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Gunnedah Shire’s 2023 Australia Day Awards winners announced

26 January, 2023

Ten Gunnedah Shire citizens and organisations have been recognised in the 2023 Gunnedah Shire Australia Day Awards.

Deputy Mayor and Chair of Gunnedah Shire’s Australia Day Working Group Cr Rob Hooke said the Australia Day Awards Ceremony on Wednesday was a wonderful opportunity to thank those who do so much in our community.

“The Gunnedah Australia Day Awards Ceremony is held on the eve of Australia Day, and is a marvellous way to launch the Shire’s festivities,” Cr Hooke said.

“Last night, we announced that our Citizen of the Year (21 and Over) is Kamilaroi man Mitchum Neave. Mr Neave was chosen for this award because of his ongoing commitment to many volunteer community organisations including the NSW Rural Fire Service’s Piallaway brigade and Rural Fire Service Association Liverpool Plains Branch.

“Mr Neave is also part of the Breeza Progress Association, Min Min Aboriginal Corporation, Kamilaroi Gomeroi Gamilaraay Youth Trust and NSW’s regional Closing the Gap committee. Congratulations, Mitchum.

“Our Young Citizen of the Year is Ellyn Blinman. Ellyn is a former Captain of Gunnedah High School and has been awarded numerous accolades in her young life. She is known for her team work, leadership skills, and social and community contributions and it’s a pleasure to see this young person receive this award.

“The Australia Day Awards include categories as diverse as Environmental Citizen of the Year, Cultural Achievement Award and the Ivan Towns Memorial Award. I congratulate all of our awards winners who have made such valuable contributions to our Shire.”

The Gunnedah Shire Australia Day Award recipients for 2023 are:

  • Citizen of the Year (21 and Over) – Mitchum Neave
  • Young Citizen of the Year (20 and Under) – Ellyn Blinman
  • Ossie and Beryl Campbell Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award – Bruce Higham
  • Community Achievement Award – Gunnedah Wood Workers Group
  • Cultural Achievement Award - Katerina Haenga – Multicultural Women’s Association
  • Max and Mikie Maas Good Neighbour Award – Nat and Kate Groves
  • Junior Sportsperson of the Year (20 and Under) – Hugo Holmes
  • Junior Sports Team of the Year Award (20 and Under) - U18’s Gunnedah Rugby League Football Club
  • Ivan Towns Memorial Award - Coach of the Year – Daniel Martin
  • Environmental Citizen of the Year Award – Robert Frend

Gunnedah Shire’s Australia Day Ambassador is John Anderson AC, a sixth-generation farmer and grazier from Mullaley who spent 19 years in Australian Parliament from 1989. 

Mr Anderson served as a senior Cabinet minister in the reformist government led by John Howard (1996 to 2005).  This included six years as Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister.


Caption: Gunnedah Shire's 2023 Australia Day Awards recognise outstanding individuals and organisations.



For more information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s Communications team on (02) 6740 2100.