Australia Day Awards

The Edward River Council Australia Day Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals who inspire us through their accomplishments in service to our community, culture and sports, and challenge us to make our contribution to a better Edward River region and a better Australia.

As part of local Australia Day celebrations, Edward River Council presents Awards in the following eight categories:

  • Citizen of the Year;
  • Young Citizen of the Year;
  • Community Event or Initiative of the Year;
  • Senior Arts and Culture Award;
  • Junior Arts and Culture Award;
  • Senior Sports Award;
  • Junior Sports Award; and
  • The Bill Hermiston Memorial Landcare Award.


Nominations for the Edward River Australia Day Awards Scheme opened in October 2017 and closed in late November 2017. All nominations received during the nomination period were considered by the Edward River Council Australia Day Committee, which selected the successful nominees.

2018 Australia Day Awardees

Citizen of the Year - Daryl Whateley 

A long-term Edward River local who is dedicated to giving back, Daryl Whateley has made an extraordinary contribution to our community over many years. A true community servant, Daryl has been heavily involved in various community groups and service clubs, organising community events such the Deniliquin Collectors Club Spring Rally, or playing a part in delivering projects such as the RSL Park Liberty Swing. 

Young Citizen of the Year - Caitlin Paul 

A mature, motivated and humble young leader, Caitlin Paul consistently demonstrates her commitment to social justice and helping others in both our community and further afield. In addition to mentoring students at St Michael’s Primary School, assisting in organising youth programs at the Deniliquin Uniting Church, and being actively involved in her school community; Caitlin participated in a mission to India last year to help fundraise for an orphanage.

Community Event or Initiative of the Year - 2017 Deniliquin Truck Show & Industry Expo

While just three years old, the Deniliquin Truck Show & Industry Expo has already established itself as a staple of the Edward River region’s event calendar. The event incorporates a gala dinner, celebrating those who have an outstanding contribution to the local transport industry, as well as a Show & Shine and industry expo, which in 2017 attracted more than 2,000 attendees. The event is managed by a small group of dedicated locals, with event proceeds being reinvested back into our community through donations to various groups and causes.   

Senior Arts and Culture Award - Alex Allitt

Alex Allitt is as community-minded as they come. A foundation member of Deniliquin’s Sing Australia Choir, Ukulele Club and Bush Poets, Alex has played a key role over many years in leading local efforts to develop our arts community. Alex continues to be a strong and active champion for the arts in the Edward River region, visiting local schools to promote poetry participation, keenly supporting the annual Deni Arts and Culture Fest Art Out Market, and performing at both the Deniliquin Ute Muster and Deni Uke Muster Festival.

Junior Arts and Culture Award - Keily Nethercote

Over the past two years as a school-based trainee at Outback Theatre for Young People, Keily Nethercote has been heavily involved in planning and delivering a wide range of programs aimed at engaging local youth in the arts, including the highly successful While You Were Sleeping project. From assisting at local arts and musical events to helping run the Drama Force classes for young people with mixed abilities at Intereach; Keily consistently goes above and beyond in giving back to our arts community.

Senior Sports Award - Leanne Mulham

Over recent years, Leanne Mulham has made an outstanding contribution to the Edward River sporting community, through her roles on the executive committees of the Deniliquin Swimming Club, Deniliquin Little Athletics and Deniliquin Soccer Committee. A well-rounded sports administrator, Leanne has played a key role in ensuring these sporting clubs remain sustainable into the future through her work in securing grants, instigating membership drives, and developing sporting facilities.

Junior Sports Award - Charlie Hillier (Joint Recipient)

Named to the State Cricket Squad and selected as a member of both the Riverina Primary School Sports Association (PSSA) cricket and football teams capped off a successful 2017 for Charlie Hillier. Over the past 12 months, he has also represented Riverina at the PSSA State Football Carnival in Parkes and the PSSA State Cricket Carnival in Orange, and competed as a member of the State PSSA football team at the National Carnival in Darwin. 

Junior Sports Award - Elena Mulham (Joint Recipient)

2017 was a big year for young sportswoman Elena Mulham. In addition to completing her primary schooling at Deniliquin North Public School, Elena racked up a string of sporting achievements: Representing Riverina at the NSW PSSA State Athletics Championships in both Shot Put and Discus, and representing NSW at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide among them. Elena currently holds over 25 school, zone and Riverina records across soccer, swimming and athletics.

Bill Hermiston Memorial Environment Award - Brown's Park Lagoon Werrpanakata Fish Park Project

The Deniliquin Lagoons Restoration Project Committee has worked tirelessly over the past seven years to bring the Brown’s Park Lagoon Werrpanakata Fish Park Project to life. The result of true community collaboration, the latest stage of the restoration project, which was completed in December 2017, has seen the Brown Lagoon drained, cleaned and rid of non-native flora and fauna and redeveloped as a fishing site, complete with a fishing platform built by Deniliquin High School students.

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