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Dirranbandi's Frank Deshon named 2019 Citizen of the Year

The driving force behind Dirranbandi’s Paul Kelly Concert was this morning named Balonne Shire’s 2019 Citizen of the Year.

Mayor Richard Marsh congratulated Frank Deshon for his untiring dedication to, and support of, the Dirranbandi community.

“Frank is heavily involved in the community and very supportive of local businesses and community groups,” he said.

“He willingly volunteers commitment, time and effort into events that can heighten the spirit of this small community.

“Frank was the main organiser for the Paul Kelly concert, which raised more than $120,000 for the Dirranbandi School P-10 Agricultural Studies Program and the 3000 concert visitors provided a welcome economic boost as well as a mental lift to the drought-stricken community.

“He played a large role in the logistics and sponsorship of the event, as well as providing his own trucks and staff for freight and set up before the concert.”

Cr Marsh said Mr Deshon was a shining example of the community spirit within the Balonne Shire.

“There are loads of people like Frank within our communities, who work quietly behind the scenes getting things done and not expecting anything in return,” he said.

“These awards are our chance to thank these quiet achievers and give them the public praise they truly deserve. Congratulations to all of our recipients and thank you for all you do for our communities.”

The Mayor also announced Hebel seven-year-old Tillie McCumstie as the Young Citizen of the Year.

“After seeing a Bandana Day advertisement on television, Tillie decided to cut and donate her hair to Variety Australia which focuses on helping children in need,” he said.

“She was given two months to think about it, but didn’t change her mind about giving her hair to someone who needed it more.

“During these two months, Tillie also raised $3700 which she also contributed to Variety.

“Tillie ended up cutting off 45cm of her hair and donated this to the Hair with Heart organisation through Variety Australia.

“Her hair will be used to make a wig and will be given to a child who has lost their hair due to a long-term illness.

“It is heartening to see such kindness in someone so young and we congratulate Tillie for her wonderful efforts.”

The Balonne Shire 2019 Australia Day Awards were held in Thallon and included a barbecue brekkie, awards and morning tea.

The Award recipients were:

  • Citizen of the Year Award (over 18 years) – Frank Deshon
  • Young Citizen of the Year Award (under 18 years) – Tillie McCumstie
  • Community Event of the Year Award – Paul Kelly Concert
  • Community Service Award – Kimberley Clark
  • Sports Achievement Medallion (over 18 years) – Meg O’Sullivan
  • Sport Achievement Medallion (under 18 years) – Cohan Neven
  • Sport Achievement Medallion (Administrator, etc) – Todd Twidale (St George Junior Rugby League Club)
  • Cultural Achievement Medallion (over 18 years) – Nia Hadenfeldt


published 26 January 2019