Australia Day citizens of the year nominations

Humble John is a good sport

WHEN John Sinclair looks back on the last 30 years he can proudly say he achieved something.

But that does not mean he thinks starting a successful sporting club from scratch is worthy of public accolades. 

Mr Sinclair is nominated for the 2014 Orange Citizen of the Year and he guesses it  is because of his commitment to the Waratah Sports Club, which he was a founding director of “30-odd years ago”.

He suspects someone from the club nominated him after he retired from the board last year.

“Whoever it was has probably done a lot of work towards the club as well,” he said. 

“I was involved in the Waratah Soccer Club and we decided one day we hoped to have our own field and a club so we saved up enough money to buy a block of land,” he said.

GALLERY: Orange flying the flag with pride in the 2000s

GALLERY: Ten years of Orange's Australia Day heroes

Hundreds of donut sales went towards the purchase of the $10,000 block in North Orange.

Through hard work and dedication, the club continues to grow 30 years on, but Mr Sinclair is just happy children have somewhere safe to play sport out in the open.

“It’s still going and whatever money is made is put back into the fields,” he said. 

“It’s a bit of goal we’ve kicked, so to speak.”

Mr Sinclair said he was overawed by the nomination and while he was happy with what he had done in his lifetime, he said there were others who would be better placed to accept the citizen of the year award on Sunday. 

Charity work all sewn up

LEANNE Dubbelde suspects her children may have nominated her for the 2014 Orange Citizen of the Year award and she says it is the highest honour. 

“I’m tickled pink. It blew me away to think they would even think about it,” she said.

She thinks she was nominated for the hours she dedicates to sewing quilts for sick children in Sydney, Ronald McDonald House and soldiers serving overseas, as well as sewing pillow covers for children in oncology.

She says she has been making quilts for about 10 years and often thinks of the looks on the children’s faces as they cuddle up to something that is “a little bit like home” while they are in hospital.

Mrs Dubbelde is one of 11 nominees for the 2014 Orange Citizen of the Year award and while she does not think she will take home the big prize on Sunday, she is thrilled to be nominated.

“There are so many wonderful people out there,” she said.

“It’s such a lovely feeling and I do feel very special.”

Christine is proud to offer links to learning

WHEN Cabonne resident Christine Thompson received a letter in the mail from Orange City Council she thought she must have forgotten to register her dog. 

She was utterly shocked to find out she had been nominated for the 2014 Orange Citizen of the Year award.

She said she would like to catch up with whoever nominated her. 

Ms Thompson helped start a small pilot program 10 years ago to help children who were at risk of disconnecting from school get back into the swing of education. 

The program is called Links to Learning and Ms Thompson says she is passionate about helping children because she feels proud when she sees them make positive changes.

“We had a few students who went in the school spec [Schools Spectacular] and you could see how confident they were,” she said.

Link to Learning is designed to promote self esteem and the value of lifelong learning so students can have the best possible chances of success, she said.

“I enjoy it, I enjoy the young people, but it isn’t just me there, there are two tutors,” she said.

She said most of the students she comes across do not like being confined to four walls so she has come up with creative ways to get them interested in education. 

Also nominated for Orange Citizen of the Year is Fiona Rossiter who declined to be interviewed but was nominated for her community work. 

Australia Day celebrations will be held in Cook park on Sunday and there is no wet weather plan because the chance of rain is less than 5 per cent and if it eventuates it is predicted to be less than one millimetre.

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