Australia Day Recognition to Byron's Local Heroes


The founder of a program offering a transitional program for women at risk has been named Byron Shire’s 2019 Citizen of the Year.

SHIFT Project founder Anne Goslett joined other award recipients in being recognised as tireless contributors to the community at the Australia Day awards presentation, held at the Cavanbah Centre on Friday.

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson said, ‘Anne’s compassion and drive to help women in our Shire has directly changed the lives of 32 women in our community in the short space of three years and for this we are very grateful.’

Anne launched the SHIFT Project out of her passion for helping women in the Byron Shire. The organisation receives no government funding and is run purely by independent fundraising and donations.

Senior Citizen of the Year is Sybil Johnston, who is well known for her work with the Bangalow CWA.

‘Sybil is also involved in the Bangalow RSL, the Red Cross and the Bangalow Show and it’s fabulous that we are able to recognise the wonderful work she does for the Bangalow community,’ mayor Richardson said.

Sybil joined Bangalow CWA in 1991 and has given 27 years of tireless service, cooking for street stalls, catering for events, knitting goods, selling raffle tickets, teaching younger members to knit and cook.

Volunteer of the Year, Lynn Smith, has inspired a small team of people to transform the old, much neglected swimming pool park in Bangalow. She grew up in a house adjacent to the park and her father taught hundreds of children to swim in the creek pool. Lynn’s affinity with the park continues today as she spends many hours each week beautifying the grounds and ensuring contracted works are faithfully carried out.

Sportsperson of the Year, Chris Layland, has a passion for spreading his knowledge and continuing to learn. He is a natural coach and teacher to both players in Byron Bay soccer club and the club’s upcoming youth coaches. He has also created a number of club relationships with some of Australia’s biggest clubs in the cities. This is a pathway for Byron’s most talented players to be able to work towards a professional career.

Creative Artist of the Year, Will Gammon has nearly two decades of experience in the visual effects film industry as an artist, and is constantly challenging existing methods in order to present forward thinking alternative solutions to the way we live and work in the industry.

Will established his highly successful company Cumulus VFX in 2010 in a garage. Armed with a laptop and a vision to create remote visual effects as a service, Will quickly tapped into the independent film market.

Event of the Year, the Mullumbimby Agricultural Show is the longest running not-for-profit community organisation in the Byron Shire. Formed in 1907 the show is a celebration of the area’s diverse and evolving agricultural, horticultural and livestock industries. It continues to share the traditions of the area’s past while bringing new and exciting developments in agriculture, horticulture and rural industries to visitors.

Environmental Project of the Year, Rotary Rainforest Park, off Pine Avenue, Mullumbimby provides a sample of what “The Big Scrub” would have been like prior to settlement of the region and provides valuable information for existing and future generations of Byron Shire.

During 2017/2018 major renovation works were undertaken to bring the project up to standard for community participation and visitation.

Source: Echonet

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