AUSTRALIA DAY | Ceremony honours local achievers and new citizens

Liverpool Council’s annual Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony was at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre on January 26 and honoured the city’s achievers and welcomed its new citizens.

Mayor WendyWaller, with Australia Day ambassador SusanneGervay, welcomed 41 new citizens and presented nine Australia Day Awards.

Liverpool’s 2019 Citizen of the Year is community champion Kerrie Oxlade.

“Kerrie has been committed to the Liverpool community for decades through considerable volunteer work for organisations including Quota, Meals on Wheels and the Lioness Club,” the mayor said. “Kerrie has juggled duties across her many volunteer leadership roles with great pride and has been an inspiration to the people she has come into contact with.”

  • Citizen of the Year: Kerrie Oxlade
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Kerrie Oxlade (right), with mayor Wendy Waller. “Kerrie has been an inspiration to the people she has come into contact with.”

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Kerrie Oxlade (right), with mayor Wendy Waller. “Kerrie has been an inspiration to the people she has come into contact with.”

  • Young Citizen of the Year: Zeynep Nevzat
  • Senior Citizen Award: Kevin Flack
  • Cultural and Arts Award: Tracy Smith
  • Health Award: Associate Professor Susan Connor
  • Sports Award: Moorebank Liverpool District Hockey Club
  • Fraser Environment Award: Youth of Collimore Park
  • Fraser Environment Award: Yu Ling Cui
  • Macquarie Award: Judith Banks

Since Australia Day last year, the council has welcomed nearly 1400 new Australian citizens who were born in 75 countries.

Ananthasubramani Chidambaram got citizenship with his wife, mother and son, 11. He said Australia has provided him and his family with new opportunities since moving from Chennai, India, with his wife in June 2013.

“This is a country where you have the freedom to follow your beliefs and be accepted as you are, irrespective of your cultural background,” he said. “I’m honoured to become an Australian and I look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

Citizen of the Year: Kerrie Oxlade

Kerrie has gone above and beyond in support of many causes close to her heart, volunteering for organisations including Liverpool Lions Club, Liverpool Lioness Club, Marconi Cycling Club and Sydney Airport Ladies Association. Kerrie has been vice-president of fundraising for local Quota since 2015, managing fundraisers to support the organisation’s mission of empowering women, children, the deaf and hard-of-hearing and those with speech difficulties. In 2010, she joined Meals on Wheels management committee. A woman of faith, Kerrie has been active at Riverside Anglican Moorebank, volunteering as a Bible study leader, warden and cook at youth group camps.

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Young Citizen of the Year: Zeynep Nevzat

An academic high achiever at Amity College, Zeynep mentors young girls from years 4 to 7. Since October 2017, Zeynep has, in a voluntary capacity, been on the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Youth Committee and served as event programmer for GENEXT. Motivated to inspire and engage young people in Western Sydney using art, she’s played a pivotal role in fostering cultural dialogue between the MCA and Western Sydney art institutions. Her efforts have allowed her to program Genext Goes West: Parramatta Artist Studios and Art Meets West at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.

Senior Citizen Award: Kevin Flack

Kevin has volunteered for Moorebank Liverpool District Hockey Club for more than 40 years. Since 2016, he has helped to deliver 12 major events and tournaments, which have significantly contributed to the Liverpool economy. Kevin had a grand vision for making his club’s base, Liverpool City Hockey Complex, one of the best nationwide. With a number of successful grant applications under his belt, Kevin is proud that the complex is one of NSW’s best.

Cultural and Arts Award: Tracy Smith

With more than 40 years’ experience as a practising artist and educator, Tracy’s work has been exhibited across Australia, including at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. Some of her accolades include the Fleurieu Peninsula Vistas Prize and Golden Apple Prize for Poetry. For the past six years Tracy has passionately fostered the talents of young artists at Amity College, Prestons.

Health Award: Associate Professor Susan Connor

Professor Connor is a conjoint Associate Professor with the University of NSW and a Senior Staff Specialist in gastroenterology at Liverpool Hospital, where she has worked since 2004. She has been a tireless advocate for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), was integral in developing the IBD unit in 2011, and has worked on a significant number of research publications. The result is progressive, world-class care of her patients.

Sports Award: Moorebank Liverpool District Hockey Club

Moorebank Liverpool District Hockey Club has proudly operated since 1930. Catering for players of all ages, the club has grown from one grass field to its new base at the Liverpool City Hockey Complex, the only venue in Australia with three Olympic-class synthetic hockey fields. The complex’s infrastructure has cemented it as the premier venue in NSW and the club recently hosted the National Under 15 Boys and Girls Championships; and Hockey NSW’s Open Men’s and Women’s Masters Championships.

Fraser Environment Award: Youth of Collimore Park

In 2015, four grade 10 students from Moorebank High School with a passion for the environment began volunteering for the newly formed Collimore Park Environment Group. The group’s numbers have grown over time and their restoration efforts have had a transformative effect in turning a weed infested area of Brickmakers Creek into a 1550sqm haven for wildlife.

Fraser Environment Award: Yu Ling Cui

Since 2010, Yu Ling has been a regular volunteer for Clinches Pond Environment Group. She has assisted with the restoration of more than 6300sqm of bushland by planting more than 1100 native plants, weeding and collecting litter. Yu Ling regularly passes on her knowledge and experience to new volunteers who follow in her footsteps.

Macquarie Award: Judith Banks

Each year the mayor selects an individual or group that’s made a significant contribution to Liverpool. This year, the Macquarie Award goes to Judith Banks. She is a member and ten-time president of the Liverpool Combined branch of Inner Wheel, an international organisation which carries out a range of charitable work in their local communities. Over the years Judith has organised numerous fundraisers for Inner Wheel and Liverpool West Rotary, volunteered for Liverpool Meals on Wheels and at local aged-care facilities, and also supported Liverpool Senior Citizens, the Ingham Institute, Liverpool Hospital and Quota Liverpool.

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