Chapman Valley crown their citizen of the year

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Megan O'Grady was named Chapman Valley's Citizen of the Year.
Camera IconMegan O'Grady was named Chapman Valley's Citizen of the Year. Credit: Edward Scown

Chapman Valley’s citizen of the year still does not feel she is a local yet. on Australia Day at the beach.

Award winner Megan O’Grady was presented with the award at a beach ceremony on Australia Day.

Shire president Kirrilee Warr said Ms O’Grady was a “complete all-rounder”.

She is involved in several community organisations, including the agricultural show committee and her school P&C, and is secretary of the For A Better Chapman Valley group.

Despite her vast amount of volunteer work, Ms O’Grady insists it’s “not as much as everyone else”.

“(FABCV) had our inaugural fundraiser, the Rainmakers Dance, last year. Massive success, we raised about $15,000 from a lot of local businesses sponsoring the event and that money went straight into other smaller community events like movie nights, post-cyclone barbecues, art series,” she said.

“The aim of it was just trying to bring the community together and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.”

The dance was just two weeks before cyclone Seroja ripped through the region. One event key to the community’s recovery was the Chapman Valley show.

“I was on the ag show committee for the first time this year; it was so full on,” Ms O’Grady said.

The show attracted about 10,000 visitors, with a traffic jam stretching back kilometres from the show ground. It was hailed as a great success for the community as food vendors sold out long before the day’s end.

“There’s not many people around here but they are such an active and generous community. It’s great to be a part of,” Ms O’Grady said.

“There’s so many amazing people. We have such great leaders and such an energy. The mentoring from these groups is incredible.”

While she may have been chosen by the community as their citizen of the year, Ms O’Grady said she still did not feel like she had earned the title of local.

“I’ve only lived here for four years; I’m not a local yet, I’ve got 20 years to go,” she said.

The Yuna Country Women’s Association was named Community Group of the Year and Samantha Williamson Young Achiever of the Year.

“Our community certainly thrives because we have volunteers doing what they do,” Cr Warr said.

“It’s always tough to pick. Thankfully I’m not on that committee anymore, because it’s really hard.”

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