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Joint citizens of the year

Hugh Packard (Tumut region joint citizen of the year), Joy Beruter (service to community) and Daniel Hibbens (young citizen) cut the Australia Day cake with ambassador Liz Deep-Jones.

Tumut’s Hugh Packard and Batlow’s Keith Dawson shared this year’s Tumut region Citizen of the Year honour.

The annual Australia Day ceremonies across the region recognized the contributions to the community of a range of people covering a variety of endeavours.

Mr Packard and Mr Dawson could not be separated by the Australia Day committee for the citizen honour.

Mr Dawson, a lifelong resident of Batlow, has been involved across the business, sporting and community spheres of the apple town, including the Batlow Rugby League Club, table tennis, the Batlow Development League and Batlow Senior Citizens Village and playing a key role in major events like Ciderfest and the Apple Blossom Festival.

Mr Dawson accepted his award at the Batlow Australia Day ceremony.

At Tumut’s Stockwell Gardens, Mr Packard was recognized for his contribution to the community across three decades.

Under his stewardship as CEO, disabilities services provider Valmar has grown from a small six-person operation to a 400-strong powerhouse, while he’s also served two terms as a councillor and been a driving force in organisations such as the Montreal Theatre Committee, the creation of Sounds of the Mountains and more.

Young Citizen of the Year was Tumut High’s Daniel Hibbens and Joy Beruter received the Service to Community Award.

Star netballer and basketballer Grace Whyte was named junior sportsperson; fly-fishing ace Geoff Naylor senior sportsperson and the trail-blazing Tumut High Year 7-8 State Cup winning boys netballers picked up the sports team of the year gong.

Snowy Valleys mayor James Hayes said that Australia Day is a special day for many reasons, but first and foremost it’s an opportunity to acknowledge the great work of people in our community.

“The Snowy Valleys is fortunate to be the home of so many individuals and groups who make an outstanding contribution to our community every day, and on behalf of my fellow Councillors and the wider Snowy Valleys community, I congratulate our Australia Day award recipients and finalists,” Mayor Hayes said.

A full wrap will appear in Tuesday’s edition of the Tumut and Adelong Times.