Farmer named as Australia Day Citizen of the Year

STEPPING OUT: Top citizen Don Smallacombe steps out as a torch-bearer for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, running through Yacka in the Mid North.

STEPPING OUT: Top citizen Don Smallacombe steps out as a torch-bearer for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, running through Yacka in the Mid North.

Don Smallacombe, Citizen of the Year, has fond memories of the days when he crammed his blue Ford utility with junior cricketers and set off for matches in the Mid North.

Farmer and grazier Mr Smallacombe, 69, of Georgetown, was named Northern Areas Council's Australia Day Citizen of the Year partly for his efforts in promoting sport.

He used to ferry the young players around because they lacked driver's licences and it was the best way to transport them to the pitches.

"We had junior cricket at that stage. Much to my sadness there are only about one-and-a-half junior cricket teams left in the association," he said.

"We used to travel to Jamestown, Laura, Redhill and Crystal Brook.

"A lot of the kids still talk about that ... they are men now. I just see a few of them. One calls in every month from work in Adelaide. He has kept in touch.

"Someone in Port Pirie now has the utility, a Falcon XM, and it was to be restored."

His big heart is like a beacon - and, in fact, he carried the Olympic Torch through Yacka on its way around Australia to the Sydney Games in 2000.

Northern Areas Council Mayor Denis Clark, told of Mr Smallacombe's honour.

Mr Smallacombe has given his time to not only the Georgetown district, but the wider community for more than 50 years as a quiet achiever. He has been a Country Fire Service volunteer for 30 years, was an elected member of the Rocky River District Council, member of the Georgetown Community Development Association and its predecessor since 1988 and oversaw the maintenance of the Georgetown Memorial Recreation Grounds.

He was in the 1969-70 Georgetown-Caltowie premiership cricket team and association secretary.

He played for Georgetown-Caltowie Football Club and was involved in bowls, having been a member of the Georgetown Bowling Club for 30 years, winning the club championship nine times. He contributed to Gladstone High School.

Junior Citizen: P5 

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