Janine Katon bowls over competition to claim Aberdeen's 2020 Citizen of the Year crown

RESIDENTS from throughout Aberdeen have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication across a number of disciplines.

The Australia Day awards took place on Sunday, January 26, and some highly-deserving members of the community went home with new prizes and titles.

The most significant of which was Janine Katon, who was on hand to pick up her Aberdeen 2020 Citizen of the Year award, and she revealed the win was a total surprise to her.

"I was in shock, I'm very excited, I didn't expect it but it's a great honour," she stated.

Her contribution to the community can be seen through a number of different activities, although the most prominent of which would be her achievements in bowls.

On top of coaching juniors and umpiring, she is also still among the sport's elite within the country and has brought great pride to Aberdeen throughout the years - perhaps most notably in 2014 when she defeated Karen Murphy, who was a six-time national champion at the time.

When asked whether there was any end in sight for her career, she gave an emphatic answer.

"I'm still enjoying it, bowls is supposed to be an old person's sport and I'm not quite that old yet," she said.

"So, I've probably got a few more years in me yet."

Ms Katon thanked her teammates and people within the club for her success.

The prestigious Young Citizen of the Year award went to Bella-Rose Partridge, and given her accomplishments in 2019 it's not difficult to see why.

On top of being one of the town's best performers in little athletics, the 15-year-old has donated her time to help others.

"I've been doing disability [work] for all the disability kids and I might be doing a TAFE course later this year for it," she said.

Someone else who would be walking away from the ceremony with a smile would be Caitlin Brown of St Joseph's High School, who claimed the prize for both the School Achievement Award and Creative Arts Excellence Award.

Carole and Bob Johnston joined her on the winner's list by securing the Achievers of the Year award due to their work with Aberdeen Treasures.

Runner Ruby Brochtrup was the Young Achiever of the Year thanks to her multiple athletic exploits.

Meanwhile, WWII veteran Joan Johnston displayed her sharp sense of humour while accepting the special award for Ongoing Commitment to the Local Community thanks to her work with Aberdeen Treasures.

A spate of other awards were presented to Scone, Merriwa, Muswellbrook and Murrurundi locals, with the latter featuring the Upper Hunter Shire's Citizen of the Year, Justine Cooper.