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 Grace Roberts Memorial Community Development Awards 

Reuben Robinson and Terry Donovan
2013 winners: Reuben Robinson and Terry Donovan

The winners of the 2013 Grace Roberts Awards were announced at an awards dinner on November 8 at the Pacific Bay Novotel Resort.

Reuben Robinson took out top honours, and received a standing ovation, when he was presented with the Grace Roberts Community Development Award.

The other winners on the night were Terry Donovan for the Community Worker Award while the best Community Organisation award went to Coffs Harbour & District Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Mr Robinson is a founding member of CHASE which helps the community with many activities, including an annual family Christmas gathering. He is a board member of Galambila AMS and was instrumental in the acquisition of the dental service.

Special guests for the gala award night included Preston Campbell and Matthew Francis from the Gold Coast Titans.

 “It has been a great year for the Aboriginal community with people such as Uncle Trevor Wilson taking out State-based lifetime achievement awards and even Council winning an award for its NAIDOC festivities,” said Council’s Acting Director Community Development Jenni Eakins.

“Reuben is a popular and worthy addition to the list of winners. He is a great role model for youth in Coffs Harbour and a great advocate for the Aboriginal community.”

Ms Eakins said special mention should be made of all the nominees.

“There was an outstanding field of candidates this year which made it especially tough for the judges.”

The Coffs Harbour & District Local Aboriginal Land Council won its award for its extensive work catering for the housing needs of the local Aboriginal community but also for educational, economic, social, cultural and spiritual aspirations.  

Terry Donovan, who was nominated by North Coast Medicare Local for his work in the Closing The Gap program, was described as a dedicated team player who had a wonderful sense of humour. His work as an Aboriginal Outreach Worker has seen improved health outcomes for this community.

History of the Awards

Grace Roberts was a local Aboriginal woman who history records as being a positive role model for her people, and a person of great substance. She had a positive and lasting impact on Coffs Harbour's local community and is recognised for her leadership and guidance.  From her determination, and be example, she improved the quality of life for Aboriginal people in our City.

Council and the Yandaarra Aboriginal Consultative Committee launched the Grace Roberts Community Development Award in 1999 to acknowledge individuals who like Grace Roberts have made a significant contribution to enhancing the quality of life of Aboriginal people in the Coffs Harbour area.

The Grace Roberts Community Development Award began its prestigious history because local Aboriginal people wanted to recognise individuals or a group within their community who encompassed the qualities of Grace Roberts.  Recipients of the Award since its launch have been Anita Craig, Daphne Flanders, Sue Hoskins, Barry Hoskins, Trevor Wilson, Christine Robinson, Bea Ballangarry, Harry Mumbulla Julie Carey and 2012 recipient Mark Flanders.

All have demonstrated their willingness and strength to develop and help their community.

For further details please contact Lloyd Lynwood on 6648 4850.

Coffs Harbour City Council