AUSTRALIA DAY: Citizen of the year is an 'inspiration'

Numeralla's Ken Dane has been named Cooma-Monaro's citizen of the year at this year's Australia Day ceremony.

The award was one of eight awards presented to some of our most outstanding local citizens of the past year.

Young citizen of the year was Ray Lichtenberg, David Kelley was sportsperson of the year, Joshua Alford was young sportsperson of the year, Cooma renal dialysis group was named community group of the year, community event of the year was the celebrations for Bredbo's 125th anniversary, and a new addition to the awards this year was artist of the year which was presented to Diana Klima. There was also a special achievement award given to Chris Reeks.

Cooma's citizen of the year, Ken Dane, was described as being an inspirational support to the Numeralla community for more than 25 years and his contribution to the community far-reaching.

In an official capacity he is the Landcare Treasurer and District Association Treasurer, and also mentors the Collins Road community, has organised the folk festival barbecue for many years and is always making sure that Numeralla attendees are adequately catered for.

Mr Dane has participated as a community member on numerous Section 355 council committees for many years and his input and effort for the community is carried out on a voluntary basis, and always with good humour and a gracious attitude.

Young Citizen of the Year Ray Lichtenberg was described as a selfless gentleman, devoted to his family and a shining example of a youth in a rural community.

Mr Lichtenberg has a disability and upon completion of school, he joined the Transition to Work Program through Cooma Challenge Limited. He now works six days a week at three regular jobs. He is dedicated, driven, conscientious and incredibly eager to learn and develop his skills and has also proven to be consistent, reliable, punctual and good humoured, which makes him a fantastic team member. Mr Lichtenberg also works on weekends with children and young adults with disabilities, providing support to people on group excursions and outings and has also recently joined the Cooma Rural Fire Service as a volunteer.

More on the Australia Day award recipients on pages 3, 5 and 16 plus photos on pages 12 and 13

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