Local volunteer responsible for providing more than 800 free meals to those in need has been crowned this year’s Citizen of the Year.
Kylee Bentham, co-founder of the Shining Stars Foundation, started volunteering from the age of seven by helping distribute Meals on Wheels with her grandfather, manning Red Cross stalls with her grandmother until she was 16 years old and volunteering at community stalls across Macarthur and Liverpool with her mother. In the recent floods, Kylee helped provide water, food and medical supplies.
The stand-out citizen is in good company, with dedicated air force cadet, Ebony-Rose Mangion, named Young Citizen of the Year. Ebony-Rose has represented the 303 Camden Squadron including being specially selected to be part of the Queens Guard and Catafalque party for Anzac Day Dawn service in Camden.
Council extends its congratulations again to Kylee and Ebony-Rose, as well as the other 2023 Australia Day Award winners:
- Melissa Musgrave, who won the Arts and Culture Award;
- Group 6 Rugby League Referees, Sports Achievement Award;
- Camden Community Garden and Macarthur Storm Chasers, who were joint winners of the Community Group Award.
Mayor of Camden, Cr Therese Fedeli, said it was a perfect way to celebrate the greatness of Australia.
“Shining the spotlight on those within our community who live to serve is truly special,” Cr Fedeli said.
“To the fantastic residents who have won awards this year and all those who were nominated – you should be so proud of your dedication and commitment to making the lives of others so much better. How lucky we are to have you as part of our community.
“When I look to the event that took place in the heart of Camden, I am filled with happiness. It was our first parade we have held in the last three years and it was fantastic to see so many people come out to celebrate with us. Seeing thousands of residents lining Argyle Street in Camden was just so heart-warming.
“Australia is a beautiful nation with many things to admire, and I am very proud Camden shines through as a prime example of diversity, inclusion and community. I hope your day was filled with fun and laughter with the ones you value the most.”