Sydney author James Fry is this year’s Dungog Shire Australia Day ambassador.
My Fry will be the special guest at the ceremony at the James Theatre in Brown Street on Friday, January 26.
Following a free breakfast from 8am the official award ceremony will start at 9am naming the Dungog Shire Citizen of the Year.
Other awards include Volunteer Service to the Community, Volunteer Service to Sport and Junior Sports Award.
Certificates for those people who assisted in some way during or after the April superstorm event in 2015 will also be available on the day.
Following years of bullying in primary school, James Fry’s life spiralled in to drug abuse and juvenile delinquency. Searching for meaning he even spent time in a notorious far right extremist group in his early teens.
This turbulent period of his life was captured in his 2015 memoir That Fry Boy.
Having turned his life around, he then went on to work directly with at risk youth and has most recently focused specifically on the field of countering violent extremism. This has seen James travel to Jakarta as the key note speaker for Google’s regional Countering Violent Extremism summit, through to working with young offenders in maximum security facilities.
James is a firm believer that strong and vibrant communities are ultimately safe ones. And that when a community is healthy, sick ideologies find it difficult to take root.
Recently appointed as a Multicultural NSW Ambassador, he champions their Remove The Hate from the Debate campaign, which aims to equip young people with a range of tools to deal with hate speech they may encounter online.
Read about the nominees: