Hawkesbury Australia Day Winners Announced

The Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards are an integral part of Australia Day celebrations, recognising and honouring the outstanding achievements of everyday Australians in the Hawkesbury. The reinvigorated awards program which was launched on Australia Day in 2016, will again celebrate some remarkable people in 2017.

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett said that the Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards are an important way for the contributions of those in the Hawkesbury to be recognised.

“Year after year, an abundance of worthy individuals and organisations are nominated for these awards. It’s truly remarkable to meet these special people and celebrate the way they have contributed to the Hawkesbury community,” the Mayor said.

“I am proud to stand here and praise them for their efforts and cannot wait to see what 2017 brings for them and the people they work with.”

The 2017 Hawkesbury Australia Day Awards are proudly brought to you by Hawkesbury City Council.

The 2017 Hawkesbury Australia Day Australia Day Award Winners are:

  • The 2017 Citizen of the Year is awarded to Yvonne Tuckerman

Yvonne has contributed to the Hawkesbury Community on a broad front for many years. She has been a volunteer for Hawkesbury/Colo Meals On Wheels for over 30 years.

She has also actively supported the Rotary Club of Richmond, particularly in the canteen operated by the Club at the Annual Hawkesbury Show. She also actively supports The Inner Wheel Club and has held executive positions with the Club.

Yvonne has been a volunteer for several organisations such as the Hawkesbury Regional Museum, Hawkesbury Library, and Kurmond Public School. She has assisted and volunteered at school canteens throughout her children’s and grandchildren’s years at school.

Yvonne actively contributes to the needs of the aged in our community. She has worked at the Uniting Aged Care Centre for several years. Yvonne provides help to individuals in our community who are in need.

  • The 2017 Young Citizen of the Year is Rhiannon Williams

Rhiannon is a remarkable young person. She has been an active member of the Windsor Swim Club by fundraising and helping organise events. When not swimming at club nights on Fridays, she assists with the BBQ, including set up and pack away. Rhiannon has gained accreditation as an announcer for Swimming NSW and remains as an encouragement to younger competitors to stay swimming.

She is a fantastic representative for the Salvation Army, St Matthew’s Church, and is a leader at her high school. She has undertaken volunteer duty at the school farm not only during the week, but on weekends and holidays, and helps to exhibits goats each year at the Royal Easter Show. She has been selected by the school to participate in the SRC Step Up and Lead Leadership Programme and has undertaken selling raffle tickets for her school, so far single-handedly raised $3,500.

  • A Volunteer of the Year is awarded to Barry Adams

Barry has been a member of Hawkesbury Hospital's Community Board of Advice (CBOA) and is the outgoing Chairman of the CBOA - a position he has held since 2013. Barry's Chairmanship of the CBOA spans throughout the Hawkesbury Hospital's transition from Catholic Health Care to St John of God's. Under his leadership, the CBOA helped ensure sustainability and quality of the services available at the Hospital and that service delivery is not in any way affected by the dynamics of change.

As Chair of the CBOA, Barry has also been the community's advocate in the Nepean Blue Mountains Medicare Local. Barry was also a member of the San Miguel Family Centre's (now known as Boystown) Support Board for over nine years and has been involved in a number of other fundraising programs.

  • A Volunteer of the Year is awarded to Vicki Case

Vicki was instrumental in organising the 2016 Ebenezer Church Spring Fair. Also in 2016, Vicki and her dog graduated as a therapy dog and handler. She now visits hospitals, nursing homes and respite centres and brings joy to the patients/residents (in her own time and at her own expense).

Vicki has also aligned herself with Hawkesbury Living Cancer Trust, producing donation and thank you letters in her own time. She is in the process of obtaining donations of wool for much needed beanies for future patients. She has researched possible donors and sends them letters requesting their assistance. In 2016 Vicki donated $2,000 to the Hawkesbury Living Cancer Trust. Vicki also donated monies to the Ebenezer Spring Fair, along with numerous raffle prizes which she acquired at no cost to the charity.

  • The 2017 Community Organisation of the Year is Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands

Hawkesbury Helping Hands have endeavoured to provide nourishing food, social contact and a sense of community for many homeless individuals and those struggling financially. The group also provides emergency aid hampers, warm clothes, warm bedding including swags and valuable empathic human contact. The volunteers cook and provide an average of 50 meals three times a week, 52 weeks each year. Without Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands, many of those who access this service, the most underprivileged in our community, would go hungry and without valuable social contact.

