Phillip Ward OAM named Ryde Citizen of the Year

Published on 26 January 2022

Phillip Ward OAM has today been named the 2022 Ryde Citizen of the Year at the City of Ryde Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at Lachlan’s Line in North Ryde.

Mr Ward has devoted his life to supporting local youth across the City of Ryde and improving the local environment.

He began teaching at Ryde East Public School in 1980 and retired in 2013, however, still volunteers at the school to assist with their environmental and music studies programs.

He has been an adult scout member for almost 50 years, having held numerous positions in the East Ryde Scout Group and supporting youth members of all ages during this time.

In addition, he helped create the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre and was a founding member of the Hunters Hill Flora and Fauna Preservation Society. He regularly plants trees on National Tree Day and has managed a clean-up site for the past 25 years as part of Clean Up Australia Day.

Mr Ward also volunteers with the Ryde City Band and has played the bugle at numerous ANZAC and Remembrance Day services in the City of Ryde over many years.

The Ryde Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Kimberley Anne Spencer, who has volunteered for various local organisations and charities from a very young age.

Ms Spencer is a leader of the Eastwood Girl Guides in which she helps arrange activities for members each week and also volunteers with the Buddies program at Macquarie University where she supports international students.

She is also a regular volunteer at community events such as Clean Up Australia days and ANZAC commemoration services and has assisted with church services at St Therese Church in Denistone.

Disability advocate Julie Hill, meanwhile, received a City of Ryde Special Commendation. Ms Hill’s many achievements in the disability sector include helping establish the Royal Rehab Lifestyle Choir and being the volunteer camp director with Camp Quality NSW. 

“The City of Ryde Citizen of the Year awards allow us to recognise our local residents who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in our community," City of Ryde Mayor, Clr Jordan Lane, said.

"I congratulate all the award winners and nominees for their generous contribution to the City of Ryde and thank them for all that they do to make our City a great place to live, work, study and visit.”

The City of Ryde Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year Awards are held under the auspices of the Australia Day Council of NSW.

In addition to announcing the recipients of the Ryde Citizen of the Year awards, 50 local residents also became Australian citizens during the City of Ryde Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony.