Belinda-Jane Davis Announced as Maitland's 2018 Citizen of the Year
Local journalist and drought crisis advocate Belinda-Jane Davis (top right) has been announced as Maitland’s 2018 Citizen of the Year.
In 2018 Ms Davis, who lives on a farming property near Hinton, wrote important stories of people on the land in a unique way that contributed towards building a strong, supportive community around our farmers.
Her work at the Maitland Mercury also involves making connections with local groups such as Slow Food Hunter Valley and in 2018 she clearly demonstrated her support of the Earth Markets. Her stories have galvanised the community in supporting their local farmers and thereby helping to ensure that Maitland is food secure. Her work in this area has highlighted the rich diversity that exists locally and has helped in the development of the artisanal producer and farmer, which will develop as a major economic and tourism asset to the people of Maitland.
In 2018 she also won a Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism for her drought campaign ‘The Big Dry’ which is a tribute to her tenacity and her view that it is her obligation as a journalist to bring the drought to the forefront of our minds.
Maitland Mayor Cr Loretta Baker says, ‘The Maitland Citizen of the Year accolade is designed to celebrate those individuals who enrich our community through their commitment and service to others. Belinda-Jane has truly embodied that, especially in 2018 and she is a wonderful choice.
‘Her work with the rural community is something to be applauded and I know it has meant a great deal to a lot of people’.
The Young Citizen of the Year is passionate 15 year old Kelci Brain (top left), who has been a member of St John Ambulance (NSW) - Maitland Cadet Division for over four years. Kelci has proficiently climbed the ranks as a cadet, completed over 800 volunteer hours with the organisation and plans to study to become a qualified paramedic on the completion of high school.
‘We are very fortunate to have so many talented and community minded young people like Kelci in our city. Hearing of her efforts and commitment makes me incredibly proud,’ added Cr Baker.
Along with the two award recipients, it was also a special day for over 30 people who became Australian citizens as part of the Citizenship Ceremony.