A tireless Chatswood volunteer has been recognised as the 2022 Citizen of the Year at Willoughby City Council’s Australia Day ceremony held on 26 January 2022.
Ralph Lindsey was named Willoughby Citizen of the Year in recognition for his efforts and initiative since early 2020 to support victims of the NSW South Coast bushfires.
The Citizen of the Year award recognises a significant personal contribution to the Willoughby community and beyond. This award is open to a person who is outstanding in the field of community services, including volunteer work, charity work, the arts or sports.
Mayor Tanya Taylor presented the awards along with Mr Trent Zimmerman, Member for North Sydney, and Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds CSC, Minister for the National Disability Scheme and Minister for Government Services, at the ceremony.
“I congratulate Ralph for his outstanding efforts to support people in need following the devastating bushfires which destroyed so many homes on the NSW South Coast,” Mayor Taylor said.
“Ralph demonstrates what can be achieved when we look beyond our community and come together to support others. In what has been a difficult year, Ralph has worked selflessly to support others,” she said.
The Australia Day ceremony, held at The Concourse, Chatswood carried the theme Reflect. Respect. Celebrate. The vital contribution of the First Nations people was recognised with members of the Dimaru Aboriginal Didgeridoo and Dance group delivering an acknowledgment of country and providing an education workshop after the ceremony, sharing Dreamtime stories and traditional dances.
The Willoughby Australia Day ceremony held a special significance for many new Australians and their families. It was with great excitement that 100 new Australians were granted citizenship on the day.
The ceremony also included an address by Willoughby’s Australia Day Ambassador, nutritionist Catherine Saxelby.
2022 Willoughby Citizen of the Year – Ralph Lindsey of Chatswood
Since 2020, Ralph galvanised the community into action via social media and other channels to support victims of the NSW South Coast bushfires. With Ralph’s leadership, the Willoughby community donated many valuable and much-needed items to help people affected by the bushfires to get back on their feet. Items included tools, warm bedding, clothes, kitchenware, heaters, building materials and much more. The reusable building materials were saved and trucked South with support from the Willoughby and Dural Men’s Sheds.
His tireless efforts have expanded to non-perishable food for those who remain homeless or living in temporary accommodation. His veranda is always full of donations from Willoughby residents.
Ralph is also a sustainability champion, giving a second life to many unwanted items that could have ended up in landfill. Many locals who have appreciated the opportunity to give are full of gratitude for his help.