Citizen of the Year Awards

Nominations closed on Wednesday 16 November 2022.    

Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year

Every year the City of Ryde publicly acknowledges and recognises the outstanding accomplishments by individuals in our community who have excelled in their chosen field.

  • Citizen of the Year recognises outstanding service to the community over an extended period.
  • Young Citizen of the Year Recognises outstanding service to the community over an extended period by a young person aged 12-25yrs.

The awards are held under the auspices of the Australia Day Council of NSW and judging is conducted by a local selection panel. All nominees and their nominators will be invited to a private awards ceremony on the evening of Thursday 19 January 2023.
Winners and nominations in the past have come from fields as diverse as sporting administrators, business leaders, fire fighters, social enterprise entrepreneurs, school captains, writers, youth workers and other community leaders.

2022 Winners and Nominees

Citizen of the Year - Phillip Ward OAM

Phillip Ward OAM has devoted his life to supporting local youth and improving the environment across the City of Ryde and surrounding areas.

Among his many achievements, Phillip helped create the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre and was also a founding member of the Hunters Hill Flora and Fauna Preservation Society.

In addition, he has helped install a vegetable garden and environmental protections at Ryde East Public School, while also participated in helping plant trees on National Tree Day and running a clean-up site for the past 25 years as part of Clean Up Australia Day.

Outside of his passion for the environment, Phillip 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.

Phillip also has a passion for scouting, having been an adult member for almost 50 years. He has held numerous positions in the East Ryde Scout Group and has helped support youth members of all ages. 

Phillip 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. 

Young Citizen of the Year - Kimberley Anne Spencer

Kimberley has volunteered for various local organisations and charities from a very young age.

While at primary school, Kimberley assisted with church services at St Therese Church in Denistone.

She then went on to become an active member of Girl Guides in Eastwood. It is through her involvement with Girl Guides that community service and volunteering became a way of life for Kimberley.

She became a regular participant at community events such as Clean Up Australia days and ANZAC commemoration services at North Ryde RSL, while also helping arrange activities and events for Girl Guide members each and every week.

Kimberley eventually took on a leadership role with the Girl Guides, becoming a leader of the Eastwood Junior Guide Unit, a role that she continues to undertake to this day.

In addition to her efforts with Girl Guides, Kimberley also volunteers with the Buddies program at Macquarie University, which supports international students settle into life in Sydney.

This sees Kimberley meet students at the airport on arrival and help them settle into their accommodation, while also offering them advice and guidance as they become accustomed to their new surroundings. 


Special Commendation - Julie Hill

Julie is a keen advocate for people living with disability and has devoted much of her life to ensuring equal access for all members of the community. She instigated the Royal Rehab Lifestyle Choir and has organised many events catered for people living with disability.

2022 Nominees

Young Citizen of the Year nominees

Anna Berberian

 Anna is an active member of the Armenian community in the City of Ryde. She participates in the activities of many local Armenian organisations and also raises vital funds for Australian and Armenian causes.

Sienna Kang

Sienna has volunteered for Royal Rehab since the start of 2020, supporting the organisation’s Lifestyle Choir. Sienna has been instrumental in ensuring the choir could still meet remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping lessen impact of isolation felt by many of the choir members.

Ella Marcellino

 Ella is a student at Ryde Secondary College who has made a significant contribution to school improvement and community engagement. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ella helped coordinate weekly social media activities to help build school spirit and improve student wellbeing.

Kimberley Anne Spencer

Kimberley volunteers for a range of organisations in the City of Ryde. She has assisted with services at St Therese Church in Denistone and also leads a Girl Guide unit in Eastwood. Most recently, Kimberley has joined the General Executive of the Macquarie University Education Society.

Citizen of the Year nominees

Gary Blomeley

Gary has spent the past 45 years volunteering as a Justice of the Peace (JP). Through this role, Gary offers his services for two hours a week on the JP community desk at Coxs Road Mall, while also arranging the volunteer roster and training other JP volunteers.

Desmond Chung

Desmond is the founding member and vice chairman of Eastwood Tai Chi Group. Desmond helps conduct free Tai Chi exercise classes each morning in Eastwood, while also taking part in local festivals and events throughout the City of Ryde.

Nora Etmekdjian

Nora has been an instrumental community figure in West Ryde for decades. She takes a lead role in organising the annual West Ryde Easter Parade and Fair as well as the West Ryde Christmas Carols. She is currently President of the West Ryde Chamber of Commerce.

Len Gallo

Len regularly volunteers for community events and charity fundraisers each year. A florist, Len supplies and donates flowers to Royal Rehab each week, as well as a number of other community fundraisers. He also lends his Ford Mustang to transport VIPs at local events.

Judy Harris

Judy has volunteered for a large number of local community organisations over the past three decades. Judy assists with CCA NSW’s Meals on Wheels program and also offers her time to assist the Country Women’s Association Eastwood branch.

Julie Hill

Julie is a keen advocate for people living with disability and has devoted much of her life to ensuring equal access for all members of the community. She instigated the Royal Rehab Lifestyle Choir and has organised many events catered for people living with disability.

Todd Karamian

Todd is an integral member of the Ararat Sport Club. As President he has helped the sport club grow to more than 450 members. Todd also assists with other divisions of the club including the dance group, scouting group and helping produce the monthly magazine.  

Rochelle Keshishian

Rochelle is an active contributor to a large number of organisations that assist the City of Ryde community. This includes her role as Vice President for the North Ryde RSL Swimming Club, which requires her to organise Sunday morning swim meets.

Sona Malo

Sona is a member of the Armenian Relief Society. Through her membership of the society’s Ryde chapter, Sona supports more than 120 senior citizens by organising group gatherings, bus trips and educational sessions, while also arranging fundraising efforts each year.

Alexander Tye

Alexander has been a member of the Eastwood Fire & Rescue NSW crew since 2009. He has helped members of the community by attending emergencies, while also undertaking education programs on fire safety. Alexander also volunteers at Putney Public School.

Phillip Ward OAM

Phillip has devoted his life to helping the youth and the environment. He has been a long-serving volunteer of the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre and is also a founding member of the Hunters Hill Flora and Fauna Preservation Society.

      

Photo Gallery

View photos from the 2022 Citizen of the Year Awards ceremony.

2022 Australia Day Ceremony

Contact us

For general enquiries regarding the Citizen of the Year Awards please contact events@ryde.nsw.gov.au.

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