THERE is never any shortage of colourful activities to enjoy at our local Australia Day Celebrations, but the awards presentations of the event are always a key feature.
This year was to be no exception, and on Saturday Mayor Bob Stewart was very pleased to again present the highly anticipated Bombala Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Event of the Year Awards.
Tradition was broken on one level, however, with a very surprised Jody Jones being called up to accept the Citizen of the Year award, not having been made aware of her win before the event.
As the delighted applause died down, and Jody wiped away a few happy tears, Mayor Stewart gave an outline of Jody’s dedication to the district.
“Jody has been a very active and enthusiastic member of the community for many years,” Mayor Stewart read from the citation.
“She has willingly and generously given her time and energy to many organisations within the district. Her involvement as a volunteer has been consistent and has spanned many years and varied organisations.
“Jody has been an integral part of the Bombala Exhibition Society and Australia Day Celebration Committee – the organisation that runs this very event.
“She has provided assistance and taken on time consuming tasks, especially with regard to the shearing competition that has formed the backbone of this event for the past 55 years.
“Jody was instrumental in the establishment of the Southern Monaro Community Fund and has been the Treasurer since its commencement.
“She is often the “face” of the Community Fund and people feel confident Jody will treat them with respect and ensure confidentiality with their situation.
“For over ten years Jody was an extremely proactive member of the Parents and Friends Association of St Joseph’s Primary School. During this time she worked tirelessly to organise and work for fundraising events, helped with the Annual Debutante Ball and the organising of the centenary celebrations of St Josephs.
“Jody also willingly assisted with the children’s activities when needed and gave ongoing support to the school staff.
“On any occasion that Jody has been present at the Anzac Sports Day she has, in her typical fashion, stepped up to lend a hand anywhere she has seen that a gap needed filling. This event relies heavily on such spontaneous help to keep it going and Jody has certainly fitted the bill in this regard.
“Jody has been very involved in horse related activities in the district. For many years Jody has been a steward in the horse section of the Bombala Show where her warm and inclusive nature has helped this section operate very successfully.
“She is always very encouraging and supportive to all competitors and endeavours to ensure that all have an enjoyable experience on Show Day.
“Likewise with her involvement with the Bombala Pony Club - Jody has given a great deal of her time in educating children in the skills of horsemanship and instilling respect, fairness and the importance of learning whilst having fun.
“As far as she is concerned the children always come first. She has spent countless hours tutoring young riders, helping them to gain the confidence to compete at local, zone and state events and then travelled to these events as the Club’s instructor so they may compete.
She has held an executive position in this Club for more than ten years, has been a local representative at zone level and most recently assisted the Zone Chief Instructor with their duties throughout the Monaro.
“Jody also represented the Club on the Bombala Racecourse and Recreation Ground Management Committee, has carried out the position of President and is the present Treasurer of this Committee.
The Bombala Campdraft Club is another organisation that Jody has been involved with for many years, carrying out the role of Treasurer for the past eight. She has organised many campdrafts, fundraisers and horsemanship schools during her time on this committee and also ably organised the catering.
“Jody has been a very productive member of the Bombala Exhibition Ground Management Committee for the past twelve years. She started out as being the Pony Club representative but in recent years has become a community representative.
“She has provided financial advice to the Committee and on occasions has taken the minutes when the secretary has been away and has been present at many working bees. The commitment shown by Jody is greatly appreciated by this committee.
“Jody is very well respected and liked in the community with a reputation for getting on with the job. At the same time she is also a very caring and compassionate person.
“She is always willing to lend a hand or help in any way possible and is a wonderful role model for our community. I congratulate Jody on receiving the Award of Citizen of the Year for 2013,” Mayor Stewart concluded.
Jody was clearly moved by her win, and spoke of how lucky and proud she felt to live in Bombala and to be a part of the local community, commenting that her family had taught her to “do what you can for people”.
She also spoke of the many others involved in the organisations she has been a part of, and said that the community should give itself a pat on the back.
Jody then closed with a very fitting quote, illustrating her feelings on the community work she has done, “if everybody gives a little lot can be achieved”.