Thirty-five average Hawkesbury people work together to ensure that others in their community have their most basic needs met. On top of a blanket or some food, a smile and a conversation with a volunteer which might be the only time that day that the person connects, is respected and are shown they are valuable.

  • The Joint Local Hero Award is awarded to John Breaden and Stephen Richards, NSW Police Force

In 2013 John and Stephen created a local driving awareness program (Hawkesbury Young Driver Awareness Program) to address an over representation of young drivers involved in fatal and serious crashes in the Hawkesbury. The Program has seen a total of 782 participants to date, including 391 students aged 15 to 18.

The Officers designed this Program in their own time, it is not a NSW Police Force initiative. The Officers state that they designed this Program because they do not believe that enforcement is enough when dealing with young drivers, the right messages had to be conveyed to these drivers before they were driving on the roads. As the Program is not run or funded through NSW Police Force continued support from local business is imperative to fund advertising material to promote the Program.

This Program has been well received by groups and parents, who have returned year after year as their children approaches driving age.

  • The Hawkesbury Community Arts Award  is awarded to Peta Gray

As Head Principal of Accent on Dance Ballet Academy, Peta has personally overseen the achievements of her many students in both their exams and performances. Some of the personal achievements of Peta's are the many qualifications she has attained in ballet.

Her Dance Academy "Accent on Dance" students, with her guidance have performed at Dreamworld and Movieworld on the Gold Coast, Queensland; attended workshops and danced at Disneyland, California; "The Edge" dance studios in Hollywood; a Musical Theatre tour of Las Vegas in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011 and were part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Also, at the Gymnastic Olympic Gala and winners of the National Australia Bank Dance the Dream Competition 2009. Her pupils were also recently selected to perform at the Royal Academy of Dance 80th Anniversary in 2015.

  • The recipient of the Hawkesbury Cultural Heritage Award is Carolynne Cooper

Carolynne Cooper is a researcher with Colo Shire Family History Group Inc. During the past year she has been a key asset as the team leader and main digital archivist for the group.

Her volunteer work entails expert restoration of old photos given to the family history group and her expertise in the production of booklets, flyers and brochures for the group's activities, which are well-recognised throughout the Hawkesbury.

Prior to the formation of Colo Shire Family History Group in November 2015, Carolynne played a key part in the Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society's Family History Group. In that role she was the team leader for the initiative and production of the transcripts of the Parish Registers of St Stephen's Anglican Church at Kurrajong and is continuing to work on those records for the Group.

  • The Hawkesbury Environmental Award is awarded to Les Dollin

Since 2007 Les has been collecting rubbish along the road sides, mowing, cutting vines and clearing road signs that are covered with vegetation. Les started by mowing along Comleroy Road and now does around Kurmond School, Colo High and along the common leading to Richmond, all in his own time.

Les is retired, and is a very hard worker committed to beautifying this area for all to see.

This outstanding achievement has had many beneficial effects including saving a large stand of native Hibiscus trees previously under threat of extinction. The area is now one to be proud of due to Les's incredible dedication and hard work.

  • The 2017 Commemorative Plaque was unveiled for Emeritus Mayor, Dr Rex Stubbs OAM

Emeritus Mayor, Dr Rex Stubbs OAM (1950-2010), a highly esteemed Mayor of Hawkesbury, was elected to Hawkesbury City Council in 1983 and held office for nearly 27 years which made him our longest serving Councillor.

Having served 10 terms as Mayor of Hawkesbury and one term as Deputy Mayor, Dr Stubbs was a truly dedicated member of our community who worked tirelessly to ensure that the Hawkesbury got a major cultural centre in Windsor, now called the Deerubbin Centre.

The Centre incorporates Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and Hawkesbury Library as well as the restored old Hawkesbury Hospital. Extending beyond the Centre and yet close by the cultural hub is the Hawkesbury Regional Museum in Howe Street, Windsor.

Dr Stubbs was well known for his support of the arts generally and for his love of history in particular.

Dr Stubbs was an active member of a number of local groups, including Hawkesbury Historical Society, of which he was President from 1992 to 2010, during which time he provided an invaluable contribution to the Hawkesbury Pioneer Register (a series of short stories about Hawkesbury pioneer families). As a descendant of six generations of Hawkesbury families, he was devoted to the Hawkesbury community and the historical significance of the area.

Following the passing of Dr Stubbs in 2010, Council resolved to remember his contribution by funding an annual cultural activity named after him to promote the study and appreciation of local history. As a result, Council’s Cultural Services Branch now hosts an annual history symposium Dr Stubb’s memory.

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