Yass boy with cerebral palsy inspiring others with his love of sheep mustering

It’s a windy day and the sun is hot as the Wallace family begins drafting the sheep on their small farm outside of Yass.

Blake, aged 11, is learning how to separate the ewes from their young alongside his father, Matt Wallace.

Not far away is the Wallace’s younger son Lucas, who has the job of mustering the sheep from the bottom of the paddock.

He yells at the animals, ushering them over tussocks of grass, a determined look on his face.

Lucas, who has cerebral palsy, is just nine years old and conducts all his farm work from a customised wheelchair.

‘Anything we do on the farm, he’s there’

Lucas’s wheelchair is equipped to handle the rough terrain of the farm.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

The small property, about 60 kilometres north of Canberra, was purchased by Phyllis and Matt Wallace less than two years ago.

They made the leap from life in suburban Queanbeyan after realising how much their sons thrived on the land, and juggle their jobs along with running livestock.

“Lucas is very lucky in having grandparents who have a property,” Phyllis said.

She said it was obvious that Lucas, like his brother, loved getting involved and “being a helper”.

“It’s just been a matter of finding a place for us all to settle, and a permanent place to call home,” she said.

Farm life helping to develop new skills

The family smiles in a group together.
Phyllis, Matt, Blake and Lucas Wallace at their Yass property.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

The brothers have each developed an interest in different tasks on the farm, with Lucas a natural at mustering.

In the months since they transitioned to their new life, the Wallaces have also watched him gain new skills they did not know were possible.

Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture, but there is scope to adapt and improve with the right therapies.

Lucas is proof of that.

Lucas spends over to throw hay to the cattle nearby.
The nine-year-old is determined to help, including with feeding the cows.(Supplied)

“He’s been learning how to open gates, but still learning how to lock up the gates, but that’s definitely something that we’re learning,” Phyllis said.

“We had shearing a few months ago and he was helping grab the wool off the table and put it into the right bales.

She said it helped that Lucas was both “determined” and “stubborn” when it came to being a part of things.

“If he can’t find something he can’t do in a normal way that we can, he’ll adapt it, he’ll find a way around.”

It meant his wheelchair, complete with sturdy wheels to cope with the rough terrain of the paddocks, needed servicing more often than most others.

Social media video inspires others

Lucas speaks to the sheep, which are running around near him.
Lucas mustering in the yard with his family.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

Lucas’s skill with sheep recently attracted widespread attention when Phyllis shared footage of him on social media.

She said she was pleasantly surprised by the response.

“It was crazy,” Phyllis said.

“This is everyday life for us, everyday life for Lucas, so I thought it would be cute to post how he was able to do it on his own.

“And it just went crazy, the amount of support and the amount of love.”

Lucas smiles while mustering alongside his father.
Lucas “lights up” while working with his family on the farm.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

She said she had been receiving messages from people since who had been inspired to encourage their own children, many of them with the same or similar condition to Lucas, to get involved with farm life.

“There were so many comments from people saying it was great to see him doing an everyday skill,” she said.

“Even though he is stuck in a wheelchair when we’re outside, it doesn’t stop him from being an active member of the family.”

She said it wasn’t just strangers living far away who drew motivation from Lucas.

“And it’s just like — alright, if he can do it, I can too.”

Blake and Lucas smile, Blake standing up high on the wheelchair.
Blake, 11, spends a lot of time on his brother’s wheelchair. Their parents say, “we gave up telling him to get off”.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

For Blake, the move to the property has meant more freedom to play with his brother.

“Me and him, we’ll go and fetch the sheep — I’ll help by standing at the gate to make sure they go in,” he said.

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Can Intel’s ‘boy wonder’ pull a Steve Jobs?

Pat Gelsinger left Intel Corp. more than a decade ago, when it was clear he would not become CEO after 30 years at the company.

On Wednesday, he finally got his dream job, but faces quite a task in returning the chip giant to the glory days of which he was a part.

Gelsinger is leaving his post as chief executive of VMWare Inc.
to take over his former employer at perhaps the most critical juncture in Intel’s INTC long and storied history. Its once industry-leading manufacturing has fallen behind, an activist investor is demanding change, and it is the target of numerous shareholder lawsuits.

More from Therese: How did Intel lose its Silicon Valley crown?

