Congratulations to Australia Day 2020 Award recipients at Jerilderie

Congratulations to the winners of the Jerilderie Australia Day 2020 Community awards:

Pictured (L-R) are the 2020 Citizens of the Year, The Wednesday Group Elaine Forbes, Joan Kuschert, Anne Hardie, Joan Atkinson and 2020 Young Citizen of the Year Ben Neessen.


Jerilderie’s 2020 Citizen of the Year has strayed from the tradition of awarding to an individual.   

Our 2020 Citizens of the Year are a group who have made an enormous contribution to the residents of the Jerilderie Multi Purpose Service, and our community as a whole, over the last 18 years.

This core group of volunteers, who are joined weekly by other supporters and friends, provide a special gathering place where MPS residents and others can meet, create, play and share fellowship, while enjoying morning tea and lunch. 

Members of the wider community, particularly anyone with limited access to social activities, is very welcome to attend. The day offers friendship and entertainment and a break from regular daily routines. 

This group of dedicated and willing ladies play a vital part in caring for our elderly, and their success is measured by the enjoyment of those who attend.

They are quiet achievers who do what they do out of a genuine love of helping others.  They acknowledge the valuable contributions of our elder citizens, they recognise the need for everyone to be heard and respected, and they provide this wonderful social forum as their way of saying thank you.

Their generosity of spirit supports the Jerilderie MPS residents in so many ways, and makes our community a richer and more inviting place because of this wonderful group.

They are  proud to be labelled “The Wednesday Group” and have also been referred to as “The Ladies Who Do”.

This year we congratulate our 2020 Citizens of the Year – “The Wednesday Group” of Anne Hardie, Joan Kuschert, Elaine Forbes and Joan Atkinson. 


Our Young Citizen for 2020 is a young man who will, in the future, become a community leader.

Ben is a talented sportsperson and is involved in many of our local sporting organisations, particularly the Jerilderie Football Club.  During his relatively short playing history, he has totalled 135 games for the Club, including 10 games with the seniors side in 2019.  His playing ability has been recognised with many awards.

He has also been involved with both the Jerilderie and Finley Cricket Clubs.

These involvements have developed Ben’s leadership skills and provided him with opportunities for sporting representation at higher-level competitions. 

A current student at Finley High School, Ben represents his peers on the Student Representative Council and is active in the Aboriginal Education meetings.   In 2020 he takes on the School’s highest student leadership role as School Captain. This is an achievement of which he should be tremendously proud. 

Ben has represented Finley High in cricket, soccer and Australian Rules football.

He is a proud Aboriginal student and is a role model to other Aboriginal students, and all students in general.   He was a recent recipient of an award at the Proud and Deadly Aboriginal Awards in Deniliquin.  

Introduced to community participation from an early age, this young man promotes community spirit, and is kind, humble and always thinks of others.

He is respectful, works well with his peers, and  leads by example. 

Ben is an inspiring young citizen, and his family and the Jerilderie community can be justifiably proud of him.


This category recognises the commitment and endeavours of younger community members.  The Award sees one pupil from both the Jerilderie Public School and St Joseph’s Primary School being selected on merit for their contributions. 


Jerilderie Public School recognises Dan Eldridge as a student who shows the true qualities of a “Little Aussie”.

Dan is an enthusiastic and capable student.  He has a ready smile, and is always happy to offer a helping hand or have a chat.

He is considerate of his peers and the younger students. 

The ultimate all-round student, Dan will apply himself to any given task to the best of his considerable abilities.

He has represented the School in a wide variety of activities, including debating, football, cricket, swimming, public speaking, drama and music.

Dan is very community minded, and is an active member of the Jerilderie Football and Cricket Clubs.

At school he helps to maintain the community garden and feed the chooks on a regular basis.

School Captain in 2019, Dan was an excellent role model, upholding the duties of a school leader with pride.

Dan is a very deserving winner of the Little Aussie Award, 2020


This category recognises the commitment and endeavours of younger community members.  The Award sees one pupil from both the Jerilderie Public School and St Joseph’s Primary School being selected on merit for their contributions. 

St Joseph’s Primary School – LACHLAN WELLS

St Joseph’s Primary School identifies Lachlan Wells as a student who demonstrates the ideals of a “Little Aussie”. 

Lachlan is a fantastic role model for all students, with his kindness and thoughtfulness.  He is always considerate of his peers, and is a great friend and supporter of the younger students of the school. 

In the classroom, Lachlan applies himself diligently to his learning, and is a pleasure to teach.

He is an enthusiastic young sportsman, and shows great determination and persistence in his sporting endeavours. He is a keen cricketer, swimmer and footballer.

Active in the School Music Programme, Lachlan has become a very impressive trumpet player.

Lachlan is involved in all aspects of school life, and has shown on many occasions, through his actions, words and determination, that he is a very worthy recipient of the Little Aussie Award, 2020.



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