Previous Citizenship Award winners

In This Section

2019 Woollahra Citizenship Awards

2019 Citizen of the Year: Kim Edwards
Kim has been with Waverley-Woollahra SES for 15 years and has been Unit Commander for 9 years. Her role is to assume overall command and control of the local emergency services provided by the unit in times of storm and flood. She coordinates the SES’s overall operations which include training, community outreach, operational organisation and field deployments in the local area, and all of this is done in a voluntary capacity.  Kim has continually inspired greater leadership and commitment from fellow volunteers during her time at SES, and dedicates many hours beyond the regular Tuesday night requirements.

2019 Youth Award: Holdsworth NDIS and After School Volunteers
Holdsworth's under 25 year old NDIS volunteers support activities for people with disability living in the Woollahra Council area. Participants and volunteers form friendships in after school activities, school holiday outings and Saturday programs. The volunteers socialise with participants and help participants connect with the community, while learning skills and having fun. These young volunteers are a crucial support to the programs and help Holdsworth reach and help more people. Please join me in congratulating this volunteer group.

2019 Senior’s Award: Susan Diver
Susan Diver has been President of the Black and White Committee of Vision Australia (formerly the Royal Blind Society) since 2000, having been a member for the last 40 years. Under her guidance the Committee has raised over $3.5 million for children's services by Vision Australia for children with low or no vision. Annually, the Black and White Ball, which has been held for 82 years, draws a strong crowd and Susan always finds ways to entertain and delight her guests. The role of President is unpaid and Susan spends in excess of 25 hours per week dedicated to creating interesting social functions at which the donations of goods in kind by many supporting companies are turned into funds to be used by Vision Australia to help children face their many challenges.

Community Cultural and Arts Award: Martin Cohen
Martin is the longest serving President of the Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra, having served for 8 years. He fulfils this role with dedication, leadership and charm. The Orchestra was founded in 1996 and is the leading community orchestra in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. Martin is also the orchestra's principle flautist and clarinet player. The Orchestra performs 4 public concert programs each year with a rehearsal period of 8-10 weeks for each concert. The Orchestra is a voluntary organisation and is administered by a committee. The role of the President is crucial and time consuming and Martin has, with his dedication and organising skills, made the Orchestra an asset to Woollahra.

2019 Contribution to the Local Community Award: Libby Thomas, Sue Hartley, Usha Khurana and Anna Carr
Holdsworth Community's Home Cuisine service delivers meals to isolated residents in the Woollahra Council area. Libby Thomas and Sue Hartley have volunteered as a team since 1987, amounting to over 7,000 volunteer hours. Usha Khurana and Anna Carr have volunteered as a team since 2007 and have completed a total of 2,000 volunteering hours. All four Woollahra residents are dedicated to contributing to their community. They don't just provide meals but also provide a friendly smile and social contact. By visiting someone who lives alone, they are also checking on them and making sure that they are well, when they may have no other support. Holdsworth's Home Cuisine service would not exist without volunteers such as Libby, Sue, Usha and Anna. They are commended for their decades of loyalty to our older isolated community members who rely on them to remain independent at home.

2019 Contribution to the Natural Environment Award: Louise Murray
Louise is passionate about the natural environment and has attended Bushcare for the last 20 years at Harbourview Park and Cooper Park. Louise began volunteering through a chance meeting with a Council staff member whilst walking through Cooper Park, and went on to join a fledgling Harbourview Park Group initiated by Rosie and Don White and assisted by Council. 23 years later they are still maintaining the Park, which is now a diverse patch of native vegetation which provides a sanctuary for possums, birds and reptiles, and is an important wildlife corridor between Trumper Park and Cooper Park. Over the years Louise has helped plant about 5,000 trees and shrubs, removed tonnes of weeds and branches and weeded about 10 bags of bindiis from the lawn every spring. Louise’s passion for her volunteering and way of life is inspiring to all.

2018 Woollahra Citizenship Awards

2018 Citizen of the Year: Michael Ryan
Michael recently retired as CEO of Holdsworth Community after more than 10 years in the role. He built Holdsworth from a small local association to a modern, efficient service provider which lives and breathes its values of kindness, trust, independence and openness. Michael strived to connect people living in social isolation and campaigned tirelessly to end loneliness in today’s society, and deliver a better quality of life for the elderly and people living with dementia and intellectual disabilities.

