugby Club respectively, have worked hard to rejuvenate the club throughout the 2022 season.

The club has hosted a significant number of quality events, including the Classic Wallabies Western Plains Camp, seven Friday night gala events, high school RAMSY events, a Western Plains Junior Trial Day, and school holiday camps. 

Along with their parents and supporters, it is estimated more than 850 participants have attended these events and spent time in Warren Shire, as a direct consequence of the club’s efforts.  

5. Young Achiever of the Year: Bianca Fuller

A talented athlete, Bianca was awarded the Kinross Wolaroi School (KSW) Swimming Captain, KWS Swimming Champion, KWS Swimmer of the Year, and the KWS Lion Heart Award. 

She was also selected and named in the NSW Target Transition Squad to attend training camps run by NSW Swimming.  

Bianca has now been accepted into the Australian Institute of Sport swimming squad and is training under Australian Olympic coach Shannon Rollason, who has coached multiple swimmers to success and Olympic podium finishes.

6. Community Event of the Year: Warren Street Christmas Party

After COVID-19 lockdowns and several flooding events caused residents to become isolated, the community of Warren saw the need for an event that would allow locals to socialise and reconnect with others. 

Following weeks of planning and organising by many, the main street of Warren came alive with local entertainment, market stalls, food and bar facilities, and even a visit from Santa!

The event was not only a fantastic opportunity for residents to come together and celebrate the festive season, but also to support a number of small businesses and organisations who were able to participate.


7. Community Services Award: Warren Golf Club Volunteers

Volunteers Greg Kentwell, Malcolm Stephens, Brian Robertson, Paul Shipton, David Rawlinson, Dale Ward, John Wilde and others all regularly dedicate their time to maintain, groom, prepare and preserve the Warren Golf Course. 

They have worked tirelessly through devastating floods, severe drought, and whatever else Mother Nature has decided to throw at them!

The generosity of the time they give every day, as well as their efforts in keeping our wonderful Golf Club looking pristine at all times, is commendable.


8. Young Citizen of the Year Award: Daisy McKay

Daisy is an enthusiastic, kind, and community-minded young citizen. At the young age of twelve, she demonstrates determination, entrepreneurialism and creativity through her small business, where she designs and creates dog bowties, dog bandanas, hair scrunchies, and bespoke tops and skirts.

She also received honours in her Australian Music Examination Board first grade clarinet exam, and received ‘Most Improved Player’ and ‘Encouragement’ awards from the Warren Junior Netball Club for her involvement in the winning Warren Wildflowers netball team.

In addition to these achievements, Daisy also recently competed in the CWA Speaking Competition and was selected from eight Stage 3 students to compete against neighbouring schools.

View more pictures from the ceremony.

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