Gelsinger started his career at Intel at age 18, and during his 30-year tenure, he said in a note to employees, he “had the honor to be mentored at the feet of” Intel co-founders Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andy Grove. He eventually became the company’s first chief technology officer in 2000, and held other executive positions, only to leave in 2009 to go to EMC Corp., now part of Dell Technologies Inc.

“It’s the biggest return of a prodigal son since Steve Jobs went back to Apple
” Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight64, told MarketWatch.

He was also the architect of the company’s 80486 processor, also known as the 486, for PCs. He has both the engineering credentials and more recently, experience leading an enterprise software company in the cloud computing market. That market — more so than the PC market of Gelsinger’s past — is Intel’s biggest growth area right now, and where its next big battles will begin, as graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp.
has made clear with its plans to purchase of the processor designer, ARM Holdings from Softbank Group Corp.

“He is a ‘perfect storm’ CEO for Intel,” Robert Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told MarketWatch. “He has enough knowledge of Intel and of what makes it successful and what Intel needs right now, because of his experience at EMC/VMware.”

As Intel has fallen behind in its manufacturing-process technology, the company has been debating whether or not to outsource some of its manufacturing to the leading contract manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.
Change is expected to be slow, but in general, Gelsinger is seen as a strong hope to return the company to its leadership position.

“We couldn’t think of a better candidate to be Intel’s CEO,” Raymond James analyst Chris Caso said in a note to clients.

That sentiment was widespread, fueling a surge of nearly 8% for Intel shares on Wednesday.

When Gelsinger left Intel in 2009 for EMC Corp., Intel had made a succession of executive changes as part of its well-planned CEO succession moves, and analysts said at the time that it was clear that Gelsinger was not in the running to eventually be named CEO.

Brian Krzanich was named CEO in 2013, but his tenure, though, was far from stellar, and it was under his rein that the company began to have major manufacturing delays. He left in a storm of controversy about a past relationship with another Intel employee, and was ultimately replaced by then-Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan.

From 2019: By choosing Bob Swan, Intel has put the bean counters in charge of Silicon Valley’s most storied tech company

At the time, Gelsinger’s name surfaced as the perfect candidate to return to Intel, having been outside the company for awhile, one who would also combine past insider knowledge, but he said then he was not interested in the job.

Gelsinger is now arriving at the right time. Intel needed Swan to clean up the mess created by Krzanich, and now it needs Gelsinger to establish a new path.

“[Krzanich] broke so much stuff, Intel went from having a two-year tech lead to being behind three years,” Enderle said. He said the situation is similar to what the U.S. is going through right now, transitioning to President-elect Biden, a previous vice president and senator “who understands the plumbing of the country.”

“Gelsinger is like a top race car driver, and Bob Swan was like the mechanic,” he said. “They needed Swan to fix the plumbing, get the company operating again, and get a top driver to fix the rest.

See also: Biden inherits a tech Cold War with China after Trump ratcheted up the battle

He added that Krzanich also killed Intel’s Developer Forum, (IDF), a developer conference created by Gelsinger in his time there that was valuable for both getting input and creating a relationship with industry developers, a concept Nvidia has used to create support around its CUDA platform.

When he was at Intel, Gelsinger was often referred to as “the boy wonder,” because of his rise up in the ranks at a young age, where he impressed the tough and famously paranoid former Intel CEO Andy Grove. Gelsinger’s ties to Grove and earnest appreciation for his leadership should help improve morale at Intel, which has struggled under Swan, its first CEO who did not come from the Intel family.

Now the big question is what will Gelsinger do about Intel’s manufacturing situation. It is likely that, having been an old-school Intel executive, Gelsinger may lean toward expanding its current hybrid approach, keeping most of Intel’s manufacturing in-house, but perhaps outsourcing more. But he will also have new ideas for changes, after being gone from the behemoth for so many years.

Caso put it bluntly. “Gelsinger will not bring a magic bullet to work with him on Feb. 15,” he wrote. “We consider Intel to be on a ‘burning platform,’ analogous to Nokia’s position a decade ago. If Intel decides to fully outsource, they will never again possess transistor dominance, which will make it difficult to maintain their dominant share and margin structure. ”

Read: Regulating Big Tech will be hard, and California is proving it

Brookwood of Insight64 said that another one of Gelsginer’s important tasks will be to stop the drain of engineering talent from the company. “If Gelsinger can stop the loss of tech talent and restore people’s confidence that Intel can be a tech leader again, I think that’s all for the good,” he said.

