Australia day awards
The Australia Day Awards recognise outstanding achievements, which show results of good citizenship, determination, creativity, enthusiasm, commitment and a demonstrated search for excellence.
Each year the awards are presented during Maitland's Australia Day celebrations, which are held at Maitland Park.
Council welcomes nominees from a wide variety of areas including the arts, sport, schools, the environment and community service. Achievements which will be recognised include a single outstanding achievement in the last year or numerous achievements made over many years.
Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year
Applications are for Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year will open soon.
2018 Award Recipients
Citizen of the year: Belinda-Jane Davis
In 2018 Belinda, 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 Belinda 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.
Young citizen of the year: Kelci Brain
Passionate 15 year old Kelci Brain 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.
2017 Award Recipients
Citizen of the year: Amorelle Dempster
Amorelle has become the driving force behind the ever evolving Earth Markets which have become so popular at The Levee. The markets have successfully reconnected local producers with local customers and they’ve also given a helping hand to the disadvantaged in Maitland. As the Leader of Slow Food Hunter Valley, Amorelle has brought together a passionate group of volunteers who simply want to spread the Slow Food message.
Young citizen of the year: Christopher Teasdale
Nominated for his inspirational leadership qualities, Christopher served as school captain of Maitland Christian School. He is also a talented sportsman and represented his school and community at the finals of the CSSA Soccer State Championships, where he set the highest example of conduct and mateship amongst his peers. In addition, Christopher also has made two trips to Woolaning where he made invaluable links though sport and activities, which became a passion for him in advocating for diversity and people’s rights.
2016 Award recipients
Citizen of the Year: Mrs Beverly Steggles
Born in Maitland, Bev has a strong connection with her family and has worked hard to take care of them. Bev has a philosophy based on ‘giving back’ and has been heavily involved in the Maitland Black and White Committee, World Vision, the building of the Op Shop at Beresfield/Thornton Anglican Church, and she is also the coordinator of the Samaritans Grandparents as Parents program. Bev also assists with other community initiatives including Mission Lunches, the Monday Club, book clubs and school awards.
Young Citizen of the Year: Ms Sammy Seth
In her role as Youth Ambassador for the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network, Sammy has met young migrants and refugees and launched a petition which pushes for more Intensive English Centres (IEC) to be set up in regional NSW. She is an advocate for lowering the voting age to 16 and has been an integral part of Youth Parliament for four years. She is a student of CHAKRA dance school, a community leader for the Oaktree Foundation and has won awards for her public speaking.