2022 Cultural Person of the Year Award – Fred Randell

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Dubbo acknowledge the contribution to the cultural community in Dubbo made by Fred Randell, and congratulate him on being named as Dubbo’s 2022 Cultural Person of the Year.

Mr Randell is the current and recent President of the volunteer group SOMAD (Songwriters and Original Musicians Association of Dubbo). In that role he spearheaded efforts to boost original music and live music in general for several years in Dubbo.

Mr Randell is not only the president and treasurer of SOMAD, a significant organisation in the cultural development of the city of Dubbo, but is key in their operations, including event management, sound and lights, and organisational promotion.

Mr Randell designs many of the posters, builds relationships with venues and government staff and, through events, gives opportunities to many young and emerging musical artists.

He is the event coordinator for the Under Western Skies music festival, our own home-grown music festival from 2019-2021.

In addition to his work and achievements as part of SOMAD, he is also:

  • On the board for the Dubbo Conservatorium of Music;

  • A talented local musical artist, heading up the band ‘Civil Hands’ and ‘The Exchange’;

  • Involved with the DREAM Festival including running several events (ZooCoustic) and assisting with the market event.

As a volunteer, Mr Randell is an excellent asset to our city, but also as a cultural practitioner – his band Civil Hands released an LP in 2021, Skylines Fall, which won several awards at the Dubbo Original Music Awards 2021, including:

  • Album of the Year

  • Song of the Year

  • Film Clip of the Year

It is this tireless dedication to the Dubbo cultural scene, along with various other volunteer roles, that makes Mr Randell a worthy winner of the 2022 Cultural Person of the Year Award.


2022 Services to Sport Award – Peter Heywood

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Dubbo acknowledge the contribution made by Peter Heywood to Dubbo’s Croquet Club, and congratulate him on being named as Dubbo’s 2022 Services to Sports Award winner.

Mr Heywood has been a valuable member of the Croquet club and has dedicated his time within the club as a committee member for 13 years.

Over this time he has held various positions on the committee such as Secretary, President and Treasurer.

Mr Heywood was the convener of the grant applications to move the club from the old croquet courts to their new home at Muller Park.

He was the coordinator of the club’s 100-year celebration with a detailed history of the early years on display boards.

Mr Heywood project managed the works project of the installation of new synthetic surface, which included the clearing of surface area, court design, hoops, artificial surface selection, lighting and shaded seating.

Mr Heywood is also proactive in enhancing player skills and introducing new members to the club.

The sound position of the club and the sport in Dubbo is due in no small part to Mr Heywood’s dedication and that is why he is such a deserving recipient of the 2022 Services to Sport Award.


2022 Young Sportsperson of the Year – Dylan Eather

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Dubbo acknowledge the contribution of Dylan Eather to the sport of cycling and congratulate him on being named Dubbo’s 2022 Young Sportsperson of the Year.

Mr Eather is rapidly developing into one of the best of the current crop of Dubbo cyclists, cementing his place with a group of riders that regularly win gold at the national level.

Mr Eather has been specialising in longer duration track races and road. Taking gold in the state points race in early 2020 and winning the Tolland Classic in Wagga Wagga in 2019 were indicators of bigger things to come. At Wagga Wagga not only did he take out the U19’s, he was first across the line, beating the elite athletes. On top of this he backed up the next day and came third in the 70km event – True Grit.

Mr Eather’s opportunities to perform were severely limited in 2020 due to COVID-19 and he was extremely unfortunate to break his hand at the National Track Championships in December 2020 after leading NSW to Bronze in the Teams Pursuit. For many riders the combination of these unforeseen events may have ended their careers, however Mr Eather bounced back two months later dominating the NSW U19 Sate Championships at Dunc Grey Velodrome taking Gold in the Omnium, Pursuit, and Team Sprint and Silver in the Time Trial. He then carried this red hot form to the National Track Championships in Brisbane in March 2021, taking Gold in the Scratch Race and Silver in the Time Trial.

Mr Eather’s commitment to training is outstanding, and his tenacious ambition on the bike belies his humble and quite attitude off the track. He is also a team player, and has a reputation for digging deep when the team is under pressure, pulling super human efforts to get his team back into medal contention. And then being able to back up event after event.

Mr Eather is an extremely motivated and hardworking cyclist and it is his dedication to his sport that makes him a very deserving recipient of the Young Sportsperson of the Year award for 2022.


2022 Sportsperson of the Year – Rachelle Darcy

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Dubbo acknowledge the contribution of Shelly Darcy to the sport of touch football and congratulate her on being named Dubbo’s 2022 Sportsperson of the Year.

Ms Darcy has had an outstanding 2021 in the sport of Touch Football.

She was a member of the successful Hunter Western Hornets Women’s 40’s team who competed at the National Touch League in Coffs Harbour in March 2021.

Ms Darcy’s team defeated the Sydney Scorpions five touch downs to four in the final with Shelly playing strongly and being named ‘Player of the Final’.

In June 2021 she represented NSW and excelled in her first State of Origin Touch Football experience.

She starred for the NSW Women’s 40’s side at Coffs Harbour helping the Blues to an overall series win over Queensland.

Her efforts in the 2-1 series win were recognised with the ‘Player of the Series’ prize but she was quick to praise teammates for their efforts rather than her own.

As well as her own successes in the representative arena, Ms Darcy is also an active and valued member of the Dubbo Touch Association, coaching the U12 Girls Representative team, guiding and mentoring junior players in the senior competitions.

For the above reasons and her commitment to her sport of Touch Football makes her a very deserving recipient of the Sportsperson of the Year award for 2022.


2022 Young Citizen of the Year Award – Taje Fowler

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Dubbo acknowledge the contribution made by Taje Fowler, and congratulate her on being named Dubbo’s 2022 Young Citizen of the year.

