The tireless work and selfless dedication of Campbelltown residents has been honoured in the Campbelltown Australia Day Awards at an online awards ceremony this morning.
Five citizens and a local community group were recognised across six award categories.
Mayor George Brticevic congratulated the award winners for their contributions to the community.
“After a difficult and challenging year, it was wonderful to hear about some of the fantastic work being done by local residents to contribute to our community and enhance the lives of people around them,” Cr Brticevic said.
“Our selection committee had a difficult task to select the winners from a fantastic field of nominees,” he said.
“Congratulations to all our award winners and thank you for your contributions to our city.”
Aboriginal Elder Uncle Ivan Wellington was awarded the 2021 Citizen of the Year Award in recognition of his dedication to educating the community, particularly young people, about local Aboriginal culture.
Uncle Ivan was also instrumental in the creation of the Campbelltown 2020 Yarning Circle at Koshigaya Park and performs smoking ceremonies at events across the region.
Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Mount Carmel Catholic College student Jaden Legaspi. Mr Legaspi attended the school each day during the COVID lockdown to help guide junior students and is active in the ActivateFire youth ministry program, Marist youth forum, Marist Connect and Revelation team and is a youth ministry leader.
Seventeen-year-old multiclass swimmer Kaden Smith was named Sportsperson of the Year following his success in achieving medals at numerous national competitions. Mr Smith will soon attend his first Olympic trials to try and gain a position on the Australian Paralympic team.
Disability Community Contribution of the Year was awarded to Caroline Norman for her work in helping people with severe psychosocial disabilities to access the NDIS and for advocating for their rights to access services and support.
Campbelltown East Public School assistant principal Martin Wallace has been awarded Environmental Citizen of the Year for his work in implementing a range of environmental initiatives, including creating vegetable patches, bush tucker gardens and the recent installation of 1000 plants on school grounds as part of Council’s Koalatown Certified Schools program.
Youth Solutions – Macarthur Drug and Alcohol Services Committee were the winners of the Community Group Initiative of the Year in recognition of their work to encourage young people to engage in healthy decision making, connecting them with services and encouraging them to seek help when needed.