Cowra Citizen of the year challenges young people.

Cowra Citizen of the year challenges young people.

Cowra Citizen of the Year Kevin Graham used his acceptance speech to challenge all young people to join a community group.

Mr Graham, who has been involved in community work since 1964 told a packed Cowra Civic Centre he "encouraged all young people to join a committee"

"Use up your spare time, it's not hard," Mr Graham said.

"It will make our community a hell of a lot better," Mr Graham told those gathered at Cowra's Australia Day celebrations yesterday.

His sentiments followed similar encouragement offered by Cowra's Young Citizen of the Year, Marlee Langfield who during her acceptance speech encouraged local residents to embrace the Australia Day theme of Everyone Everywhere.

"Volunteer, young and old there is a spot for you," Ms Langfield said.

"I can't express enough the need for people to help.

"I know we have work and we have uni but we need to give back to the community.

"Give a little bit back, we need more workers at the Cowra Show Society and at the Morongla Show Society.

"We want your ideas, we want your help," Ms Langfield said.

Mayor of Cowra, Cr Bill West was astounded at the calibre, quantity and diversity of the Australia Day 2016 Award nominations.

This year's winners received their certificates from Cowra's 2016 Australia Day Ambassador, entertainer, Deni Hines.

"With such a large number of outstanding people to choose from, I applaud the judging panel in making their choices. It would have been an extremely difficult decision knowing the significant contributions of the nominees to our community," Cr West said.

While congratulating the winners, Cr West also commended all award nominees, "who in many cases, are the quiet achievers. The people that go about their business without fuss or fanfare, donating their time to help others without expectation."

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And the winners are:

Citizen of the Year

Kevin Graham

The list of Kevin's voluntary work in Woodstock is remarkable. He has been involved for most of his life in the community, contributing to so many projects that some have been forgotten. Kevin loves his hometown and does everything he can to make it pleasant for others. He cleans, builds, weeds, digs, renovates, repairs and paints. He is interested in heritage and is currently writing Woodstock's history. Kevin is a committee member for most of the Woodstock committees and continues to enjoy the tasks undertaken by them.

Young Citizen of the Year

Marlee Langfield

Marlee Langfield is the recipient of the 2016 Young Citizen Award. In a strong competition, Marlee was selected for the number of contributions made. She has been a contributing member of the Cowra Agricultural Show, Morongla Show Society, Morongla Creek CWA, NSW Dorset Championships and Australian Red Cross. She is currently undertaking studies, assists in managing the family farm and enjoys being an active member of the community.

Community Group of the Year

The Uniting Church Food Hall

The Uniting Church Food Hall was initiated by a small group of concerned people to address a need for cheaper food and household staples. The group chose to investigate options to adopt a model that suited the Cowra Shire, visiting several other communities to find out how to begin.

After considerable time and research the Cowra Uniting Church Food Hall opened in 2010 to a packed house and has continued to build clientele, capacity and volunteer base. One of the surprising outcomes of the service is that clients have become volunteers. This wonderful service has a supportive group of committed volunteers who drive the program and enjoy the social side too.

Dr Warren Whiley Memorial Award - Joint Winners

Mary-ann Wright

Mary-ann Wright is a familiar face in the music arena of our Shire. Her repertoire of instruments is phenomenal, including oboe, piano, organ and flute. She uses her performance skills to entertain and assist at the Cowra Eisteddfod and 'Carols in the Garden'. She teaches and performs at community events, schools, choirs and aged care services. Mary-ann coordinates an annual visit to Cowra by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music for locals to enjoy, inspiring many young musicians

to continue their careers.

Katrine Capps

Katrine Capps sings and conducts in at least two community based choirs. She has performed at many events and contributed volunteer time to coordination of others. She is currently a volunteer to the Christian Book Shop, Uniting Church, the Food Hall, Meals on Wheels, University of the Third Age, Senior Citizens Group, Community Transport and Croquet. She has taught English to multicultural groups and scripture at local schools for many years.