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Georges River Australia Day Award winners announced

27/01/2021

Young Citizen of the Year

Kurt Cheng

As a member of the Georges River Council Youth Advisory Committee (GRC YAC), Kurt was instrumental in introducing the first mental health program in partnership with Headspace in 2019/20. This partnership saw mobile Headspace booths across GRC public libraries, catering to Year 11 and 12 students undertaking the HSC.
 
This project was aimed at low socioeconomic and sociocultural young people who experience mental health challenges.
 
Overall, the program was well commended and has now been adopted as an annual program by GRC YAC for the years to come, and will no doubt benefit many students in the Georges River community.
 
Kurt is a positive role model and an inspiration because of his ambition and drive to lead community-based projects and harness the resources available. He genuinely embodies the concept of 'being the change you want to see in the world'.

 

Green Advocate of the Year

Sofia Carvajal

Sofia has been the President of the Hurstville Community Garden Association (HCGA) for over two years and right from the get-go, her passion for advocating for green open space and sustainability education makes her an exceptionally well qualified recipient of Green Advocate of the Year. Sofia’s passion for climate change education and activism has led her to play an impressive role in the garden community as well as in the local community in the Georges River area.
 
Thanks to Sofia’s efforts, the Hurstville Community Garden (HCG) now has membership at full capacity. The HCG now also has a diverse, comprehensive, and accessible online presence in English and Mandarin, taking into consideration the background of many Hurstville residents.

 
Along with other committee members, Sofia has been organising and running clean- up activities and composting and gardening workshops in English and Mandarin.
 
The feedback from participants during events and workshops conducted in the garden were overwhelmingly positive and inspiring. They view and tag the garden as an "urban oasis", showcasing organic production of food sources and promoting sensory stimulation offered by the many colourful plants, healing herbs and great tasty vegetables.
 
Sofia's passion and innovative ideas are an inspiration to her garden family as well as the wider community.
 

Volunteer and Citizen of the Year 2021

Colin Eric Campbell

Colin gives freely of his time to a number of community areas, as a volunteer. He has been with the Lugarno Lions Club since 2001 and is very much involved with their Christmas Cake fundraiser each year, he runs the entertainment at their huge Lugarno Spring Fair and has done so for many years, he also assists with the entertainment at the Oatley Village Festival for the Oatley Lions Club, he helps with the St George Sing Australia Choirs as their entertainment arranger and a singer in the choir, and plays the piano, and is the Musical Director for the Riverwood Hornets Marching Band.

Colin shows to all that anything is possible if you put in the time and effort. He truly enjoys seeing others achieve their goals and there are so many out there in the community that have benefited greatly from Colin’s selfless and inspiring volunteering.

Colin is an accomplished musician and retired Army musician, who was responsible for the introduction of training programs, music and tuition for cadets in wind and brass instruments.

Colin was instrumental in training and preparations for the Squadron Marching Band performance at the 2013 and 2015 World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) World Championship competitions in Japan and Denmark respectively, which resulted in Bronze Medal winning performances, all attributed to Colin's help and dedication to assisting Hornets cadets.

Colin is very much an all-rounder; a dedicated and passionate advocate for serving the community without favour. A true ‘quiet achiever’, he has a big heart and is a great guy.
 

COVID-19 Hero

 1. St George Police

The St George Police have been on the frontline with COVID-19 policing to ensure compliance with Public Health Orders, hotel quarantine, airport screening, border patrols – all while trying to undertake their normal policing as well, within their staffing resources.

The St George Police have worked within the challenges presented by social distancing and have also been responsible for dispersing disperse groups or parties that didn’t maintain the proper numbers. Carrying out this work during a very uncertain time, with increased risk factors, demonstrates great courage.

Throughout this period, with all the measures put in place, we are pleased to report that not one member of the St George Police Area Command has contracted COVID-19. Our local police have worked with great dedication and extreme care to help keep our community safe.


COVID-19 Hero

2. St George Hospital

St George Hospital has always had an excellent reputation in our community. It is a major trauma hospital and it has also had to cope with the onslaught of this COVID- 19 pandemic.

When most of us stayed home and safe, our doctors, nurses and hospital staff still turned up to work their shifts and tend to the community.

They have displayed a highly professional approach during unprecedented times, and all for our community’s benefit. Not knowing what each day would bring and working with the risk of contracting COVID-19 themselves whilst helping the community, these hospital staff still kept serving us.

To keep providing service in the face of their fears during this time must be recognised. Nobody knew what to expect as we, as a community, had not been tested with these kinds of problems before. They showed true bravery and dedication to service.


For more information please visit georgesriver.nsw.gov.au or phone 9330 6400.

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