Outstanding citizens and new citizens recognised in Blue Mountains on Australia Day 2019
Blue Mountains City Council recognised local citizens for their outstanding contribution to the community and welcomed 17 residents as Australian citizens at the 2019 Blue Mountains Local Citizen of the Year Awards and Citizenship Ceremony held at the Blue Mountains Theatre in Springwood on Australia Day.
The recipients of the 2019 Blue Mountains Local Citizen of the Year Awards are:
Citizen of the Year – George Winston
- George has made an outstanding contribution to the Blue Mountains Community, and continues to do so.
- He is a founding member of the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group and has served as Secretary for many years. He currently coordinates the group’s fundraising activities.
- George works tirelessly to provide emotional and practical support for refugees, and to campaign for justice and human rights for refugees in Australia.
- As a post war refugee himself, George well understands the situation faced by people new to Australia, often with little resources and many barriers.
- His strong empathy and compassion have assisted many, in a challenging transition into a new life in Australia.
- In 1985 he was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for his work establishing TAD - Technical Aid to the Disabled, using his professional skills as an engineer to invent and make aids for people living with a disability.
- For many of us who to live within the area of the Blue Mountains, his humanitarian focus has provided us with the conduit to make our community, and Australia, a better place for all.
- His enthusiasm and tenacity are legendary.
The Mayor said, “His enthusiasm and tenacity are legendary. George is a fine example of living a life of purpose and with heart.”
Young Citizen of the Year – Adisen Wright
- Adisen is encouraging the youth of his school, the youth of the community and others in the community to stand up and have their voices heard.
- With a passion for the share markets, he spent 2018 working as a financial equity analyst on the ASX and other financial markets and attended the UBS Finance Academy in July.
- However, after observing world political leaders in recent years and being involved in school events, Adisen was determined to see the world have inspiring leaders to generate positive change.
- In 2017, he was an integral part of the Vote Yes campaign for the LGBTQI marriage equality survey in his community, where he encouraged others to participate in democracy and to make their vote count.
- He runs several social media sites, with the hope to achieve his biggest dream and goal, of instigating positive change in society.
- He aspires to be a politician of the future and believes the world needs to have inspiring leaders in order to influence that positive change.
“Adisen is off to a great start to achieve his dream through his volunteering and as a prefect at Winmalee High School”, the Mayor said.
“He is representative of the passion and interest in community betterment that I see in our youth – I am very heartened by this.”
Community Achievement of the Year – Blackheath Community Op Shop
The Blackheath Community Op Shop has been operating for over three years, led by David O’Brien and run by volunteers.
- The shop was started to make a difference to those in need and create a community hub where cups of tea are free, and help is always at hand.
- They invite seniors to be a part of running the shop, to encourage and foster community interaction.
- Toys and clothing for children up to 17 years old are provided at no cost, with many parents and children bringing in something to exchange.
- Every six months the four-person committee use money made from the shop to help with local projects and community events.
- The Op Shop is well regarded in the community, truly serving and supporting its residents; and its friendly, down-to-earth the staff and helpers.
The Mayor said, “This is a charity with a difference and a testament to the Blue Mountains community spirit. David is compassion personified.”
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said, “On behalf of Blue Mountains City Council and the community, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to these outstanding local citizens, all deserving recipients of the 2019 Blue Mountains Local Citizen of the Year Award.
It is fitting that their contribution to the Blue Mountains community is acknowledged in the highest regard. They inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Blue Mountains and a better Australia.
We are lucky to have you as part of the Blue Mountains community and we thank you for all that you do.”
Seventeen Blue Mountains’ residents from ten countries of origin become Australian citizens at the civic event.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said, “Australia’s evolving way of life draws inspiration from the whole world and our heritage is enriched by contributions from the many cultures that make up our society.
I am proud that the City of Blue Mountains is forever woven into the personal and Australian story of our newest citizens.”
The Mayor was joined by the 2019 Australia Day Ambassador appointed to the Blue Mountains, Graham Ross VMM. Graham is Australia’s most acclaimed horticulturist. He shares his passionate for gardening with over two million people every week as a long time radio broadcaster, television gardening presenter and author. Graham said the Blue Mountains was a global diversity hotspot and held a special place in his heart.
“There is no better place to celebrate Australia Day”, he said.
2019 Local Citizen of the Year Award recipients with Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill (far right) and the Blue Mountains Australia Day Ambassador, Graham Ross (far left):
2019 Citizen of the Year – George Winston (second from left)
2019 Young Citizen of the Year – Adisen Wright (third from left)
2019 Community Achievement of the Year – David O’Brien and June from Blackheath Community Op Shop(second & third from right)