A remarkable life transformation will see 16-year-old Jade Earl take the stage alongside some of Griffith’s most prominent residents as a nominee for the 2018 Australia Day Awards.
A few years ago, Jade was so plagued with anxiety problems she couldn’t attend school. But in deciding to help others, she also helped herself.
“Jade volunteered with Riding for the Disabled, and that really helped her come out of her shell and overcome her fears,” her sister Katelyn said.
“There was a boy from Kalinda who was scared of horses, he would cry when he saw a horse. But we let him pat the horse, and lead the horse and eventually he rode it,” Jade said.
Jade has worked for two charities over the past three years. She has been nominated as junior citizen of the year, and will join nominees of the “highest calibre”, according to Chairperson of the Australia Day Working Party, Councillor Christine Stead.
“Griffith is extremely fortunate to have so many people who offer up their services and donate their time to help with others. Likewise, we have a tremendous pool of sporting talent and dedicated club persons and it is extremely fitting to acknowledge these people on Australia Day”.
“The Australia Day Awards are a fantastic way to pay tribute to and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and sporting stars. The nominees should be extremely proud of their achievements,” she said.
Nominations for 2018 are:
Citizen of the Year: Toni Howard, Ross Catanzariti, Margaret Gandy, Dr Narayanan Jayachandran and Dr Peter Calaizis.
Young Citizen of the Year: Daniella Collison
Junior Citizen of the Year: Jade Earl
Community Project of the Year: Griffith’s Biggest Lap, Yambil Hub
Club Person of the Year: Gordon Brown, Veronica Cudmore, Ben Pawson
Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Alex Robinson, Claire Murray, Isaac Testoni, Mitch Landini, Wil Donaldson, Carla Vonnida, Blake Argus, William Charles, Jenna Richards, Abby Favell, Blake Wood, Apenisa Driti, Lawrence Salvestro, Callan Butcher, Dean Bennett
Senior Sportsperson of the Year: Dean Gorman, Elizabeth Heffer, Jenny Massey
Sports Team of the Year: Girls Under 12 Demons Representative Basketball, Griffith Under 15 Representative Netball, Griffith Masters Women’s Hockey Team, Griffith Under 16 Representative Cricket
The winner of each category will be announced at the official ceremony which commences at 9.30am on Thursday January 26 at the Griffith Regional Theatre.