Across our towns and villages hundreds of local residents volunteer their time freely without the expectation of recognition.
It is important that as a community we acknowledge their efforts, after all their contribution is priceless.
On Saturday November 3, Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead was joined by federal Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie, MidCoast mayor David West and Minister for Early Childhood and Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell to award the 2018 Myall Lakes Community Awards.
The ceremony was held at Club Taree and attended by over 400 local residents to celebrate those quiet achievers who contribute so much by giving their time to sports clubs, charities, churches, veteran groups, surf clubs and many volunteer organisations.
Tinonee resident Helen Bennett was awarded Citizen of the Year.
Helen was born at Kimbriki in the late 1940's growing up on a farm in the Manning Valley, she attended school at Kimbriki and Taree before joining the Commonwealth Bank in Taree.
Helen married local farmer Ernest Bennett who later established the Tinonee Bus Company, where Helen could often be seen driving the buses.
In the late 70s the family moved to Tinonee where Helen has been involved in the community ever since. Helen is a long-time member of the Town Head canteen ladies group serving local farmers and their wives almost since its beginning some 40 years ago.
Helen became a foundation member of the Taree branch of Trefoil Guild and in 2016 received a 40 year medal and certificate from Girl Guides Headquarters for her support and dedication to Girl Guides.
Helen has been involved with the Tinonee Memorial School of Arts Hall and was last year appointed patron after some 20 years’ service.
In addition, Wingham’s Ron Irwin was given an RSL Ministerial Commendation for his long association with the Wingham RSL Sub-branch.
Also from Wingham, Col Butcher was acknowledged for 50 years of service as a Justice of the Peace.