2021 Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year
The City of Ryde Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year Awards recognise outstanding accomplishments by individuals in our community who have excelled in their chosen field. The awards are open to all Australian citizens living in the City of Ryde.
- 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. Winners are announced at Council’s Australia Day Celebrations. The presentation will take place on the 26 January 2021.
Citizen of the Year
Carmen is the founder of The Generous and The Grateful, a social enterprise created in Macquarie Park in 2017.
Working with frontline agencies such as the Salvation Army and Mission Australia, The Generous and The Grateful provides furniture and other essential household items to those in need.
Leading a team of more than 60 volunteers, Carmen’s hard-work and dedication has seen almost 500 homes furnished in the past financial year. These efforts have assisted some of our most vulnerable people, including those escaping domestic violence, those experiencing financial difficulties as well as refugees and migrants.
A particular focus of Carmen’s work in 2020 was directed to people who were displaced from their homes due to the devastating bushfires as well as due to the increased prevalence of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carmen’s efforts with The Generous and The Grateful were recently recognised by the AMP Foundation which awarded her with a grant from its Tomorrow Fund.
Besides her tremendous work with The Generous and The Grateful, Carmen is also a valued member of the City of Ryde community.
She is an active member of Venture Café Sydney, which is located in Macquarie Park, and has been involved with the City of Ryde Status of Women Advisory Committee and the Social Inclusion Advisory Committee.
Young Citizen of the Year
In 2018, Alex’s life changed forever when aged just 16 years old he broke his neck and severely damaged his spinal cord while doing what he loved – playing rugby for the under 17s NSW rugby sevens selection squad.
Told he may never walk again, Alex spent close to a year in ICU, the spinal unit at Royal North Shore and Royal Rehab where he worked extremely hard on learning to adjust to his new life and regain function and movement in his limbs.
Testament to his positive outlook, Alex completed his rehab and returned to school to complete his HSC. He also worked on his strength to enable him to once again brush his teeth, use a computer, feed himself and operate a wheelchair himself.
It is around this time that Alex developed the motto – “If I fight – you fight”.
This motto has become its own movement and Alex now works to inspire individuals, businesses, sports clubs, schools, celebrities and professional athletes to look back and be happy with the life they have created for themselves.
Alex is also an Ambassador for the University of Sydney’s Centre for Neuroscience and Regeneration and has dedicated much of his time to raising money to treat spinal cord injuries.
For Alex, life is a gift and he wakes up everyday and appreciates that, knowing that he can do anything he puts his mind to.
Citizen of the Year
Rob is a dedicated volunteer for a wide range of community organisations here in the City of Ryde.
Rob has been the Secretary of the West Ryde Chamber of Commerce since 2017 in which he has advocated for local businesses and efforts to revitalise the West Ryde town centre.
He is also a long-serving member of Meadowbank West Ryde Progress Association in which he addresses a range of local community concerns, and is also the community representative on the Local Planning Panel.
When he is not advocating for the community, Rob helps Christian Community Aid provide Meals on Wheels services and also volunteers for Council’s Bush Car program.
Young Citizen of the Year
Cameron is a leading and vocal advocate for young people within the City of Ryde.
He has helped deliver a range of initiatives targeted at local youths, particularly in relation to education, employment and mental health. This includes developing an entertaining and informative podcast which was designed to support young people through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Cameron has also taken a leading role in youth politics and leadership having been involved with the Ryde Youth Council, Children’s Parliament and the Y Online Youth Leadership program.
In addition, Cameron has raised vital funds for the Davidson Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade and is now applying to become an active fire fighting member.