spreads (20).gif

Bega Council celebrates its Citizens of the Year

Bega Valley Shire Council announce that the following Citizens of the Year, who will be formally recognised for their achievements at the Australia Day celebrations in Littleton Gardens, Bega, on Tuesday 26 January, starting at 7am with a free breakfast and the awards at 8.30am. CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD – BRADLEY ROSS

Acting Sergeant Bradley Ross has been a serving member of NSW Police for 30 years and a member of the Bega Valley community since April 1996, when he was transferred to Eden to perform general and part-time water police duties.

Brad played a pivotal role in the 2018 Tathra bushfire disaster as Police Liaison Officer, assisting NSW Police Chief Inspector Peter Volf in his role as Local Emergency Operations Controller (LEOCON). Brad’s work during and after the disaster laid the foundation for his commitment to emergency management.


Susan Bear, a former teacher, is a quiet achiever with a big heart who has supported the Bega Valley community for decades, never expecting anything in return for her hard work and diligence.

Susan was the driving force behind the Cobargo Skate Park, providing invaluable advice on governance and running committees when the skate club was formed 15 years ago.

The addition of a BMX track and basketball/netball court was also actively supported by Susan, resulting in a top-rate BMX track and a great sporting facility the young people in Cobargo can call their own.

Read full citation: Benjamin Neville, Young Citizen of the Year

Ben, from Eden, is an active participant in his local community and at 17 years of age, has many notable achievements under his belt already.

In 2019, Ben participated in the NSW Department of Education’s Secretary for a Day program, workshopping several significant issues, including good cyber behaviour. He was able to bring back to Eden Marine High School his exploration into different online cyber leader resources on safe, positive and responsible digital behaviour.

In 2020, he was shortlisted for the NSW Department of Education’s Minister’s Student Council’s Student Steering Committee.


Angela Kane’s actions following the Black Summer bushfires exemplify the care and support provided by so many individuals across the Bega Valley.

Angela, from Cobargo, was instrumental in ensuring local farmers had access to stock feed after the fires in Cobargo and surrounds.

The Cobargo and District Emergency Hay Fund raised in excess of $100,000 to purchase feed, which was donated to local farmers under Angela’s co-ordination.


Rod McDonald grew up in Bega and is a passionate and active supporter of the Bega Valley community, giving his time and energy to a broad range of activities and causes.

His enthusiasm for fitness has seen him spend many hours promoting junior sport, fostering a love of activity and healthy living in the next generation. Rod has been actively involved with the Bega/Angledale Cricket Club, Bega Bombers, Bega/Tathra Soccer Competition, the Bega Roosters and Bega Parkrun.

Rod has been President of the Bega Valley Public School's Parents & Community since 2015.

Read full citation:


In the early hours of New Year’s Eve, with the fire raging around Cobargo and surrounds, Tarnie Long rang his friend, Jack Lafferty, to check that he and his family, Daniel Lafferty and Gabrielle Powell, were safe on their Coolagolite farm.

Jack was in Jindabyne at the time and didn’t know how bad the situation was. He had tried to call his parents, but hadn’t been able to get through.

So Tarnie made the decision to go out and check, and on the way met up with his and Jack’s friend, Bradley Jamieson. When Brad found out Tarnie was going to the Lafferty and Powell property, he decided to go too.

Tarnie and Bradley drove through firestorm spotting until they got to the farm at about 4.30am.


Chief Inspector Volf (top photo) has served in the NSW Police for 37 years and more than 20 years have been spent in the Far South Coast Local Area Command, encompassing Batemans Bay, Moruya/Narooma and the Bega Valley.

Along with being the Officer-In-Charge of the Bega Valley Sector, Chief Inspector Volf has served as LEOCON (Local Emergency Operations Controller) during the Tathra and district, Yankees Gap and Black Summer bushfires.

His strong leadership was integral in the coordination and emergency management response to the bushfires and COVID-19 challenges faced by our community.

Over his long career of serving the community, Chief Inspector Volf has received a Commissioners Commendation for Bravery, National Medal, NSW Police Medal and a National Police Service Medal.


Dales Whyte (bottom photo) is the local Business Connect advisor for Bega and region. He has operated five businesses and enjoys passing on his knowledge, as well as providing personalised advice to his clients.

While Dales has always operated businesses, he has a distinguished career encompassing broadcasting, journalism, emergency services, defence and the not-for-profit sector.

Dales believes in giving back to the community and is extremely happy to be able to help Council with its official Australia Day activities. Bega Valley Shire Council invites Bega Valley residents to its COVIDSafe Australia Day celebrations, which will begin at 7am on Tuesday 26 January with a free breakfast in Bega’s Littleton Gardens.

"At 8.30am, we will recognise and celebrate the achievements and community contributions of our 2021 Citizens of the Year and Australia Day Award winners.

  • Acting Sergeant Bradley Ross is Citizen of the Year;

  • Susan Bear is Senior Citizen of the Year;

  • Benjamin Neville is Young Citizen of the Year; and

  • Local Australia Day Awards will be awarded to Rodney McDonald, Angela Kane, Tarnie Long and Bradley Jamieson.

"We will also welcome our latest new Australians at an official Australian Citizenship Ceremony.

Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick is looking forward to the gathering, where we will be able to reflect, respect and celebrate Australia Day.

“This year we reflect on the resilience of our communities, and the spirit of helping and giving that defines us as Australians,” he said.

“We respect the selfless sacrifice of first responders and frontline workers who put the safety and well-being of others before their own.

“And we celebrate those who worked through fire, flood and pandemic to protect life and property and keep our nation going.”

Master of Ceremonies for the Australia Day event will be Dales Whyte and special guest speaker Chief Inspector Peter Volf from NSW Police.

Local entertainment will also be provided throughout the morning.

As this is a COVIDSafe event, Service NSW QR check-in is required - please do not attend if you feel unwell. COVID Marshalls will also be on hand to assist people."

COMMENTS : Due to the risks associated with comments from unidentified contributors that expose The Beagle to possible legal actions under the NSW Defamation Act 2005 No 77 anonymous or Nom de Plume comments will not be available unless the author is known to the editor by way of a verified email address or by association.

Others who provide their REAL NAME (first name AND Surname) and a verifiable email address (it won't be published) are invited to comment below. (yes it is a pain but please comply - it would be a  shame to see your comment deleted)

Those contributors KNOWN to us and verified may continue to use their First Name or Nom de plume for ease. The primary need for all of this is due to traceability should a legal action arise.

If you need anonymity email us via our normal or encrypted email accounts

Please note that if you are looking for a previous comment that is no longer visible please contact us.