by Molly Hancock
THE Murweh Shire annual Australia Day Awards ceremony began in Charleville with free entry into the pool from 8am, a sausage sizzle breakfast and access to the new pool inflatable.
The first award presented was the community event award, which went to the Charleville Dance House for their annual dance concert in November 2017. The concert drew in a crowd of 300 people and had more than 70 children take part.
Isla Lawton was commended for her cultural participation, particularly in dance, music and indigenous arts, to receive the 2018 Cultural Award.
"She always gives 100 percent and has a passion and enthusiasm beyond her years,” Murweh Shire Mayor Annie Liston said.
"I know this because she actually made an appointment with me to come and discuss her ideas for the town, definitely a future leader.”
This year's Youth Sports Award was awarded to Ross Tilley for his outstanding achievement in rugby league and bareback and bull-riding events.
Throughout 2017 Ross won the St George under-16 best back award in rugby league and was awarded the Australian junior bareback buckle.
The 2018 recipient for Citizen Of The Year, George Balsillie, was outlined as a shining example of volunteering within the community.
"His tireless work has kept one of our top tourist attractions open to visitors as well as preserving our important history and memorabilia,” Cr Liston said.
In Augathella Joan Ham was commended for her 45 years of involvement with the pony club and mentoring numerous children to state level riding to receive the Senior Sports Award.
Australia Day festivities kicked off at 4pm at the Morven Recreation Grounds with Australian music playing. Gail and Les Heaydon and Helen Dart organised Australian novelty events and the day concluded with a barbecue, cake and an Australia Day quiz.
Michaela Smith was awarded Young Citizen of the Year for her continuous fundraising efforts for Angel Flight and Morven Fishing Club, as well as undertaking a business traineeship at Morven News and Country.
"Michaela is known for going above and beyond what is expected of her and is an inspirational young role model for her community,” Cr Liston said.