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Council celebrates best of Bass Coast

Simply inspiring: Bass Coast 2019 Citizen of the Year, Wonthaggi’s Deb Rielly (front, centre) with 2018 Citizen of the Year Brendan Smith (front, left), Bass Coast Shire Council mayor Cr Brett Tessari (front, right) and Deb’s sons Ben and Dylan.
Leading the way: Bass Coast 2019 Young Citizen of the Year was Hayden Marshall (left) of Rhyll, with Bass Coast Shire Council mayor Cr Brett Tessari.

BASS Coast Shire Council announced Wonthaggi’s Deb Rielly as the 2019 Bass Coast Citizen of the Year at the Australia Day Awards presentation last Wednesday in Wonthaggi.

Rhyll’s Hayden Marshall was announced as the 2019 Bass Coast Young Citizen of the Year.

Ms Rielly was recognised for her inspirational contributions to the local community, both in her role as a paramedic and through her personal endeavours. Ms Rielly has been fighting cancer for the past 15 years, but she has never let that keep her from achieving her goals.

A community volunteer, a founding member of support group Tough Titties, and a motivational speaker, Ms Rielly’s courage and selfless nature made her a worthy recipient of the award.

Bass Coast mayor Cr Brett Tessari congratulated Ms Rielly on her award.

“Your commitment and support of our community is invaluable; whether through your involvement in local groups, representing your community on the world stage, or caring for people in your role of paramedic, your determination and caring attitude always shines through,” Cr Tessari said.

The mayor also acknowledged and congratulated all nominees for the award: Maureen Alford from Wonthaggi, Chelsea Caple from Wonthaggi, Sally Conning from North Wonthaggi, Felicia Di Stefano from Glen Forbes, Catherine Garnham from Wonthaggi, Jill Grayden from Cowes, Sam Haycroft from Ventnor, Robyn Kenny and Steve Kenny from Krowera, and Leigh Owens from Wonthaggi.

“Selecting our Citizen of the Year Award is not an easy task, because all of our nominees are so deserving of the award,” Cr Tessari said.

“Each and every one of our nominees is an outstanding contributor to our community. The time they put in and the difference they make in a range of different areas is so significant that it makes it difficult to pick just one.”

It was after being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing surgery and chemotherapy that Ms Rielly learnt she’d been chosen to represent Australia in the World Championship Ironman event in New Zealand.

She competed despite still undergoing treatment.

Ms Rielly has never let cancer define her. She has raised thousands of dollars for more than 20 local community groups through her annual Keeping Kids on Track fun run event and her involvement in other charity events such as Relay For Life.

Ms Rielly has been involved in local groups and events including surf lifesaving, Nippers, Bass Coast Barracudas Triathlon Club and Bass Coast Cycle Challenge.

She is a founding member of Tough Titties, a support group for anyone battling cancer or other illness or trauma.

Ms Rielly also volunteers her time as a motivational speaker and public speaker on topics such as breast cancer awareness, Daffodil Day and the impacts of ice addiction.

Mr Marshall was recognised for his outstanding strength and passion, despite facing a huge life challenge.

After suffering a broken neck while training for gymnastics on his trampoline, Mr Marshall has approached life with a renewed determination and continues to inspire and encourage those around him.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27267

Posted by on Jan 23 2019. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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