Member for Murray Helen Dalton visited The Australian Inland Botanic Gardens at Mourquong this week, where she made presentations to eight notable residents of the Wentworth Shire, who have made valuable contributions to their community.

“Today we are here to show our appreciation to eight wonderful persons nominated by the community and to recognise their achievements – well beyond what we have documented in these certificates,” Mrs Dalton said.

A Member of Parliament is able to make a presentation in the NSW Parliament by way of a Community Recognition Statement, which is on record in the Hansard on that day.

“The statements may congratulate or acknowledge the achievements of people or groups in the community and recognise charity work, retirement or honours and awards,” she said.

The first presentation was made to Troy Dowley of Gol Gol who has serviced the township as Captain of the Rural Fire Services, a position he has held for more than 20 years.

At 15 years of age, be became a volunteer with the NSW Bush Fire Brigade and has now served 37 years as a firefighter assisting not only our region, but the whole state during the many outbreaks where assistance was requested.

Next to be honoured was Coomealla’s Jenny Gledhill, who was proudly acknowledged for being a co-founder and supporter of Sunraysia Cancer Support Group, a service to the community utilised by more than 3,000 families.

“Jenny retired from working life at the age of 70 last year, but she continues her passionate voluntary role and involvement with Sunraysia Cancer Resources,” Mrs Dalton said.

“In February, I was pleased to recognise and congratulate Peter Fitzpatrick for his services of Registrar of Wentworth Local Court. Peter retired after a 50-year career with the NSW Department of Justice, more than 40 of those were spent in Wentworth.”

Ray Jones was acknowledged for his services as manager of the Euston Club for 26 years. Ray oversaw the organisation’s growth from a very small operation to one of the premier clubs in NSW.

“We thank him for many years of service and on-going support of the Euston community,” Mrs Dalton said.

“In March it was my privilege to recognise Ted Smith, a Darling River ‘water-warrior’ from Pooncarie.
“Ted served the community for 76 years being a Life Member of Pooncarie Cricket Club, the Tennis Club and the Pooncarie Gun Club.
“He also assisted the Pooncarie Race Club for 66 years and held numerous other positions within the Pooncarie community. At 91, he’s still an active member of the Pooncarie and District Development Association.”

Michael Coleman, Principal of Dareton Primary School was recognised for his ‘operational changes’ that brought about positive engagement within the community and recognition within the school.

Aboriginal culture was introduced to school life creating games, language classes to bilingual signage around the school grounds as well as a ‘comfort dog’.

“I also congratulate Cheryl Vines of Curlwaa. Cheryl’s roles commenced in her mid-teens as a Sunday School teacher − a role she conducted for 20 years,” Mrs Dalton said.

“And from the many pre-school, primary and secondary school roles, CWA and Rural Women’s Gathering, Cheryl has spent the past 38 years assisting the Wentworth Tennis Club holding many executive positions.”

Finally Mrs Dalton presented the award for what is known as a ‘Hidden Treasure’ in NSW Parliamentary terms.

“Margaret Whyte, known to us as Marg, was embraced in the 2020 Hidden Treasure Honour Roll for her active volunteer roles, in particular 25 years with the establishment and coordinating of the Animal Nursery at the Wentworth Show,” she said.

“This is only one of the many attributes awarded to Marg Whyte. She is also well known for her development and compering of the very popular ‘Wearable Art Competition’.
“Her active passion for the environment is portrayed in her artwork of cards, paintings and books.
“There were 53 nominations who received awards and these were all recognised within the publication ‘2020 Hidden Treasures Honours Roll’ − congratulations Marg!”