First and foremost, I would like to congratulate former mayor and outstanding Gunnedah citizen Gae Swain who as been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to local government and the community of Gunnedah.

Never was an award more richly deserved.

Gae was our first and – to date – only female mayor, and was also our longest-serving mayor.

She was a Gunnedah shire councillor for more than 25 years and we continue to see the results of her hard work and passion in initiatives including the popular Gunnedah Community Scholarship Fund.

She has served on many boards and committees including Gunnedah Nursing Home Inc, the Liverpool Plains Land Management Committee, TAFE Regional Board, Lake Keepit Park Reserve Trust,

Namoi Groundwater Association and many others.

She has in the past been presented with a Minister’s Award for Women in Local Government and was the Tamworth Electorate Woman of the Year in 2005.

But as well as all this, most people know Gae as a genuinely warm and caring person.

Her compassion and her hard work has made a difference in the community of Gunnedah.

I would also like to congratulate the co-proprietor of the Gunnedah Times and The Courier Wanda Dunnet. It takes dedication and commitment to continue in the regional newspaper business, but local media remains very important.

Well done. The Gunnedah Times has been a very welcome addition to our community.

In the past week, we have seen the Riverine Stormwater Precinct Shared Pathway open to the public.

This project, funded by the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program, complements the existing pathways and runs from Cohen’s Bridge along Maitland Street, to the Carroll Street end of Mullibah Lagoon. 

We live in a beautiful part of the world, and walkways are the perfect way to enjoy our shire.

The pathway will need to be temporarily closed in the next few weeks to allow linemarking to take place but will soon open permanently.

Finally, if you are able to help with the Gunnedah Community Scholarship Fund – a wonderful initiative that helps local youth succeed in tertiary education that was started by Gae Swain – Council wants to hear from you.

Gunnedah Community Scholarship Fund was established in 2003 and has helped hundreds of local students. Scholarships have covered a huge range of careers including accounting, agriculture, allied health, animal science, law, architecture, arts/theatre, civil engineering, education, information technology, medicine, nursing and social work. To make a donation to the Scholarship Fund, or to find out more, contact council on 6740 2100.

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