Anne Goslett is Byron Shire’s 2019 Citizen of the Year

Published on 26 January 2019

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Anne Goslett, founder of a program offering emergency accommodation and help to women in need, is Byron Shire’s 2019 Citizen of the Year. 

Anne received her award at the Australia Day Awards presentation at the Cavanbah Centre at Byron Bay

The awards are Council’s way of recognising the work of people who live in the Shire who give tirelessly to the community

Anne Goslett founded the SHIFT Project in 2015.  SHIFT provides educational programs and stable accommodation to women to help them develop confidence and motivation so they can get back into the community and the workforce.

“Anne’s compassion and drive to help women in our Shire has directly changed the lives of 32 women in our community in the short space of three years and for this we are very grateful,” Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said.

Byron Shire’s Senior Citizen of the Year is Sybil Johnston who is well known for her work with the Bangalow CWA.

“Sybil is also involved in the Bangalow RSL, the Red Cross and the Bangalow Show and it’s fabulous that we are able to recognise the wonderful work she does for the Bangalow community,” Mayor Richardson said.

Other award recipients were:

  • Volunteer of the Year – Lynn Smith
  • Creative Artist of the Year – Will Gammon
  • Sportsperson of the Year – Chris Layland
  • Environmental Project of the Year – The Rotary Club of Mullumbimby ‘Rainforest Park’
  • Community Event of the Year – 2018 Mullumbimby Agricultural Show

Full details of the winners, and the contribution they have made to the Byron Shire, are provided on following pages. 

For more information call Deb Stafford on 6626 7000 or Annie Lewis, Media and Communications Coordinator, on 0419 609 189.

Citizen of the Year – Anne Goslett

ln March 2015, Anne founded The SHIFT Project in Byron which is a residential transitional program for women. The purpose of SHIFT is to provide educational programs within a supported stable housing environment to develop confidence and motivation for wellbeing.  AII SHIFT residents are required to participate in the weekly program to support and give back to the community by doing voluntary work at Liberation Larder, farm work at The Farm to assist with providing fresh food to the residence and homeless, art therapy, yoga and therapeutic groups to address mindsets and habitual behaviours.

The focus once a participant completes the program is to ensure that they are able to reintegrate back into the community and workforce and maintain a sustainable future. Anne has supported and transitioned 32 women since SHIFT commenced and she is truly an asset to the Byron community.

Anne is a compassionate and caring lady who makes a positive impact on everyone who is fortunate enough to meet her. Anne offers emergency accommodation for women in the Byron Shire which is the first of its kind outside of government-funded services. Anne launched SHIFT out of her passion for helping women in the Byron Shire and worked without remuneration for the first 12 months.

Senior Citizen of the Year – Sybil Johnston

Sybil joined Bangalow CWA in 1991.  She started coming to CWA to drive older farming women who were unable to drive. She has since become the face of CWA in the Bangalow community and has given 27 years of tireless service, cooking for street stalls, catering for events, knitting goods, selling raffle tickets, teaching younger members to knit and cook. Sponge-making is Sybil's specialty!

Sybil volunteers in the rooms every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and was President for 17 years up to 2013 and Branch Secretary prior to that.

Sybil is responsible for organizing CWA street stalls and the sweets stall at the Bangalow Christmas Carnival and volunteers on the stall from 8am to 8pm. She has been very much a part of CWA's fund raising to assist women and children in our community and is the "go-to" person on Bangalow CWA.

Her generosity and long history of involvement in volunteering in the Bangalow community, her knowledge of Bangalow past and present and her commitment to volunteering and to those in need in our community is priceless.

Sybil is an active member of the local Uniting Church and volunteers every Monday at the Uniting Church Op Shop. Sybil is also a volunteer at Fair Trade events and functions and is committed to Bangalow becoming a Fair Trade town

Sybil is well known for her commitment to working with local organisations including the Bangalow RSL, Red

Cross and the Bangalow Show. She is a Steward in the Horticulture Section of the Bangalow Show and keeps in contact with older members of the Bangalow community who are no longer able to get out and about through phone calls and visits.

