Wudinna District Council congratulates district's Australia Day Award winners

Citizens of the Year: Sue and Leon Fisher have been recognised in the 2022 Australia Day Awards. Photo supplied
Citizens of the Year: Sue and Leon Fisher have been recognised in the 2022 Australia Day Awards. Photo supplied

Wudinna District Council is pleased to announce and congratulate the award winners and commendations for Australia Day, 2022.

"We honour and thank them for their contribution to our community," a council spokesperson said.

Award recipients are as follows.

Citizens of the Year - Leon and Sue Fisher

Leon and Sue arrived in the district in 1975 and have provided a huge contribution to the community and so many organisations in the 46 year period and ongoing.

As a team the Fishers have been a force, and individual contributions are also outstanding. Undertakings and achievements include:

Leon was a volunteer member of St John Ambulance from 1976 to 1996 rising to the rank of Divisional Superintendent - Wudinna Division, he was also president and augural member of the committee responsible for the build of the Wudinna Emergency Service complex. Extending his medical skills, Leon was a trainer/head trainer with Wudinna, Wudinna United Football Clubs and at Association level.

An active board member of the Wudinna and District Swimming pool for 10 years including the head of filtration during this time, he was a community photographer for the Sentinel 1983 to 1996 recording community and sporting events.

Leon joined the Wudinna and Districts Bowling Club in 1996, being a committee member from 2001 and ongoing, bar manager from 2011, a greenskeeper since 2006, also being an umpire and umpire coordinator for western region.

Those living in the district will remember Leon's long training hours in preparation to ride across the Simpson desert, in the Simpson Desert Classic, eight times and won twice whilst raising funds for Paraplegics Benefit and Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Sue has excelled in many organisations across the district.

She became a member of the St John Ambulance Axillary Board in 1980. She has played, coached and become executive member with Wudinna Netball, Tennis Clubs, and Le Hunte Basketball Association.

Awarded a School Community Award for outstanding service to the Wudinna Area School Community, she was an inaugural member on the Gymnasium Committee, overseeing the gymnasium construction.

Sue ran an outreach program for the community library, delivering books and interacting with the elderly in their home or hospital where they have been unable to access the library.

She also is a long time member, player, and volunteer at the Wudinna and District Bowling Club, has been club treasurer since 2001, president of the Wudinna Women's Bowling Club, Junior Bowls development officer, certified coach and umpire, volunteer cleaner.

Sue is a long time volunteer at Second Hand Rose - Pre Loved Clothes.

Jointly Leon and Sue where foundation members and committee members of the Le Hunte Fun Runners Club in the late 1980s, assisting the organisation of the Wudinna - Mt Wudinna Fun Run.

Both are rostered to deliver Meals on Wheels in the Wudinna area and organise the annual fish stall at the Wudinna and Districts AH and F Show.

Business of the Year: Golden Wattle Roadhouse team Amelia Baldock, Megan Lister, Jessica North, Zoe Hogben, Tania Briscoe, Toni Jericho, Belinda Currie, Megan Baldock. Photo supplied

Business of the Year: Golden Wattle Roadhouse team Amelia Baldock, Megan Lister, Jessica North, Zoe Hogben, Tania Briscoe, Toni Jericho, Belinda Currie, Megan Baldock. Photo supplied

Business of the Year - Golden Wattle Roadhouse

Golden Wattle Roadhouse is the Business of the Year. Proprietor Tania Briscoe, daughters Abbey, Ellen and staff have received multiple nominations recognising their work and service in increasingly difficult circumstances.

The close of an adjacent roadhouse business has seen a significant rise in traffic, in addition to many travelling via road with the constant threat of COVID -19. The business has coped with significant civil works on the Eyre Highway, and managed through pandemic lockdowns providing an essential service to locals and travellers. A contact scare late 2021 saw some staff in isolation, however they were able to manage through this period and maintain services to the community.

The Golden Wattle Roadhouse is the remaining full service roadhouse in the area, valued by locals and travellers alike.

Employee of the Year - Sharyn Sharpe

Employee of the Year: Sharyn Sharpe. Photo supplied

Employee of the Year: Sharyn Sharpe. Photo supplied

Sharyn is the winner of the Employee of the Year Award, recognising her excellent service to customers and to numerous businesses over many years, including Wudinna Foodland, Wudinna Community Club, Pringles Crouch and Golden Wattle Roadhouse.

Community Event of the Year - Wudinna and District AH and F Show

Community Event of the Year: Wudinna and District AH and F Show committee members Jemma Inglis, Greg DuBois, Kylie Bartley, Melissa Crosby. Photo supplied

Community Event of the Year: Wudinna and District AH and F Show committee members Jemma Inglis, Greg DuBois, Kylie Bartley, Melissa Crosby. Photo supplied

Shows have been in decline in so many rural areas, changing times and community interests. This award seeks to note and appreciate the organisational renewal and revitalisation of the Wudinna and District AH and F Show in recent years, adding entertainment and a greater food and wine feel, while appealing to a wide range of patrons, particularly the younger end of the scale.

The traditional horses, competitions, shearing, rides, and side shows remain, noting that it is also becoming difficult attracting many of these to rural areas, particularly in light of the pandemic threat.

Sensible COVID planning and management saw another successful show in 2021, when many events were simply cancelled.

Community/Special Commendation Awards

Commendation awards announced as part of Australia Day noting special contributions in the Council area:

Wudinna Medical Practice

Special commendation for management of COVID 19 pandemic within the community.

Dr Scott Lewis

A commendation and community thankyou for his 14 years of high quality medical service to the community.

Wudinna Play Gym

Special commendation for their work as a start up community group providing services to parents and young people.

President Tessa McKenna and the inaugural committee are commended.