Cynthia Burke from Walliabi Point, was named the community achiever of the year at the Taree Australia Day awards.
Formerly a café owner in the Manning Valley for 30 years, four years ago Cynthia suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm which meant she spent time in John Hunter Hospital. She then had to navigate a complex medical system and look for relevant information and support avenues to assist her to function into the future with a permanent disability.
Instead of letting the injury beat her Cynthia has instead started to volunteer for the Stroke Foundation as she was told there was no specific service for people who had had brain aneurysms as those people tended not to survive.
In this role Cynthia presented a series of small group talks at four retirement villages locally to raise awareness of stokes and life saving procedures that can be followed to get people to hospital in a timely manner.
Cynthia has always enjoyed talking to people about their life story, has a deep sense of community, empathy, understanding and passion but can no longer cope with crowds, loud environments and has a lack of short term memory.
This again didn't stop Cynthia as she started a Tales of the Valley podcast series and has interviewed local celebrities and her goal for 2020 is to produce a podcast series on Acquired Brian Injury.
Singer Georgia Hudson was unable to attend the Australia Day function as she was performing in Tamworth. She was named the junior citizen of the year.
Georgia is an emerging singer songwriter from Wingham who performs under the name of Hudson Rose. Georgia first picked up a guitar just three years ago and has worked hard to hone her musical abilities since. In her first year at Tamworth Country Music Festival Georgia took in the atmosphere and sang a song with a friend.
In her second year Georgia was busking and won a spot as one of the top 10 busking finalists and played the main stage in Tamworth.
This year Georgia returned to Tamworth to play a number of booked gigs. Georgia has also performed at Wingham Akoostik Festival and at 17 is juggling school, work and other commitments to improve her skills with vocal lessons and regularly travels to Sydney and Newcastle.
Georgia is committed to supporting the local live music scene and she believes in developing a vibrant music and arts scene locally.