Beyond Bank Australia Day Awards – Wagga Wagga

Beyond Bank hopes everyone had a fun and safe Australia Day, that you were able to catch up with friends and family, and reflect on what it means to you to be an Australian.

In Wagga Wagga, Beyond Bank helped locals celebrate living in the lucky country.

On Monday evening, the Beyond Bank Australia Day Awards honoured the outstanding achievements of locals who are contributing to the Riverina community.

Athlete and advocate, Joe Williams was named Citizen of the Year. Boxer and former NFL player, Joe was recognised for his work raising awareness around depression and with disengaged youth in local schools, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres and jails and as a mentor to many young people and adults within the community.

Beyond Bank Regional Manager, Andrew Toole presented Joe with his award and was moved by Joe’s dedication to helping others. “It was a privilege to be part of the Australia Day Awards and see the calibre of not only the winners, but all the nominees,” Mr Toole praised.

Beyond Bank would like to congratulate all the Citizen of the Year nominees:

  • Trevor Argus: Trevor has dedicated his time tirelessly to the Walk to D’Feet MND and has raised thousands towards assisting people with motor neurone disease. Trevor has also volunteered for the Cancer Council NSW for more than a decade.
  • Phil Hoey: Phil has raised $100,000 by mowing lawns and a further $40,000 through raffles for Kidney Health Australia. Phil also dedicates his time to the Asthma Foundation, Heart Foundation, the Lions Club and the National Stroke Foundation.
  • Judy Galloway: Judy was instrumental in the establishment of the Committee4Wagga and has served as its chairwoman since it began.
  • Jim Rees: Since starting the Wagga Demonstration Gardens in 2001, Jim has spent the past 14 years as the volunteer coordinator at the gardens.
  • James Hamilton: James has provided long and faithful service to the Anglican Parish of Wagga and Diocesan agencies. James has also dedicated a significant amount of his time to Wollundry Rotary.
  • Garry Gurtner: A lifetime resident of Wagga, Garry is well-known for his generosity to charities and organisations, regularly donating significant prizes of raffles as well as providing cash donations. Garry has volunteered at Ronald McDonald House, provided substantial support to the Cystic Fibroses group, the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Kurrajong Waratah and has a long and active participation in the Lake Albert Rural Fire Brigade.
  • Andrew Wallace: Andrew has been a major driver in the Riverina region for understanding climate change, as well as being the strategic leader of the Riverina Conservatorium of Music.
  • Kevin Kerr: Kevin has been involved with a variety of service organisations within the city including the Forest Hill Rural Fire Brigade, Forest Hill Progress Association, Wagga RSL Sub-Branch, 332 Squadron Australian Air Force Cadets, Aircare and the RAAF Wagga Heritage Centre.
  • Genevieve Fleming: Genevieve helped the Wagga Women’s Health Centre secure funding for a permanent home. She has also served as the president of Women in Business Wagga.

“It is inspiring to see how many people give so much to our community,” Mr Toole said.

The awards also acknowledged those young people in the region who are already making a difference. Congratulations to Hannah Kempton who was named Young Citizen of the Year and nominee Brianna Peet.

The Baylis Street Walk of Honour was instigated in 1998 to recognise substantial contributors to the City of Wagga Wagga. “All three nominees for this year’s honour: Jim Rees, John Brasier, and William Kennedy more than meet this description and are deserving of our gratitude,” Mr Toole said. John Brasier is the 2016 Walk of Honour recipient.

On Tuesday, residents of the city and surrounds came together to celebrate in style at the Wagga Beach. Beyond Bank’s Entertainment Tent was a popular spot to spend some time. The day also included the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony. Beyond Bank would like to congratulate everyone who became an Australian citizen on Australia Day.

Photo from the Daily Advertiser.