Parkes will soon be losing one of its most talented sport medics as local physiotherapist Sharon Dixon prepares for a sea change.
Sharon was one of the 15 new Australian citizens who made the pledge during a citizenship ceremony at Parkes Shire Council's February 19 meeting.
Mayor Ken Keith OAM, who conducted the ceremony, also revealed that after 26 years of calling Parkes home, Sharon and husband - local golfer - Peter Dixon were moving to Mullumbimby.
Peter has already made the move after accepting a new job at Mullumbimby High School, where he will be setting up the special education unit's tutorial department.
Sharon, who's originally from Trinidad and Tobago, came to Australia in 1993 after meeting Peter in a rugby club in Dublin, Ireland, where she was living at the time.
She moved to Australia and straight to Parkes, where the couple were married on February 16, 1993.
"I was already a physiotherapist in Ireland where I worked with international athletes, international rugby teams, Paralympians and Olympians," she said.
"We moved to Parkes because Peter liked Parkes' golf course, he started at Parkes High School and had been there ever since," she laughed.
"He was a science teacher originally but then moved to special education and set up the tutorial department at the high school 17 years ago. There are only five in NSW."
Sharon said she'll be moving to join Peter on the north coast once she sells her practice in town.
Cr Keith took the opportunity at the council meeting to present Sharon a Parkes medallion for her years of service to Parkes, particularly in sport.
Sharon is Parkes' Trainer of the Year, being awarded the accolade at this year's Parkes Shire Sport Awards on Australia Day.
Her years of service to hockey, in particular men’s masters teams, on the state, national and international stage has earned her much recognition.
Last year was Sharon’s 14th year representing NSW men’s masters hockey as a physiotherapist – the last six as head of medical, with six to nine therapists under her guidance.
She has also represented Australia at eight international championships, including Trans Tasman Masters tournaments and world cups, selected from a field of medics from around Australia.