Winner of 2018 Youth Award: Madeleine Huynh
Throughout her high school years, Madeleine has volunteered at the Holdsworth Centre as a mentor for students with intellectual disabilities and assumed a leadership position as a Holdsworth Youth Ambassador. Madeleine has also volunteered on the REELise Youth Council since 2015, and in 2016 served as the Member for Sydney in the NSW Youth Parliament and was elected the Youth Minister for Education, helping to reform the Reading Recovery program.

Winner of 2018 Senior Award: Philip Mason
Philip made a major contribution to the Double Bay community during 15 years as President of the Double Bay Residents Association (DBRA) until his retirement in 2016. Philip was very generous with his time in the interests of the community and lobbied widely on its behalf. Under his leadership, the DBRA evolved into an important community group which frequently succeeds in finding common ground between differing interests; a prime example being its significant role in ensuring residents' interests were protected during the Kiaora Lands development.

Winner of Contribution to the Local Community Award – two winners awarded

Michael Palmer
A former Rector at St Michael’s Church in Vaucluse, Reverend Michael Palmer has been at the forefront of raising awareness and de-stigmatising suicide through his role as Chair of the Eastern Sydney Suicide Prevention Network from 2011 to 2017, helping it to become an important and recognised mental health group and initiating the annual Suicide Awareness Walk in 2012. In addition to his regular duties, he also formed a boat building team involving talented older parish members, successfully building a boat over two years using recycled timber from the church roof.

Patricia Honeyfield
Trish has been a wonderful volunteer at Woollahra Libraries for more than 15 years - especially with the under 5 year old children's programs. Trish is the frontline person at the Library’s registration desk, is a great support to staff and helps to co-present Story Time at Woollahra Library at Double Bay, where she is always part of the fun, delighting children by dressing up to stories being told to life, and also supporting outside presenters in their roles.

Winner of Community Cultural and Arts Award: The Perry Lane Art Project
The Perry Lane Art Project group principally consists of Ashley Woodcroft, Rebecca Hearty and Denise Raftopoulos, who created a space for public art of a high quality that is both engaging and accessible to the community it occupies. During the past two years, the project has helped to revitalise the local area through producing four separate artworks in the form of murals which are a source of curiosity and interest to pedestrians using the lane and the adjoining Oxford Street.

Winner of Contribution to the Natural Environment Award: Torsten Blackwood
Torsten dedicates an enormous amount of time and energy to the natural environment in Woollahra, with a particular focus on Cooper Park. He is a founding member of the Cooper Park Community Garden and has worked with Woollahra Council since 2010 in maintaining and cleaning up Cooper Park North. He works with neighbouring builders to ensure as much building waste as possible is recycled, and also dedicates about 15 hours per week to volunteer environmental community work.

2017 Woollahra Citizenship Awards

2017 Citizen of the Year: Gregory Andrew Solomon
Awarded posthumously

Greg was a passionate and tireless champion for Double Bay and the Eastern Suburbs throughout his life. He started a prestigious Eastern Suburbs newspaper and centred his business and life in the heart of the Bay. Greg's commitment to the community culminated in him serving on the Board of the Double Bay Chamber of Commerce becoming Chair in 2013.Through his voluntary community leadership role he advocated for revitalising the Bay, bringing together business, residents and political leaders to return the Bay to its glory days. Greg's brainchild was the Double Bay Street Festival. Now in its 6th year it attracts over 80,000 people making it the largest community day festival in Sydney.

Winner of 2017 Youth Award: Nick de Bres
Nick has been a volunteer with Holdsworth Community since Jan 2012 and the REELise Youth Council since October 2014. Nick is part of an advisory group and with the support of adult mentors, undertakes media management, marketing, fundraising, friend-raising, creative, performing and visual arts activities; and event management functions for REELise. Nick‘s duties with Holdsworth included: working to increase life skills for children and adults with disabilities; mentoring other volunteers; assisting in implementing fundraising program activities; working to engage both participants and other volunteers within the program and supporting the Youth Council to deliver a successful festival. Nick also created the "Scots Mental Health Forum" and this along with his other achievements saw him win early admission into law and Macquarie University irrespective of his UAI under "The Global Leadership Program".

Winner of 2017 Senior Award: Paul Shillan
Paul was born in Rose Bay and has been a Rose Bay resident all his life. He is the proprietor of Rose Bay Hardware which has been operating for 35 years, the second oldest business in Rose Bay. He has been a member of the Rose Bay Chamber of Commerce for 32 years and was president for 5 years in the 1990s. Since he has been in business he has contributed financially to police appeals, and every year to local primary schools. He has made a quiet but important, voluntary lifelong contribution to the community he works and lives in.