No matter what Gelsinger does, it is likely he will have greater support from the board and Intel employees than Swan.

“To come back ‘home’ to Intel in the role of CEO during what is such a critical time for innovation, as we see the digitization of everything accelerating, will be the greatest honor of my career,” Gelsinger said in his email.

With his long history at Intel and his engineering credentials, employees will know that Gelsinger means it. After his own previous love-hate relationship with the chip giant, Gelsinger appears to be the leader who can guide Intel out of the mess in which it currently resides.

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Teenage boy critical after falling from cliff

It is alleged that when they reached the end of that road – a cul de sac – the boys dropped the motorcycles and jumped a fence barricading a cliff.

Beyond the cliff is a metres-long drop into Harold Park below. The officers were present when the boys went over the cliff.

One boy fell to the bottom of the cliff and has suffered serious injuries, according to a NSW Police statement. He was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and is undergoing surgery.

The second boy suffered minor injuries after landing on a ledge and was also taken to hospital.

Police have declared it a critical incident, and an eastern beaches police area command team will investigate all circumstances surrounding the event.

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Martial arts instructor charged after alleged sexual assault of boy in Sydney’s west

A bail application at Fairfield Local Court on Wednesday was told that Mr Barnes, who has his students call him Master Chris, was already facing separate charges relating to intentionally sexually touching another student between the ages of 10 and 16.

The court heard the 33-year-old had pleaded not guilty to that charge in November last year.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Mr Barnes appeared via an audio-visual link where his lawyer, Michael Fokkes, said there were serious doubts about the police case against his client and said there could be collusion between the two families of his alleged victims.

Mr Fokkes said, since the first charges were laid against Mr Barnes, CCTV had been installed at the martial arts studio.

Martial arts instructor Christopher Barnes has been arrested. Credit:Facebook

The court also heard that the mother of the child involved in the latest charges had initially offered to provide a character witness assessment for Mr Barnes in the matter involving the first child. That offer has since been withdrawn.

Mr Fokkes said, on the day the latest alleged victim provided a statement to police, Mr Barnes’ brother contacted the boy’s mother, asking if he would return to classes that year.

The mother responded that the child would “be back as of the first of February,” Mr Fokkes said.

But police allege that conversation took place before the boy had disclosed to his parents what had allegedly occurred. The boy overheard the discussion between his mother and Mr Barnes’ brother which then prompted him to come forward and raise the allegations, the court heard.

Mr Barnes was already on strict bail conditions relating to the first alleged offence which prevented him from being with anyone under the age of 16 and led him to step back from running his martial arts studio.

Mr Fokkes told the court this had placed considerable stress on Mr Barnes’ family as the business helped support their ill mother.

The martial arts instructor was granted bail again on Wednesday on the condition he reports to police seven days a week and surrenders his passport.

The matter will next be heard at Fairfield Local Court on March 17.

If anyone has experienced an incident such as this, they are urged to contact local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Country boy who charmed Sydney’s arts scene and the Herald’s newsroom

Cochrane was a fine journalist – a respected sub-editor, editor and writer at the Herald. In later years, he filled an editorial and writing role at the University of Tasmania with distinction.

But what made him special was his personality – a combination of the country-bred boy from Tamworth who needed no gloss of city pretensions but with a wicked and enduring sense of fun, and a zest for all that life and work could offer.

As the news of his death spread, Facebook rapidly became thick with tributes. Rick Feneley, who worked as a fellow sub-editor, wrote that “Peter had the gift of being both delighted and delightful. He brought so much cheer to the newsroom and to anyone who had the fortune of knowing him”.

Music critic Bruce Elder said Cochrane would be remembered “with genuine fondness and love by all who worked with him. A model of a great and generous editor – thoughtful of others, tough when he needed to be, always eager to cover the less obvious stories…”

Ninian Carter, who worked with him on the foreign desk, said when he saw Cochrane heading towards him, “I knew, before he’d arrive, that there was going to be an interesting foreign news graphic coming our way … and a few good laughs as well. He was always extremely helpful and his enthusiasm for a subject wonderfully infectious.”

Peter Cochrane, pictured on a trip to the US.

As the artist Michael Fitzjames observed, too often in our workplace stories, we make legends of the monsters we have worked with or for, but it was “the legion of genuine and … good people” – those like Cochrane – who had made the Herald the happy workplace that it was.