Volunteer of the Year – Lynn Smith

Lynn has inspired a small team of people to transform the old, much neglected swimming pool park in Bangalow.  She grew up in a house adjacent to the park and her father, Bruce Beckinsale, taught hundreds of children to swim in the creek pool. Lynn's affinity with the park continues today as she spends many hours each week beautifying the grounds and ensuring contracted works are faithfully carried out.

Lynn has been instrumental in obtaining grants and working closely with Council to create a wonderful recreation area for locals and visitors. She is very 'hands on' and spends a lot of time painting, weeding and constructing gardens to complement the work being done by Council staff, Land and Rivercare and contractors.

Lynn maintains a comprehensive history of the park and old pool which includes photographs, news articles and her own minutes from meetings with the Parklands team and Council. She is acknowledged as an expert on the history of the pool.

If it were not for Lynn's personal efforts and the inspiration she provides to the rest of the team, the

Bangalow Parklands would be an under-utilised eyesore.  Instead it teems with young families enjoying the new adventure playground and is patronised by all sections of the community who now come to enjoy the natural beauty that Lynn has lovingly helped to restore.

Lynn is well respected by the community and acts solely in the interests of creating and preserving a truly wonderful and unique space for the local community to enjoy.

Sportsperson of the Year – Chris Layland

Chris Layland has a passion for spreading his knowledge and continuing to learn. He is a natural coach and teacher to both players in Byron Bay soccer club and the club’s upcoming youth coaches. He has also created a number of club relationships with some of Australia's biggest clubs in the cities. This is a pathway for Byron's most talented players to be able to work towards a professional career, something which used to be very difficult in the past for players from this region. One year into this arrangement, three players have already gone to Sydney and two of them have been offered contracts.

Chris is the Technical Director of Byron Bay Football Club and is a very experienced coach including:  NSW State Titles, Australian National Champion and local champion. He brings his contacts and experience to Byron and helps the local talented players. As part of his role as Technical Director, he coaches Byron's Summer Youth League team (one of the three major competitions on the FNC). ln his first year (2017) the team won the competition, in his second (in progress) they are currently undefeated and top of the table.

Chris introduced the region's first High Performance Program (based on professional youth development programs) to the club which will assist Byron youth (boys and girls teams) getting better coaching and development.

Setting up club relationships, Chris organised for Byron locals Samuel Shepherd and Griffin Bambach to trial with the Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney Olympic where they were both signed to Under 20’s contracts.

Chris was a member of the coaching staff of the NSW Under 13 team which won the 2018 national championships.

Chris maintains contacts with professional clubs and keeps his knowledge up-to-date with seminars, courses, hands-on experience and mentorship to ensure he's bringing the best youth development and professional standards to Byron to give the region's youth the best possible chance of playing to their potential.  For some, this means a potential professional sports careers.

Creative Artist of the Year – Will Gammon

Will Gammon has nearly two decades of experience in the visual effects film industry as an artist, and is constantly challenging existing methods in order to present forward thinking alternative solutions to the way we live and work in the industry.

Director and Owner of Cumulus VFX, established in 2010, Cumulus started from humble beginnings in a garage. Armed with a laptop and a vision to create remote visual effects as a service, Will quickly tapped into the independent film market, offering cost-effective solutions to low budget films. After a few years of proving the workflow, Cumulus VFX began to spread its wings and take on larger packages of work and move into the wider area of post-production and beyond.

Will started his career in visual effects in early 2001, with brief credits including Marvel Studios - Thor, Harry Potter, Mission Impossible 4, Happy Feet 2 and Peter Rabbit.  He has the unique ability to engage with directors to make their visual effects dreams come to reality. The most recent collaboration was with local director, Damon Gameau, on the feature 2040 a critical film which explores the important topics of climate change, gender equality, the political climate, farming methods, SOlshare power and more.

Will has collaborated with Jobs NSW to create more job opportunities for experienced practitioners, while fostering the skills of young and local talent through traineeships and internships. This enables Cumulus to produce stunning visual effects for film, television and other visual mediums including virtual reality (VR) in Byron Bay for both clients and creative artists. Using custom software Syclone, which takes the headache out of working outside a major city, enables Will to focus on fostering a happy, creative workplace for his talented group of artists to produce nothing but the best VFX and Picture Post.