Winner of Most Innovative Community Project Award: Kids Giving Back
Kids Giving Back is creating the next generation of generosity by providing age-appropriate, hands-on volunteering opportunities for kids. Projects include 'Cook for Good', where kids help prepare and deliver meals for homeless people and 'Scones for Good', a program where participants bake scones and then serve them to the residents at an aged care facility. It's great for kids today to look outside of their own wants and needs to see the positive impact they can have on others.

Winner of Contribution to the Local Community Award - two awarded

Dr Judith Robinson
Judith has volunteered with Holdsworth for four years. She started by visiting isolated and frail seniors to provide company and a friendly face for people unable to get out and about. For the past two years Judith has voluntarily facilitated a weekly Discussion Group. Held at the Gaden café this is an opportunity for seniors to meet and discuss topics of interest. Judith facilitates discussion, encourages participation, assists with ideas and supports all members to make sure they have an enjoyable and interesting time both from an intellectual and social perspective. Judith also volunteers in three roles at Double Bay Library as well as working bees where she is described as dedicated, committed and engaged. She also volunteers with NSW Police.

Candice Shakenovsky
Candice has been involved in improving the lives of people with disability on a volunteer basis for nearly 10 years, sharing countless hours at Friendship Circle holiday day camps, residential camps, Sunday programs and social and fitness programs. Over the last four years Candice has dedicated herself to the Young Adult Division of the Friendship Circle that incorporates the iVolunteer project, which seeks to have young adults with and without disability volunteering as friends within the community: the idea is that everyone - regardless of ability - has something to contribute. Candice is outstanding in her drive, passion and organisational skills. Everyone who knows her is immediately aware and inspired by her passion to include young people living with disability.

Winner of Contribution to the Environment Award:
The Paddington Society was formed in 1964 by a group of citizens concerned about the potential destruction of a unique local urban environment and the lifestyle of its residents. The Society continues to this day, a volunteer organisation committed to maintaining Paddington's beauty, heritage values and the quality of its architecture, streetscapes and open spaces. Members work tirelessly for the benefit of the local community, instigating and encouraging community activities open to all. The Society assesses all proposals for new development, making submissions in support of preserving and augmenting the built and natural environments.

Winner of Most Innovative Cultural or Arts Initiative Award:
REELise Youth Council provides student volunteers, strategic and marketing advice to support the youth empowerment programs of REELise Inc. - a registered health promotion charity focused on safeguarding youth mental health. They meet at least monthly to plan the annual film festival and REELise activities. They also participate in social media Panel and local vox pop filming activities to connect with young people, present about REELise at their schools and volunteer their time at the annual REELise Film Festival and other REELise events.

2016 Woollahra Citizenship Awards

Citizen of the Year: Isabelle Shapiro OAM
Isabelle has in her role as a community member, Councillor with Woollahra Council (for 8 years) and Mayor of Woollahra (for 1 year) worked tirelessly towards making the community stronger and happier. Isabelle was awarded an OAM in 2013 for her work in the Woollahra Community.

She is Vice-president of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the elected representative body of the NSW Jewish community. In that position Isabelle is involved in multicultural work with other community and religious groups, as well as being involved in social justice and public affairs issues.

She accepted a LIFE Award on behalf of Woollahra Council at the Suicide Prevention Australia Awards in 2011 for the Gap Park upgrade. She has also sat on the Community Safety Committee, and is currently on the Eastern Suburbs Suicide Prevention Network who host an annual suicide prevention awareness raising walk in addition to other activities. Isabelle was instrumental in establishing the Woollahra Public Art Trust, which aims to place significant artworks in the Municipality for the public to enjoy. She is a committee member of Council's Cultural Committee. Isabelle is also a trained advocate and speaker for two peak national Breast Cancer bodies: Breast Cancer Network Australia and National Breast Cancer Foundation, as well as a consumer representative on breast cancer research committees at the Garvan Institute.

Youth Award: Georgia Hutchinson
Georgia has been volunteering with people living with disability since she was 13. Staff at Holdsworth Community have seen Georgia mature and grow into a leader in the community. Over the years, Georgia has volunteered on an after school program for children living with disability, taken part in Give Ability Day helping to raise over $70,000, participated in the REELise Film Festival as a volunteer, helping to promote a 'for youth by youth' approach and the importance of cyber safety and advocating against cyber bullying. She has spoken in front of her peers about the importance of community engagement. Georgia is a fine representative of the sort of people who will become the agents of change in the future.

