CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Sheila Aveling, from Tintenbar, was named Ballina Shire’s Citizen of the Year on Australia Day.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Sheila Aveling, from Tintenbar, was named Ballina Shire’s Citizen of the Year on Australia Day.

Sheila is top citizen

SHEILA Aveling had to mention the toilet.


When the Tintenbar woman accepted her award as Ballina Shire’s Citizen of the Year on Australia Day, she admitted the toilet was a ‘funny thing’ to talk about.


However, the refurbished toilet block at Tintenbar Hall has been a major project of the hall committee over about four years.


Sheila oversaw the installation of the toilet block, including a wheelchair-accessible toilet which was officially opened late last year, and the commercial kitchen and kitchenette for the hall.


And she has organised events over the years to raise $150,000 for the renovations.


Sheila moved to Tintenbar 21 years ago and has been on the hall committee for 15 years.


She said that when she arrived in the rural community, she could see the potential of the hall.


“It was falling down and we had the inspiration to do something with it,” she said.


She agreed the hall was the ‘hub of the community’. And she said it was being used by the community.


In accepting her award, Sheila said she was ‘humbled’.


“Because there is a lot of other people out there who deserve so many awards,” she said.


“It’s (the award) not about me – it’s about all of us who love doing things.”


She thanked family and friends for their support.


The award also acknowledged Sheila’s other community pursuits.


She raised over $12,000 for The Cancer Council to assist in research for breast cancer, and provided personal support to a number of women who had terminal cancer.


She has been on the board of Ballina’s community radio station, Paradise FM, for past the eight years.


And she has represented and advocated for C Ward and B Ward residents on the Ballina Shire’s council ward committees.


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