Tony and Laurel King named Inverell's top citizens at Australia Day breakfast

Inverell's 2016 Australia Day Citizens of the Year: Tony and Laurel King.
Inverell's 2016 Australia Day Citizens of the Year: Tony and Laurel King.

Unsung heroes have been recognised today for their inexhaustible commitment to the Inverell community as part of the town’s Australia Day celebrations.

Tony and Laurel King are co-winners of the 2016 Citizen of the Year award. The couple are quiet achievers, but their active involvement in a huge number of community organisations has not gone unnoticed. 

Council public relations officer Barbara Eshman said she expected the decision to be a popular one, as they had been nominated several times. 

She said they were “definitely community-minded”.

Tony and Laurel have been involved in Meals on Wheels, Inverell Probus, Pioneer Village, National Transport Museum, Inverell Antique Motor Club, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Uniting Church, Inverell RSPCA, Inverell Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Inverell Collector’s Club and Staggy Creek Tennis Club. Tony, who is a popular impromptu entertainer at various functions is known for transporting elderly veterans for ANZAC Day Marches, while Laurel is a capable event planner and volunteers regularly in the Uniting Church Community Kitchen.

Young Citizen of the Year

High achiever Hannah Worsley, who is well-known in the Inverell community for her outstanding academic performances and public speaking appearances, was awarded with the Young Citizen of the Year Award. 

Young Citizen of the Year Hannah Worsley.

Young Citizen of the Year Hannah Worsley.

She was unable to accept the award in person as she is currently attending the National Youth Science Forum. 

“She’s just an outstanding role model,” Barbara said.

Hannah won the National Lions Club Youth of the Year Public Speaker and the Regional Rotary Public Speaking Award. She is also a talented debater, performer and sportswoman.  

She has a wide range of academic and extracurricular awards from her years at Inverell High School, including the 2015 year 12 Dux and recognition for her swimming, horse sports and athletics representation.

Community Event of the Year

Barbara said choosing the Event of the Year was really difficult, with so many possible choices. However the 2015 ANZAC Day Inverell Centenary Commemoration was chosen after the largest crowd in decades, around 4000 people, attended the centenary ceremony. About 2000 people attended the Dawn Service. 

The collaboration of the Inverell RSL Sub Branch, the Inverell Shire Council, state and federal Governments in upgrading the Inverell memorial and Cenotaph was also a significant part of the event.

Inverell Shire's Australia Day ceremony began this morning in Victoria Park with a barbecue breakfast, hosted by Macintyre Lions Club, before the official ceremony began.

Australia Day ceremonies are also taking place in Tingha, Delungra and Ashford.

Anzac Day 2015

Anzac Day 2015

Order of Australia Medal

In the National Australia Day Honours List, former Inverell Shire Council president John Richard Coventry has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal.

Bonshaw’s Mr Coventry was recognised for his service to local government and to the community. 

“John is a very active member of the Bonshaw and wider community, with a strong interest in our environment and retention of services in the bush,” Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said. 

Mr Coventry served on a number of community and statutory organisations including as the president of the Inverell Shire Council from 1985 to 1989, chairman of North West Electricity from 1987 to 1995 and chairman of the Local Government Border Rivers Project.