Senior’s Award - two awarded

Jennifer Turner
Jennifer has been Secretary and Treasurer of the Rose Bay Residents Association for 15 years. She does all the paperwork on membership, notices, renewals, minutes, banking and the biannual members newsletter; all the follow-up on members’ often-passionate requests for assistance on DAs they object to, and in her own right raises issues directly with Council. She has been active in many local campaigns.

Stevie Whitmont
Stevie is a founding member of the Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra which was established in 1996. Stevie has played a significant volunteer role with the Orchestra as a Committee Member, Treasurer and former President. She was instrumental in initiating and organising all nine Chamber Proms events that have been hosted at Woollahra Council. The Chamber series has been a unique cultural event, popular with the local community and always attracting a capacity audience. Through Stevie’s exemplary community networking skills, many local community organisations and individuals have participated in Orchestra performances. Stevie recently announced her retirement from Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra.

Most Innovative Community Project Award: Karen Hamilton
Karen is the volunteer director of the REELise Film Festival. This is a youth empowerment initiative based on mobile phone filmmaking. It offers a free mentoring program and a competition for young filmmakers aged 12-18 years. Karen has dedicated hundreds of hours to put together this $100,000 film festival, sourcing small grants and asking people to donate their time. Karen has also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for schools and charities in the Woollahra Municipality.

Contribution to the Local Community Award: Peter Hardi
After experiencing the loss of a family member to cancer, Peter began volunteering his time to take ill children out on his hovercraft through a number of charities. Since 2001 he has taken over 1,500 children out on rides in association with 15 charities, paying for petrol costs himself. Through auctioning rides, he has raised approximately $20,000 for a variety of charities. He has received letters of appreciation from WAYS, NSW Police, the Sydney Children's Hospital, Stewart House, Camp Quality and many others.

Contribution to the Environment Award: Responsible Runners - Rose Bay
Since July 2015, Responsible Runners have organised a weekly clean-up of Rose Bay Beach with local volunteers to raise awareness about the issue of rubbish and litter on the beach. They aim for 8-10 volunteers each week to collect and sort the rubbish for recycling. In their first clean up, 6 volunteers collected over 5kg of rubbish in just 30 minutes. They work to raise awareness about the rubbish issue, whilst gaining public involvement and behaviour change.

Most Innovative Cultural or Arts Initiative Award: Ali Yeldham
Ali of Arthouse Gallery uses her gallery as a public forum for art and the associated artists also raise money for charities. She has regularly devoted personal time as a committee member for Woollahra Council; is supportive of arts programs such as the Small Sculpture Prize; and is involved in major art programs which reach out to underprivileged and disadvantaged sectors. She is a role model for those in the art world and has sought to educate and inspire people about Australian art in general.

2015 Woollahra Citizenship Awards

Citizen of the Year: Christopher Dawson
Christopher Dawson has made a major contribution to the Woollahra community since moving into the Municipality in 1967. This contribution consists of both his 17 years as a Councillor and as Mayor in 2000, as well as his ongoing participation in many Community and Council-led committees since 2008 when he retired from Council life. These committees include Woollahra Library Friends Executive; Woollahra Plaques Advisory Committee; Small Sculpture Prize Advisory Committee; the Woollahra Garden Competition Committee and Citizen of the Year assessment panel.

Youth Award: Funsworth School Volunteers
Holdsworth has run an after-school program named Funsworth, for children with intellectual disabilities, for four days a week for the last seven years. A group of 23 volunteers from local high schools provide peer support and mentoring to primary school kids and teens. While many of the volunteers began as part of the Duke of Edinburgh program, what is particularly special is that these 23 teenagers have all stayed on, well beyond their required hours, and have shown a deep commitment to the children whom they support through volunteering. They have given up days of their school holidays, as well as their free time, and provide outstanding role modelling to their communities, and raise awareness about disability inclusiveness.

Highly Commended Youth Award: James Harper
James Harper, in Year 6 at Sydney Grammar Prep School in Edgecliff, was nominated for his dedication to cleaning up his local area.  For a school project, James identified volumes of glass and plastic bottles, and other plastic waste, ends up on our beaches. He chose to focus on Queens Beach, an area that means a lot to him. James gives up his free time to pick up rubbish on the beach after school, and has raised the issue with the local press, politicians and government agencies. Anything that keeps the issue of improved waste management in the public arena is a great initiative, and James has achieved this.