Miss Fowler has had a tremendous year of supporting the community and representing regional youth. A proud descendant of the Wurundjeri nation with family connection to the Wiradjuri nation, Miss Fowler’s dream is to see the young people she works with and advocates for achieve their goals and aspirations. She is the first in her family to complete a university degree and recently completed her studies of Bachelor of Community and Social Development for Indigenous Communities.

Miss Fowler started volunteering at Apollo house assisting with Skillbuilders afterschool activities. She instantly fitted in and was welcomed by the community and adored by the kids and her peers alike. Ms Fowler is a talented painter and has helped the kids create community murals for NAIDOC Day and another that was recently on display at the Western Plains Cultural Centre with a simple but important message “Let’s Grow ….Our Kids ….Our Community”.

Miss Fowler is often found strolling the Dubbo river walk early in the morning, walking alongside young people experiencing complex mental health issues.

During the recent COVID-19 crisis in Dubbo, Ms Fowler quickly rolled up her sleeves to support the community, especially those living in Apollo Estate. She developed kid’s packs to keep kids busy in lockdown and volunteered her time on the weekends to complete a mobile testing unit with NSW Health, committed to running a pop up

vaccination clinic at Apollo House and started a 24-hour social media platform so young people could always have someone to talk to.  She also baked home cooked meals to deliver to people in isolation.

She was appointed as a member of the NSW 2021 Regional Youth Taskforce, where she represented the Central West and Orana region with 17 other members from across regional NSW.

Miss Fowler has a relentless desire to help kids lead a life of purpose, she truly is humble and quietly works away to change the lives of kids having a tough time.

It is this incredible commitment to young people in her community and her own achievements makes her a very deserving recipient of the 2022 Young Citizen of the Year Award.


2022 Senior Citizen of the Year Award – Fay Angel

Dubbo Regional Council and the Citizens of Dubbo acknowledge the contribution made by Fay Angel, and congratulate her on being named as Dubbo’s 2022 Senior Citizen of the Year.

Ms Angel has been integral in the development and enhancement of the Walan Community Garden for the past four years, and has helped to develop it into a space that is inclusive and accessible for all. Over the past four years the garden has transformed from a bare paddock to a thriving, visually spectacular organic community garden.

Part of Ms Angel’s varied role is recruiting volunteers, which she does through her community and social service networks.

The Community Garden is an approved Community Service Agency for Corrective Services NSW Community Service Scheme. Ms Angel is a certified volunteer supervisor for the gardens and is responsible for the supervision of offenders who are required to complete community service hours as part of their sentence. She has built a great rapport with these participants.

Ms Angel was a big proponent of treating everyone as an equal and with respect, no matter what their past. She knew that being out in the sun, physical activity, completing projects and receiving acknowledgement and praise would improve the self-esteem and the mental health of the participants.

The Clontarf Foundation and PCYC also bring their clients to the garden to engage and to share in the delight and education of growing and enjoying real food. Peppercorn Day Care Centre also bring the children to experience the garden, pull out endless supply of carrots which they enjoy crunching on while running and playing outdoors in the garden.

Not only is Ms Angel a great coordinator and motivator she is also very hands on. Ms Angel is involved in designing garden beds, planting, weeding, watering, mowing and spreading mulch and compost with her team of volunteers.

She is also involved in the new wellbeing garden at the Western Cancer Centre at the Dubbo Hospital, which has been receiving wonderful feedback.

When you meet Ms Angel you immediately feel at ease because of her friendly, pragmatic and authentic approach and it is this, and her dedication in helping people from all backgrounds, that makes her a very deserving 2022 Senior Citizen of the Year.


2022 Citizen of the Year Award – Matthew Hansen

Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) and the Citizens of Dubbo acknowledge the contribution made by Matthew Hansen, and congratulate him on being named Dubbo’s 2022 Citizen of the Year.

Mr Hansen’s volunteer work started with a single raffle down the main street of Dubbo, and has now grown into an incredible organisation that has bettered the lives and opportunities for thousands of people in Central Western NSW. For more than a decade he has not only raised an incredible amount of money for the Dubbo community and region but has made a huge impact on the health of inland rivers and waterways, significantly enhanced recreational fishing opportunities and generated immeasurable positive social outcomes for people residing in Dubbo and central NSW.

Mr Hansen founded the volunteer recreational fishing group ‘The Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association (IWRA)’, and in his position as the volunteer president he has established a strong volunteer committee of like-minded recreational fishers that have conducted numerous high profile fundraising initiatives.

The group has hosted the not-for-profit Lake Burrendong fishing classic fundraiser for nine years, engaging over 15,000 recreational anglers since 2010. This event alone has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars which has been put towards improving river health in Dubbo and across NSW.

Mr Hansen has organised the release of hundreds of thousands of native Murray Cod and Yellowbelly into the region’s waterways through dollar for dollar restocking. He has actively campaigned to open fish passage in the region to create better breeding opportunities for native Murray Cod, Yellowbelly and the endangered Trout Cod in the region’s waterways

Mr Hansen is also the co-founder of the River Repair Bus work for the dole project that has been working to restore large stretches of the Macquarie River for the past four years. The IWRA group contributed almost $60,000 in cash to purchase a 12-seater bus and heavy duty river repair trailer. This group alone have planted 7,000 native trees and removed over 300 trailer loads of rubbish from the banks of the Macquarie River in the Wellington, Dubbo and Narromine districts.

There is so much more that Mr Hansen has been involved in but too many to mention today.

It is Mr Hansen’s wide-ranging involvement and significant contributions over the past decade that makes him an extremely worthy recipient of the 2022 Citizen of the Year award.

Last Edited: 27 Jan 2022

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