NSW Premier awards handed out in Bathurst

THREE Bathurst citizens have been recognised by the NSW Government for their service to the community across a range of categories.

Long-time volunteers Gillian Date and Natalie Cole, along with rugby union player Cory Hooper, 16, were each presented with a government award on Tuesday by Bathurst MP Paul Toole. 

Mrs Date has just finished a 21-year stint as a crisis supporter with Lifeline Central West.

While, Ms Cole volunteers with the State Emergency Service (SES) and NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS).

During the presentation ceremony, Mr Toole spoke of the commitment each recipient had shown to the Bathurst community.

DEDICATED: Natalie Cole with her daughter, Amelia, 10, receiving her Hidden Treasures Honour Roll certificate from Bathurst MP Paul Toole. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 010918cawards1

DEDICATED: Natalie Cole with her daughter, Amelia, 10, receiving her Hidden Treasures Honour Roll certificate from Bathurst MP Paul Toole. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 010918cawards1

Upon accepting her Community Service Award, she said she was overwhelmed by the acknowledgement.

“People who are in Lifeline don’t go there because they want notoriety, they go there because they have nowhere else to go,” Mrs Date said of people who call the charity’s crisis number.

Mr Toole said volunteers like Mrs Date and Ms Cole fulfill their roles, not for recognition, but to simply give back to the community.

“We give these awards out and people like Gillian and yourself [Ms Cole] never asked to be acknowledged,” he said.

Mr Toole presented Ms Cole with a NSW Government Hidden Treasures Honour Roll certificate which recognises rural women who contribute to their community.

It’s just part of life and I love doing it, I love giving back to the community.

Hidden Treasures Honour Roll recipient Natalie Cole

During her combined 15 years of volunteering, Ms Cole has been sent to a wide range of incidents including fires, car accidents and rescue operations.

“What Natalie sees isn’t going to be anything nice to see,” Mr Toole said.

Ms Cole said: “It’s just part of life and I love doing it, I love giving back to the community.”

Year 12 St Stanislaus’ College student, Cory Hooper, was recognised for his selection to represent NSW in the 2017 Australian under 16s Rugby Championship.

“To actually get to this level is astonishing, it is certainly a great achievement,” Mr Toole said.

Cory said he would like to make a career out of playing rugby and hopes to play for a Sydney club after completing Year 12 this year.