Senior’s Award - two awarded

Charles Wade
Charles has been an active part of the local community for many years. He volunteers for the Eastern Sydney Suicide Prevention Network, on the Community Safety Committee, and has been a Volunteer in Policing since 2006. In his role with the Rose Bay LAC, he makes calls to victims of crime to link them with further services as needed, as well as attending community engagement events, doing leaflet drops, car park safety audits, and general admin around the station. He has completed over 1500 hours of voluntary work for the police.

Helene Gonski
Helene Gonski visits the Montefiore Aged Care Home every week. She records the oral histories of its ageing residents, writes up their stories and returns them in draft form. She then works on the suggested changes, and writes up a final copy to distribute to the individual and their relatives. The time spent with each individual can be either a few or many sessions. Helene has been providing this valuable and selfless service for 7 or 8 years. She is a role model for community services, as shown through her commitment and dedication to this project as well her special qualities of kindness and respect for others, her compassion, empathy and her keen intellect.

Most Innovative Community Project Award: A Unique Hug
A Unique Hug is a not-for-profit community project where members of the community come together to knit items for those who are vulnerable and socially isolated. It is currently a group of 16 local ladies who meet regularly in Paddington to knit a range of scarves, beanies, knee rugs and pram covers, referred to as 'unique hugs'. The group has been meeting since 2006 and over that time has worked with many community organisations to distribute goods to those who most need it. These include the Starlight Foundation, Randwick Children's Hospital, Wrap with Love and The Benevolent Society. Members of the group contribute both their time and knitting materials to these amazing causes.

Contribution to the Local Community Award: Jo Miller
Jo volunteers at Bellevue Hill Primary School and at its P&C. She also reads with young children, and helps with fund raising for Tamarama SLSC and volunteers with Nippers. Jo is also involved in worthwhile reconciliation projects. Myall Creek is the site of the 1838 massacre of 28 Indigenous men, women and children, and Jo is a Friends of Myall Creek Committee Member, and founder of the annual Myall Creek Memorial Schools Art, Writing & Song Competition, a reconciliation-based competition for school children across NSW. Jo organises the posters, brochures and the judging. She is always the first person to step in when help is needed.

Contribution to the Environment Award: Karen Firestone
The vision of the Rose Bay Community Garden began when a group of motivated and enthusiastic local residents had an idea to create a beautiful garden for the local community, where people could learn, socialise, have fun, and grow fruit and vegetables. Karen Firestone has been the prime mover for the Rose Bay Community Garden since its conception almost 4 years ago. Karen has written garden constitutions, liaised with Council staff and planners, assisted with the deed of licence, written grant applications, managed the committee, taken memberships and called for donations. She does this voluntarily and her hard work and perseverance have led to a strong relationship within the community and a lovely garden space opening last year.

Most Innovative Cultural or Arts Initiative Award: Di Brown
Di Brown has been involved in Rose Bay Rotary as a volunteer for many years. In this role, Di was a founding organiser of Art in the Park, Rose Bay, with profits directed to the Sydney Children’s Hospital. Di threw her support behind the idea of the Paddington Art Market at The Barracks in June 2014 by immediately volunteering to curate, organise and fundraise for the event.  She was instrumental in ensuring the exhibition had defined objectives, and the event has been running weekly since 31 August 2014, with a weekly average of 20 displaying artists, 600 visitors and sales of $2,000.

2014 Woollahra Citizenship Awards

Citizen of the Year: Wesley Browne
During his 54 years as a Legatee, Wes Browne has served on many committees in a variety of roles, including Vice President of Sydney Legacy from 1978-1982 and President from 1982-83.  He also served on the Board of Management from 1985-87 in his capacity as a Past President. He has made an enormous contribution to the organisation and the community.  One of Wes’s key achievements during his time as a Legatee has been taking a lead role for 43 years in supporting and assisting the O’Donohue family of 12 children following the death of their ex-serviceman father.

Youth Award: Oliver, Philippa, Felicity, Lucinda and James Spence (Seashells Foundation)
The Spence siblings formed the Seashells Foundation after losing their mother before Christmas in 2012.  The family-based charity was inspired by the people who cared for their mother and the siblings are attempting to raise enough money to establish a post-graduate nursing scholarship at Sydney University.

