Snowy Valleys 2024 Citizen and Junior Citizen of the Year Announced

Published on 05 February 2024

Snowy Valleys 2024 Junior Citizen of the Year Amelia Murray and Citizen of the Year Noel Berry 2.jpeg

The Snowy Valleys most inspiring individuals have been recognised for their exceptional contributions and outstanding service to the local community.

The 2024 Snowy Valleys Citizen of the Year and Junior Citizen of the Year were announced on Friday 2 February at a special civic reception hosted by Council.

The Snowy Valleys Awardees were chosen from the pool of individual town Australia Day Award recipients based on their significant and ongoing service and contribution to the Snowy Valleys community and the important inspirational community leadership roles they hold and portray.

The Snowy Valleys Awards were presented across two categories:

  • Snowy Valleys 2024 Junior Citizen of the Year - Recognising individuals aged under 30 years who have made an outstanding contribution to the Snowy Valleys community over many years and are inspirational role models.
  • Snowy Valleys 2024 Citizen of the Year – Recognising individuals aged 30 and over who have made an outstanding contribution to the Snowy Valleys community over many years, having a positive impact on the local government area and being an inspirational role model.

Awardees and Citations

  • AMELIA MURRAY - Tumbarumba
  • RILEY GOULD – Batlow
  • JOSHUA SMITH – Talbingo


Amelia completed her schooling at the local Tumbarumba Public School and Tumbarumba High school where she was an active participant in the community. She was a member of the Tumbarumba Interact group from years 7 to 9 and a volunteer leader at youth group. Through these groups, Amelia participated in activities such as face painting at the Tumbarumba Community Church light party and Tumbafest, running the Interact Gingerbread house making afternoon for several years and assisting in several BBQs at community events. Amelia was awarded the Snowy Hydro Citizenship Award and the Maxine Harrison Citizenship Award in 2019.

Amelia received the  Ampol Best All Rounder award in 2021 for her contributions to her school and netball community. Her passion for helping is evident through her current career path of nursing. Amelia completed her Certificate 3 in Health Services during her senior studies and is a third year Registered Nursing student at Charles Sturt University in Wagga. She was a volunteer leader at CSU in wagga in 2023. She currently works at both Tumbarumba and Batlow Multi Purpose Services. While completing year 12, Amelia also completed her AIN (assistant in nursing at TAFE). This has allowed her to work at the Tumbarumba and Batlow Hospitals while studying at Uni and provide service back into her community.

Amelia has been heavily involved in the Tumbarumba Football and Netball Club playing since she was five and umpiring and coaching since she was 12. She has co-coached & and coached net-set-go as well as under 11’s for a number of years, then in 2021 coached under 15’s. Then in 2023 taking on the same role, Amelia coached the under 15’s to an Upper Murray Premiership winning in a nail-biting finish by 1 goal. Amelia is also an experienced and well-respected umpire. Amelia’s dedication to her netball team and the community organisation over many years, her studies and her work ethic is a shining example of her leadership in the community.

Snowy Valleys 2024 Citizen of the Year Nominees:

  • LANCE ADAMS – Tumbarumba
  • KEVIN STOKES – Batlow
  • DAVID WREN - Tumut
  • NOEL BERRY - Talbingo


Noel first came to Talbingo about 35 years ago and has always been a respected community member, he is well known for devoting his time to looking after and supporting others in the community in their time of need, even when encountering his own personal challenges.

Noel has been a long serving Volunteer of the Rural Fire Service in Talbingo, serving locally and across the state when called upon to assist. 

Noel is a founding member of the Talbingo Rural Fire Service when it was established in 1997, since then he has been recognised by the RFS for long service medal for more than 20 years. At 88 years of age Noel was one of our frontline defenders during the Dunn’s Road bushfire event that surrounded our small township. When most his age chose to evacuate, he remained and worked with our RFS and visiting brigades to defend Talbingo.

Prior to his service with the Talbingo RFS Noel was a member of the Talbingo Community Bushfire brigade and prior to that the Snowy Bushfire brigade. Now aged 92 Noel is still an active member of the RFS and oversees the Training of new Recruits to the brigade.

Noel has been an official Community Transport Driver for Talbingo since February 2004, but prior to this Noel would transport locals in his own car. He continued to provide these services to community members until retiring from Community Transport in 2011 at age 80.

Noel also continues to assist with walking the streets of Talbingo to make letterbox drops for community transport and other community group notices.

Noel is a great Supporter of all Community events and is famous in Talbingo for his Barbeque prowess, helping with Talbingo Country Club Golf days, Fishing Club Events including the Jounama Classic, Australia Day Barbeques and other community events. Noel is a remarkable man whose way of life is to participate in most activities held in Talbingo.

Noel is a very warm and caring, friendly, and approachable man with a great sense of humour.

He is a very valued member of the Local Community; he is helpful to those in need, including elderly and Infirmed residents and neighbours tending their Lawns and gardens as well as any assistance required by them. Noel is known to support and provide counsel to those who are grieving in our community supporting them in taking the next steps. 

Noel is very generous and has his own very productive vegetable garden and is always sharing his fresh produce with neighbours and others in the community.

In early 2023 Noel was a volunteer in our Local Supermarket for a time helping sort out the mail when there was a sudden death in the Family of the owners, ensuring this service to community was sustained.

Noel has continued over many years, to generously give up his time to support community members, and to protect and defend the Talbingo Township. He is respected and loved by all and a worthy nominee for this award.