Our Say: The real wealth of the region is our people

The creativity, courage, talent, skills, drive and dedication embedded in the Orana community has been showcased and reflects only a handful of residents’ attributes.

Individuals, businesses and organisations from the region have been honoured at a range of award ceremonies where their achievements stood out.

There have been so many award winners it is not possible to list them all. But, a snapshot of success stories in the past 10 days points to the “right stuff” of which the region is made.

Five teachers from Dubbo were winners of TAFE Western Institute Director’s 2016 awards for “excellence by an individual”. Two colleagues won awards for contributions to building reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff. All their efforts contribute hugely to the success of students.

Seventeen exceptional volunteers -- whose community activities range from advocating road safety to long service with Meals on Wheels – received Dubbo Day awards. All show the strength of our community and don’t expect recognition for their efforts. Their commitment to the community is priceless.

In the NSW Tourism Awards, Taronga Western Plains Zoo received gold in two categories – one of them a third consecutive victory for which the zoo was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Old Dubbo Gaol won bronze for Cultural Tourism. Both venues are major drivers of Dubbo’s invaluable tourism industry and economy.

Local transport company Transforce won the Excellence in Business award at the NSW Business Chamber State Awards. It competed with 16 other businesses from other areas. Transforce won Dubbo’s 2016 Gold Rhino. It is a stand-out example on environmental sustainability to other companies.

Orana women won 11 of the 16 categories in the Women Out West awards, given to those who show outstanding achievements in a wide range of fields from business to home. Their individual and combined impacts on the well-being of the community are massive.

A Dubbo bartender won the top NSW/ACT spot in the Leukaemia Foundation’s U.G.L.Y Bartender of the Year fundraising campaign. She showed herself to be selfless and humble.

There are many more, who may not have been recognised, but still drive the region and community forward. They are all winners, too.