Senior Award – two awarded

Noela Grace Bishop (posthumously awarded)
Noela has been recognised for her volunteer work and also her dedication to the boarders as the Headmaster's wife at Cranbrook School from 1963 to 1985. She worked for St Luke's Care from 1979 to 2001 and at Sydney Day Nursery, Forest Lodge, from 1984 to 1995, including being President from 1986 to 1990 and serving as a Board Member from 1986 to 1988. Noela worked tirelessly without seeking recognition. Sadly Noela Bishop passed away before receiving her award. We are sorry she was unable to receive our gratitude in person and extend our sympathy to her family and friends.

Helen Haag
Helen worked as a Community Worker with the Aged at Holdsworth from the 1970s until her retirement in 2003. She ran social groups for aged residents, collecting them and shopping for them, and was aware of their health issues and supported them so their safety was paramount. She is now registered as a volunteer with Vision Australia and visits clients in their home.

Contribution to International Community: Dr Joyce and Professor Bruce Conolly
The Conollys have been recognised for their voluntary work in developing countries since 1971. They teach doctors, nurses and therapists the principles of treating patients with injuries and disorders of their hands and upper limbs. They also work in the areas of greatest need, like basic health, education in childbirth, child health, nutrition and depression. They founded the Myanmar Australia Conolly Foundation for Health.

Contribution to Local Community: Simon Marnie
With an excellent voice and a passion for poetry, ABC radio presenter, Simon Marnie has volunteered as the emcee for one of Council’s most popular annual outdoor events, Poets’ Picnic. His personal commitment and energy help make the event a great success and Council is grateful for his contribution.

Contribution to the Environment: Vicki Joyner
Vicki has played a key role in the Paddington Community Garden since its conception in 2006. She sits on the Management Committee and takes on many responsibilities for the garden: she oversees administration, the induction of new members, and propagating seeds for members. She has arranged with local organic greengrocers to supply green waste. She is hugely committed to the garden and has been fundamental to its success.

Most Innovative Community Project: Eastern Sydney Suicide Prevention Network
The Network aims to generate greater public awareness of mental health and provide support for family and friends impacted by suicide.

Most Innovative Cultural/Arts Initiative: Nick Vindin and Lewis Barnes
Lewis and Nick founded Concert For the Cure in 2007, and have since raised over $300,000 for breast cancer research while engaging tens of thousands of young people through events and music.

Highly Commended Most Innovative Cultural/Arts Initiative:Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra.
The orchestra is recognised for its contribution to the cultural life of the Woollahra Municipality. The orchestra comprises up to 50 regular members who come from all walks of life, are of all ages, and includes amateurs, students and professionals. They perform regularly in public settings throughout the year.

2013 Woollahra Citizenship Awards

Citizen of the Year: two awarded

Jessica Brown
For her dedication to changing the lives of underprivileged and disadvantaged girls in the Sydney area. Jessica founded Life Changing Experiences Foundation in 2003, creating a 12 month mentoring program, SISTER2sister, which matches vulnerable teenage girls (Little Sisters) with positive female role models (Big Sisters), and provides an intensive risk management program to help them get their lives back on track. For the first two and a half years, Jessica used her own money to fund her mentoring program, while teaching high school full time.

Monsignor Tony Doherty
For his enormous contribution to the community, going far beyond the normal duties of a Parish Priest. Tony has been Parish Priest at Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Rose Bay since 2004. He is involved in pastoral care, assisting the marginalised through the St Vincent de Paul Society, Alcoholics Anonymous, Canice’s Kitchen, ministry of the sick and frail-aged, raising funds for St Vincent’s Hospital, and supporting the Gorman Centre for the alcohol- and drug-addicted, as well as the Sacred Heart Hospice. He has also raised funds locally for St Jude’s School in Arusha, Tanzania – a free school for 1600 children in need.

Youth Award: Adam Schwartz
For being a shining example of how fulfilling and rich life can be, not just for people living with disabilities, but for everybody. Adam, who lives with severe autism, volunteers at Centennial Park, Holdsworth Community Centre and Nielsen Park. He has his own small business delivering organic veggie boxes to homes in the area and has recently started a job at Mitre 10.

