Recognition for some of Ku-ring-gai’s most selfless citizens was given at last Friday’s Australia Day celebrations at Bicentennial Park West Pymble.
The Ku-ring-gai Australia Day Awards are presented each year in recognition of groups and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the local community.
Five awards – the Group Award for Outstanding Service, two Individual Awards for Outstanding Service, Young Citizen of the Year and the Citizen of the Year – were presented by Mayor Jennifer Anderson, Councillors and Australia Day Ambassador Paul Murray.
The Group Award was presented to Ku-ring-gai Neighbourhood Centre which operates out of St Ives. With over 20 community programs, the Centre helps local residents who are disadvantaged or need assistance with everyday tasks such as transport, shopping, learning English and socialising. Last year, the Centre helped over 50,000 individuals and gave more than 100,000 hours of service to the local community.
The first Individual Award was presented to Jo-Anne Perry, who for more than 26 years has been a cornerstone of the Ku-ring-gai Netball Club and the Wahroonga Netball Club. Her roles have ranged from Coach, Treasurer, website manager, Secretary and Vice President. Jo-Anne embraces each role that she holds, stepping in to cover other roles when needed for the Wahroonga Netball Club, Ku-ring-gai Netball Association and North Shore United.
The second Individual Award was given to retired Commonwealth Bank Executive Richard Babb. Richard is the Vice President of the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Parkinson’s Support Group and has been working with them as a volunteer for the last 15 years. Richard has been instrumental in building the group’s profile and reaching out to local residents who are experiencing Parkinson’s. Richard has also played a significant part in helping set up the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter, to assist local women affected by domestic violence.
Ku-ring-gai’s Young Citizen of the Year is 21-year-old Hannah Burn. Hannah is the Volunteer Coordinator at St James Anglican Church in Turramurra, supporting and overseeing six voluntary teams who regularly visit nursing homes, provide gardening support for the elderly and practical assistance to families in crisis. Hannah coordinates the teams, manages the volunteers, sets up appointments and has gone above and beyond for families in crisis, putting in countless unpaid hours into helping those in need.
Ku-ring-gai’s Citizen of the Year is Peter Kirkwood. As a resident of Sydney’s Upper North Shore for nearly 30 years, Peter has been hugely involved in helping the local community through the Rotary Club of Wahroonga, Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai PCYC, Hornsby Community Safety Precinct Committee, Ku-ring-gai Police Community Safety Committee and St Paul’s Anglican Church.
Peter has shown great dedication in helping local people, playing a major role in helping the PCYC redevelop their site into an amazing new facility. Peter has also initiated projects focusing on youth and disability, established vocational programs for Hornsby TAFE and helped drive the Indigenous children’s active health project.
Mayor Jennifer Anderson said all those receiving this year’s awards had demonstrated ‘extraordinary effort in helping their local community without any thought of reward.’
“I congratulate all the winners for their selfless service and the many hundreds of other volunteers who work seven days a week round the clock to help local people.”
“Australia Day is the perfect day to recognise their contribution.”
Around 4000 people attended a packed program of performances on Australia Day which included the Wild Aussies Kids Show, the Australian Reptile Show, live music by the Handpicked Band and cultural performances by The Freeman Dancers and the Indian Dance Centre.
Other activities included an animal farm, inflatable rides, arts and crafts, face painting, Aussie tattoos, sheep shearing, dog trials, whip cracking and thong throwing
Major sponsors of the Ku-ring-gai Australia Day celebrations were Crystal productions, the YMCA, Savills and The Vision China Times.
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