Tributes flowed too from the arts community. Jan Batten, for many years the media manager of the Art Gallery of NSW, said Peter had always persisted to ensure that the arts “had a voice in the mainstream dialogue. His integrity always shone through.”

Paul Byrnes, the Herald’s long-time film critic, called him simply “a prince”, adding that he was “that rarity – a journo with a kind heart, a country boy, and a lovely bloke to work for or with…”

Peter was born on August 19, 1955, in the Numalong Private Hospital in Gunnedah, the eldest child and only son of Colin and Shirley Cochrane. Colin raised pigs on a small parcel of land and also worked in haulage and as a skilled mechanic and carpenter – and while Peter failed to inherit those talents, he did inherit the decency and fundamentally honest nature of such a father.

A neighbour in the town subscribed to the Herald and would pass it on. Cochrane’s sisters relay stories of him following along behind, head stuck in the paper, as Colin went about his jobs.

As a child he attended the tiny Carroll Primary School which ran to only a couple of classes. Later he progressed to Gunnedah High where he got his first taste of practical journalism, editing the school newspaper.

Post-schooling, this took him to a job on the Northern Daily Leader but the big city called and Peter moved to Sydney, working in promotions in the music industry.

Sydney at first proved something of a culture shock, and he fairly quickly moved back to Tamworth where he married Kaylene, a local girl. Eventually, they decided to give the big smoke a second go and Peter went to work as a sub-editor on The Land newspaper.

From there he moved to The Sydney Morning Herald, again as a sub-editor, joining the staff in October 1982. His interest in the arts grew, alongside his confidence in his own skills and his ever infectious wit and humour.

The work was always done with due care and respect but amid great laughter. He would later become arts editor, a post he held for many years from the late eighties.

In that time he became a respected fixture on the Sydney arts scene and familiar figure at first nights in the theatre, the concert hall and opera theatres, and around the galleries.

He was even-handed in ensuring the widest possible coverage across the arts spectrum, from rock to opera and the myriad points between. He was respectful of his critics’ opinions and their expertise, but was never afraid to exercise his own judgment. Above all, in the febrile world of arts journalism, where rivalries, perceived slights and other rancours could so easily fester, Cochrane remained calm, friendly and rigorously fair. He was devoted simply to giving the Herald‘s readers, and the Australian arts community, the best coverage he could.

Herald dance critic Jill Sykes recalls Cochrane’s exuberant sense of discovery as he made his way into a wide range of artforms that were new to him, and the trust he put in his writers.

Virginia Lovett got to know Cochrane when she worked for the Sydney Theatre Company and later Leo Schofield’s Sydney Festival. She wrote this week that Cochrane’s time as arts editor “represents a memory of Sydney and newspapers of what seems like another time”. She remembered him telling her once that he received around 800 press releases a week and, as “a true newspaper man, he made you do your job better, as he expected you to know what would be new or interesting to the reader”.

In later years, he moved on to become the Herald’s deputy foreign editor and then, a year later, in November 2006, its foreign editor. There, too, he left his mark as a consummate professional and a wonderful colleague.

In 2001, Cochrane – who had long parted from his first wife – fell in love with a colleague, Miranda Harman, then working as the Herald’s night editor.

Workplace romances are often deemed potential disaster zones but this one confounded any prophets of doom, blossoming into an enriching and enduring partnership for them both. Cochrane and Miranda married in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, where her parents were living, on August 31, 2002.

On their return to Sydney, they set up their home in Dulwich Hill where their first child, Grace, was born. Three years later a second daughter, Matilda, joined the family.

They wanted their daughters to have the sort of childhood they had both enjoyed, growing up in a less crowded environment, with cousins and family around, and they began contemplating a move back to Miranda’s birthplace of Hobart. They moved south at the end of 2008.

Miranda already had a job offer from the University of Tasmania and, so for a year, Cochrane had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home father, spending time with his cherished daughters, then aged three and five.

It was an opportunity he relished and a role he excelled in, becoming, says Miranda, a very popular figure among the many school mothers. The following year, he began work in the communications office for the university.

His colleague there, Jason Purdie, said Cochrane made a great contribution to the university’s profile in the community, describing him as “a superbly skilled editor and writer who delivered consistently outstanding, often beautiful, publications with unfailing good grace and humour”.