Community Event of the Year - 2018 Mullumbimby Agricultural Show      

Formed in 1907, the Mullumbimby Agricultural Show is the longest running not-for-profit community organisation in the Byron Shire.   The Annual Mullumbimby Agricultural Show is a celebration of the area’s diverse and evolving agricultural, horticultural and livestock industries.  It continues to share the traditions of the area’s past while bringing new and exciting developments in agriculture, horticulture and rural industries to visitors.   Each year the Mullumbimby Agricultural Show provides a wide variety of entertainment, educational exhibitions as well as competitions for all ages.

From Mullumbimby’s rural traditions to modern day lifestyles the Show Committee continues to provide entertainment and education for all community members. 

Now in the 21st century, the Mullumbimby Agricultural Society continues to support, educate and promote agricultural, horticultural and pastoral excellence and innovation.  The Mullumbimby Agricultural Society is primarily responsible for organising, developing and staging Mullumbimby’s largest not-for-profit community event – the annual Mullum Show.   

This Show brings together the best for a weekend of agricultural, horticultural and pastoral competitions, displays and demonstrations, exhibitions, entertainment, commercial exhibits, carnival rides and a variety of food stalls.

Environmental Project of the Year – The Rotary Club of Mullumbimby ‘Rainforest Park’

Chartered in 1949 The Rotary club of Mullumbimby is a part of a world wide organisation. It provides opportunity through the Rotary Youth Programs and career experience with Rotary Exchange Group.

Its humanitarian projects have extended to the Pacific islands, Timor Leste, Cambodia and support of Australia Aid.

The Club’s fundraising efforts extend to Australian natural disasters such as bush fires, floods and drought.

During the Rotary year of 1990/1991 Rotary International promoted the theme of Preserve Planet Earth. Mullumbimby Rotary Club embraced the program and commenced a ‘Rainforest Park’ on Crown land adjacent to the Pine Avenue sports field in Mullumbimby.

Advice was sought from NSW Forestry as to the rainforest species that were endemic to the Mullumbimby area and several hundred trees were planted in Stage one of the project. This has been an ongoing project of Mullumbimby Rotary with continued plantings and maintenance over the ensuing 27 years.

During 2017/2018 major renovation works were undertaken to bring the project up to standard for community participation and visitation.

The Rainforest Park, off Pine Avenue, Mullumbimby provides a sample of what "The Big Scrub" would have been like prior to settlement of the region and provides valuable information for existing and future generations of Byron Shire.

Australia Day Ambassador - Joel Pilgrim

Joel is an Occupational Therapist and keen surfer who grew up in Newcastle, where his love for the ocean developed from an early age. Every chance he got, Joel would make a dash for the beach with his twin brother, eventually climbing the Surf Life Saving ladder. He studied Occupational Therapy at the University of Newcastle, which saw his passion for helping people, flourish. During his studies, Joel interned at Broadmoor Hospital in England, which further cemented his interest in psychiatry. He graduated and moved to Sydney to chase his passion for mental health.

Joel spent four years working for the Bondi Early Psychosis Program in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, where his enthusiasm for recovery and physical activity in mental health assisted young people getting back on their feet following their first episode of psychosis. This role saw Joel travel inter-state, and internationally to present at conferences. In 2014, Joel presented at the International Conference on Early Psychosis in Tokyo. 

Joel has worked with the organisation OneWave since its establishment in March 2013. OneWave is a mental health for-purpose organisation incorporating surfing and the ocean as a means of recovery. Joel met the Founder Grant Trebilco in the second week it was running, and they have become great friends ever since, growing the organisation substantially together over the past almost 4 years.

Joel founded the One Wave Surfing Experience, an eight-week learn-to-surf program supporting people diagnosed with mental health issues.

Joel is now the founder and CEO of the Waves of Wellness Foundation. Also known as the WOW Foundation, Joel and his team are pioneering evidence-based surf therapy intervention in mental health with a vision to roll out international programs.

Joel is also a Casual Academic at the University of Newcastle, lecturing and tutoring in the field of Occupational Therapy.

Joel speaks at a number of different events and platforms around the country, sharing his contiguous passion for mental health advocacy and disruption in the current mental health sector.

Joel is a first time author, of the children’s book titled Stand Up, Stand Out which explores the world of mental health and well-being for young people. Stand Up, Stand Out is set to be released this February.