Most Innovative Community Project: Ros Horin & Carmel Dwyer
For creating The Woollahra Festival of Arts and Ideas, a festival by the community, for the community. The festival draws strongly on local talent and supported by community involvement. The 2012 Festival saw more than 13,000 people attend, appealing to a broad spectrum of ages and sectors of the community, and providing high level discussion around current issues and ideas.

Most Innovative Community Cultural / Arts Initiative: two awarded

Marlene Antico
For her strong commitment to the visual arts in the Woollahra community. She hosts art classes for both kids and adults at her home, and has run the Eponymous Commercial Art Gallery for over 10 years in Paddington. She is both the founder and the sole patron of the Inaugural Paddington Art Prize for Painting and its exhibition, which is now in its tenth year, and she sits on Council's Public Art Advisory Committee.

Stella Downer
For her longstanding contribution to the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize since its inception in 2001. She was part of the original group who formed the Prize and is its longest standing community member. Stella has played an important role in selecting and securing judges, overseeing the placement of the works for the annual exhibition, and organising the 10th anniversary touring component of the exhibition.

Contribution to the Community Award: MUM FOR MUM, a program of the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia, NSW Division
For volunteer work with a significant positive effect on the wellbeing of mothers and babies in our local community. 25 local MUM FOR MUM volunteers visit socially isolated mothers once a week for up to the first year of the babies' lives. They give them confidence in their parenting ability, help them problem solve and are non-judgemental listeners, who allay the mothers' fears and encourage them to enjoy their babies.

Senior Citizen of the Year Award: William McQuaid
For a lifetime of volunteering. Bill is a regular contributor to programs at Woollahra Senior’s Centre, and a member of the Woollahra Gaden Choir and the seniors art program. He hosts bingo and organises the Jewish Women’s Club through Jewish Aid, although he’s not Jewish himself. He belongs to the Lions Club and Probus. On a weekly basis Bill takes people with limited mobility and disabilities to lunch, as well as brightening people’s day by playing his accordion for others whenever possible.

Highly Commended Senior Citizen of the Year: Norton Whitmont
Norton is being recognised for his long-term support of the Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra, coming to every concert since 1996. He helps with ticket sales, refreshments, stage set up, artist and audience liaison, selling raffle tickets, helping move chairs, music stands, instruments, lighting and anything else that may need doing. He also opens up his own home for rehearsals and functions, and even goes as far as giving up his own chair so the musicians will have a chair to sit on.

2012 Woollahra Citizenship Awards

Citizen of the Year: Bruce Bland
For demonstrating long-term commitment to his community. Bruce has taken a lead role in organising an annual Christmas celebration at Pannerong Reserve, Rose Bay, with a local community residents group and local Christian churches. Since retiring, Bruce has served as a volunteer on many community groups and has lent his expertise to a program that transfers business skills to outback indigenous communities.

Youth Award: Nick Clough
For not letting an intellectual disability be a barrier to his passion for helping others, and being an enthusiastic advocate for living a positive life. Nick is involved in Best Buddies, which pairs student volunteers with people with an intellectual disability. In his spare time Nick referees kids’ rugby games and works with seniors at Holdsworth Community Centre.

Most Innovative Community Project: Michael McMahon
For putting together community fundraisers. As a local businessman responsible for harbourside restaurant Catalina in Rose Bay, Michael has also spent many years raising money for the victims of tsunamis and floods. Last year Michael and his wife raised nearly one million dollars for New South Wales and Queensland flood victims through a fundraiser dinner held on the Rose Bay promenade and hosted by a number of leading Sydney chefs.

Contribution to the Environment: Ingrid Ohlsson
For her role in establishing the Stephanie Alexander Garden at Vaucluse Public School. The garden is a living teaching tool that inspires students about the benefits of growing their own food, healthy eating and working collaboratively on an environmental project.

Contribution to Community: Woollahra Gaden Choir
For providing entertainment and joy to aged care facilities and at a diverse range of community events by sharing their love of music since 1982.

Contribution to Community, highly commended: Glenmore Road Knitting Group
For teaching Glenmore Road Public School students aged between five and twelve how to knit in two terms. While sharing knitting skills the group members have formed friendships, shared stories and bridged generational gaps to building strong bonds, trust and companionship.

2012 Contribution to Community, highly commended: Rose Bay Secondary School Best Buddies Program
For its commitment to the Best Buddies Program which aims to build friendship and support between student volunteers and other young people with intellectual disabilities. The volunteers demonstrate care for their buddies by helping them with reading and daily school tasks, as well as offering their friendship.