He noted – as so many friends and colleagues have done – Peter’s kindness and care for others and also – another consistent theme – his convivial personality. As Purdie memorably expressed it, he was “the needle in our epicurean compass, eyes lighting up at the prospect of a team dinner or morning tea”.

Throughout his life, Peter embraced whatever role he found himself in, bringing the same open mind and open heart to his life, his work, his friendships, and above all, to his family. Of the many roles he inhabited with such enthusiasm and commitment, none became him so well as that one.

Cochrane is survived by his father, Colin, his sisters, Beverley and Kayleen, and by Miranda, Gracie and Tilda.

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Teenage boy found after going missing at South Australia’s Mount Remarkable

A teenage boy has been found more than 18 hours after he went missing near a gorge in South Australia’s southern Flinders Ranges.

Logan Good, 13, wandered off from the Alligator Gorge car park, at the Mount Remarkable National Park, about 6:30pm last night and did not return.

A search by police, the Country Fire Service (CFS) and State Emergency Service (SES) began a short time later, assisted by police helicopters.

Search efforts resumed this morning and were concentrated in a fairly small area around Alligator Gorge.

Despite difficult conditions, including steep cliffs, search authorities said the boy was found a short time ago.

They are expected to provide an update to the media shortly.

“It’s pretty rough terrain in the Alligator Gorge area, lots of sheer cliffs,” SA Police Superintendent Mark Syrus said earlier today.

Mount Remarkable National Park is characterised by steep cliffs.(SA Tourism Commission)

Earlier, his mother Hayley Good said the family had endured a distressing night but never lost faith her son would be found.

“Logan was walking ahead of us when we lost sight of him during a hike yesterday afternoon, we called for help after he lost contact with us,” she said.

Alligator Gorge is located between Wilmington and Melrose in the southern Flinders Ranges.

“It’s a really spectacular but very, very rugged area,” said Yorke and Mid North Parks and Wildlife manager Craig Nixon.

“You’ve got to walk down into the gorge from a car park … it’s a rough and rugged trail.”

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Search underway for teenage boy missing at Mount Remarkable in SA’s Mid North

Emergency services are searching for a boy who has gone missing at the Mount Remarkable National Park in South Australia’s Mid North.

Logan Good, 13, wandered off from the Alligator Gorge car park about 6:30pm last night and did not return.

A search by SA Police, the Country Fire Service (CFS) and State Emergency Service (SES) began a short time later, assisted by a police helicopter, and continued into the early hours of this morning.

Emergency services remained at the scene overnight and the search resumed this morning.

SES regional duty officer Ben Birbeck said about 20 volunteers were now assisting with the search.

Alligator Gorge is located between Wilmington and Melrose in the southern Flinders Ranges.

Police said Logan is 170 centimetres tall with a medium build, short dark hair, a pale complexion and blue eyes.

A photograph taken of the teenager yesterday shows him wearing black shorts, black T-shirt and black desert boots.

Police have asked anyone who spots him or has information about his whereabouts to contact the police assistance line on 131 444, or triple-0.

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GOOD BOY: Officer Yogi sniffed out offenders during paw patrol

POLICE Dog Yogi showed his prowess in tracking down alleged offenders and helped to keep the Northern Rivers safe once again.

Officers from Richmond Police District will allege that shortly after midnight on Monday, January 4, a number of young persons had gained access to a property on Stapleton Ave, Casino, where they stole personal items, including car keys belonging to the 91-year-old male occupant.


Richmond Police District canine officer Yogi.

The youths aged 13 and 16 allegedly stole the occupants vehicle and left it unattended in Summerland Way, Casino.

Police located the vehicle a short time later where they established a perimeter and called for the assistance of the Police Dog Unit.

Police Dog Yogi picked up the scent and took his handler on an extensive track which led straight to the young persons.

The young persons were arrested and taken to Casino Police Station to be charged.

The 16-year-old was charged with offences including aggravated enter dwelling, Take and Drive conveyance without consent of owner, Possess housebreaking implements, Never licensed person drive vehicle on road, and larceny.

He has been Bail refused and set to appear before Casino Children’s Court on January 13, 2021.

The 13-year-old was charged with Aggravated enter dwelling, Larceny, and Be carried in conveyance taken without consent of owner.

