Parramatta Council Australia Day award winners were announced today at a ceremony at Parramatta Town Hall.
Parramatta lord mayor John Chedid presented the awards together with Parramatta’s Australia Day Ambassador, Bob Turner, the former coach of the Sydney Kings.
The Citizen of the Year is Michael Maughan, the the Senior Citizen of the Year is John Young, the Young Citizen of the Year is Kallin Dries and the Volunteer of the Year is Walter Gray.
Cr Chedid also presented Adam Manna with the Sportsperson of the Year award and Ronald Wright with the Sporting Volunteer of the Year award.
The council also awarded the Vineyard Creek Reserve Bushcare Group the status of Community Project of the Year.
Citizen of the Year:
Mr Maughan has been an active volunteer and community advocate for western Sydney and Parramatta for more than two decades.
For the last 12 years, Mr Maughan has been the director for the Carlingford and Dundas Lions Club.
In that time, he has driven local fundraising efforts, directly injecting funds back into local community projects.
Mr Maughan is also chairman of the NSW and ACT Nurses Scholarship Foundation.
Senior Citizen of the Year:
Mr Young works as a Justice of the Peace servicing residents at Wentworthville Mall, Guildford and Granville libraries.
A council spokeswoman said he has rendered countless hours of community service, voluntarily, by making himself available on a daily basis to people who may struggle to have their documents certified.
He has also volunteered at Westmead Hospital for the past five years and at St Joseph’s Hospital for seven years.
Young Citizen of the Year:
Kallin, who was not present at the ceremony to collect his award, works at youth centre helping disadvantaged young people.
Having left home at age 16, Kallin had the ambition to complete his HSC.
Kallin is an inspiration to all young people and regularly volunteers at a Church Youth Refugee.
Volunteer of the Year:
Mr Gray has been an active volunteer of St Johns Ambulance for 17 years.
In 2012, Mr Gray volunteered more than 200 hours of his personal time, by attending regular community events and festivals to provide vital first aid support and crowd management.
In 2005, Mr Gray also volunteered for the role of St Johns Ambulance store keeper, a position he has now held for eight years.
This role requires more than 100 hours per year and ensures that the St Johns supply cupboards are fully stocked and in suitable condition.
Sportsperson of the Year:
At just 10 years of age, Adam Manna has represented his school and swim club by swimming at a number of competitions including the Sydney West Area PSSA and the Winter Metro North West Swim Championship.
In November 2012, Adam competed in the Summer Metro North West Swim Championship where he achieved his personal best times.
As a member of the Parramatta City Swim Club, Adam also achieved second place amongst all age groups for the 2012 winter swim season.
Last year, Adam received a medal for the 2012 Premier’s Sporting Challenge.
He has also represented his school at the Sydney Dance Sport Championship and will compete in the 2013 Weetbix KidsTryathlon.
Sporting Volunteer of the Year:
Ron Wright has volunteered as Secretary for the Parramatta District Cricket Club for more than 30 years.
Ron has donated hours of his time ensuring pitches are ready for games.
Thanks to him, hundreds of children have had the chance to experience top quality cricket.
In 2012, Ron was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his service to cricket.
Community Project of the Year:
Every year, the Vineyard Creek Reserve Bushcare volunteer group organise an event to celebrate National Tree Day, and promote the event using their own resources. .
At last year's event the group and local residents planted 550 native trees, shrubs and ground covers in a creek-line area.
This planting project will provide habitat for local fauna species and encourage small birds to return to the area, by providing suitable habitat and food.
Cr Chedid said the awards are an opportunity to recognise the local heroes who dedicate their time to the local community.
“Parramatta Council is proud to recognise individuals whose contributions and achievements are an asset to the city of Parramatta,” Cr Chedid said.
“I congratulate all the award recipients and nominees and thank them for all their hard work and dedication throughout the years.’’