Eoin Johnston honoured for community work

johnnoEoin Johnston (pictured), the former tiler who is now a barrister, has been honoured for his community work by being named Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year.

“Eoin is an inspiration to the Ballina Shire community,” organisers of the Australia Day awards said.

“He is considered a remarkable man with a big heart and has guided our youth as a coach, mentor, taxi driver, referee, fund-raiser and role model and has also helped other service organisations and schools on a voluntary basis using his building, administration and legal skills.”

Eoin, who lives at Rous, has been granted life membership of Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club, Ballina Rugby Club, Alstonville-Wollongbar Rugby Club, Far North Coast Water Polo Association and the Alstonville Water Polo Club.

He is now undertaking pro bono work for the Northern Rivers Community Legal Service.

Other Australia Day award winners were:

  • Young Citizen of the Year: Melissa Cork, who has achieved excellence in all areas of school life, not only academically but also in music, public speaking and showing leadership skills. Last September Melissa received a Minister’s Award of Excellence in study achievement. She placed top of her year in the HSC and was listed in the Distinguished Achievers list in four of her subjects.
  • Volunteer of the Year: Col Pearce. Col was described as ‘a local hero and one of those persons among us who never seems to stop giving. Col is involved in the Tibouchina RSL Day Club, the Neighbourhood Club, RSL Alstonville branch, National Servicemen’s Association, North Coast Children’s Home Motorcycle Toy Run and the Goonellabah Tennis Club.
  • Sportsperson of the Year: Barry Saxby. The former Ballina High School teacher formed the Ballina Athletic Club 31 years ago and has been president of the club for the past 31 years.
  • Event of the Year: Rivafest. Last year’s Rivafest was an exceptionally well-organised event which attracted a crowd estimated between 10,000 and 15,000. More than 40 community groups were involved in its organisation.

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