He was granted conditional bail and set to appear again before Casino Children’s Court on the January 20.

Officers thanked Police Dog Yogi for his invaluable assistance.

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Murder investigation after boy, 13, stabbed to death in Reading | UK News

A murder investigation has been launched after a 13-year-old boy was stabbed to death.

Thames Valley Police were called to reports of a knife attack in Bugs Bottom fields in the Emmer Green area of Reading at around 3.50pm on Sunday.

The teenager died of his injuries at the scene. His family have been told and are being supported, however no formal identification has yet taken place.

No arrests have yet been made.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown, head of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, said: “This is a fast-moving and dynamic investigation, which is ongoing.

“We are in the very early stages of this investigation, but we believe that the victim was attacked by two or three males, who made off after the incident in the direction of Hunters Chase.

“There will be a very considerable police presence in the area of St Barnabas Road and Gravel Hill for a number of days, and we have a very large scene-watch in place.”

Local policing area commander for Reading, Superintendent Nick John, added: “I would like to re-assure the community that we are leaving no stone unturned in this investigation and we have deployed a large number of police officers and staff to the area.”

The public are being urged to contact the police with any details if they were in the Gravel Hill area and saw anything that could help with the investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident can call the 24-hour number 101, quoting incident reference 1069 of January 3.

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Beach conversion complete as ‘farm boy’ wins Sawtell honour

Fifty years ago, a self-described “farm boy” from Ebor would cruise down dirt tracks with his family in an old FJ Holden, ready to be burnt to a crisp by the summer sun on a seaside holiday in Sawtell.

Now that farm boy, Mick Migavigan, has been recognised as the Sawtellian of the Year, for his tireless work for the Surf Life Saving Club and beyond.

The Sawtellian of the Year and the inaugural Young Sawtellian of the Year were announced on Friday at the 101st Sawtell Super Fun Day with Mr Migavigan and 15-year-old Margaret McConnachie taking out top honours.

The New Year’s Day tradition recognises those who have made a significant contribution to the betterment of the town.

“I am giving away my age a bit but I can remember coming down to Sawtell and the trees in the middle (of the main street) were half the size,” he said.

“As a kid coming from Ebor – to see the beach was just so foreign then. It was an adventure you know, coming down the mountain, I don’t think it was sealed in those days. 

“And my love of the village grew.” 

Sawtellian of the year Mick Migavigan at the Sawtell Super Fun Day 2021. Photo: Tim Jarrett

Admitting to some nerves before the big announcement because he “had an inkling” something was up, Mr Migavigan said it was quite an honour to be recognised for his work, but emphasised his efforts through the years not done alone.

Mr Migavigan has been a volunteer at the Surf Life Saving Club for decades and was instrumental in founding a local morning swimming group, which is 30 years strong, and starting the triathlon club.

And speaking with a warm smile and his tongue placed firmly in his cheek, Mr Migavigan said there was something else that set him apart.

“Everybody is a Sawtellian of the Year because they are all helping people and doing their bit (especially through the pandemic), but I am bit eccentric and have a funny hat so I make sure I get seen doing these things.”

“If you mow the lawn, do it when they can hear it, you see – and then they know you are around.”

The first ever Young Sawtellian of the Year, Margaret McConnachie, has been training with the Sawtell Surf Club since she was just five years old, becoming a volunteer patrol member four years ago.

She has also gained a reputation as a fierce competitor, adding a number of Surf Life Saving and Iron Woman accolades to her list of sporting achievements.

Young Sawtellian of the Year Margaret McConnachie. Photo: Tim Jarrett

Young Sawtellian of the Year Margaret McConnachie. Photo: Tim Jarrett

Ms McConnachie said making the Under-17 Iron Woman final in Burleigh Heads was a real highlight given she was just 15, and she also took out first and third place in events at the SLS Country Championships.

She laughs when discussing her rigorous training schedule, and said “she would hope” she is a lot fitter than the average teenager, singling out her coaches, Greg Russell, Shaun Golding and Kim Roach for helping her get to where she was.

Ms McConnachie is also a serious competitor out of the water, playing rugby league with the Sawtell Panthers and Rugby Union with the SCU Marlins and was looking forward to building on last year’s work.

“(Winning the award) is pretty special,” she said.

“I love the surf club, I grew up in it and it has always been my favourite.

“We are out in the water every single day training and getting ready for competitions.”

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