Singleton’s outstanding citizens honoured in Australia Day celebrations


A long-standing stalwart of the community who has raised more than $60,000 for Singleton youth, and a teenager known as “Superfish” who is setting records and inspiring athletes of all abilities have been honoured at today’s Australia Day celebrations in Singleton.

Gary Holland, the man behind the not-for-profit “Dolly’s Charity Shop” and a volunteer with a range of community initiatives including the Anglican Church, Samaritans Christmas Day lunch, Apex Club and Red Cross Disaster disaster support team, was named the 2020 Singleton Citizen of the Year.

Darcy Gilson, who has continued to put Singleton on the map in the national multi-class swimming scene for swimmers with a disability and who holds State and Australian records in the Athletes with a Disability (AWD) class, was named the Young Achiever of the Year.

The announcements were made as part of the official ceremony this morning, where 38 new Australian citizens were also welcomed and Australia Day guest John Flannery delivered the address on the meaning of Australia Day in Singleton.

Mr Flannery is a former general manager of Singleton Council who led the construction of Council’s Administration Building and Civic Centre during his tenure and, although born in Parkes and raised Sydney, has been an integral part of Singleton’s most recent milestones including the Shire Clerk of the amalgamated Singleton Municipal and Patrick Plains Shire councils.

Now retired, he continues to serve the Singleton community through involvement in a range of organisations and championing the local government area across a range of industries.

Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore said it was wonderful to see so many people come out to celebrate Australia Day in Singleton at last night’s free family event, Twilight, as well as at today’s official proceedings.

“Australia Day is a great occasion to come together to celebrate what we all have in common as Australians, and to recognise the privileges and freedoms that come with Australian citizenship,” she said.

“It’s a very significant occasion for the 38 people who chose to become Australians in Singleton, and I was honoured to be part of it.”

She also paid tribute to the nominees for the Citizen of the Year and Young Achiever of the Year.

“Australia Day has become a tradition to recognise those Australians among us who go a little bit further to make our community great, and it’s one of the most humbling parts of my role as mayor to present the Citizen of the Year and Young Achiever of the Year awards,” Cr Moore said.

“I sincerely congratulate Gary Holland and Darcy Gilson on this prestigious honour, and thank everyone who was nominated for all you do for our community.”