Tenterfield's Australia Day Awards could be discontinued due to lack of nominations

Allan and Thea McKenzie.
Allan and Thea McKenzie.

Despite a dominance of worthy recipients of Australia Day Awards honours in the Tenterfield Shire, the awards ceremony could soon become just a fond memory if more nominations aren’t forthcoming.

At the last monthly meeting councillors have officially endorsed the call for nominations in the usual categories of Citizen, Young Citizen, Emergency Services Volunteer, Sportsperson, Young Sportsperson and Community Event of the Year.

Discussion then, however, turned to the recent downturn in nominations. Nominations for the 2018 awards closed at the end of last year with no bids for Sportsperson or Young Citizen, and only 11 nominations across the rest of the categories.

“It is disappointing to note that no nominations were received for the categories of Sportsperson of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year, particularly as there are many young people achieving great things and being recognised at the individual School Presentation Assemblies I have had the pleasure of attending in the last few weeks,” Mayor Peter Petty said at the time.

This year – despite the April announcement that those who live outside the shire borders but have contributed within the shire will also be eligible for nomination – only one nomination has since been received.

“The lack of nominations is getting embarrassing,” Councillor John Macnish said at the meeting.

“We’re doing all we can do, but we’ve got to start looking at it.

“Should it be dropped?”

Councillor Gary Verri concurred, saying that unless there is community interest in the endeavour, it’s not worth the resources.

Nominations close for the 2019 awards on Friday, December 14. They can be downloaded or completed online at the council website tenterfield.nsw.com.au (just search from Australia Day 2019), on a form collected from the council office or call Noelene Hyde on (02) 6736 6000 to have one mailed to you.