DR REX DI BONA
Rex, a software and electronics engineer, is the lead mentor for a robotic competition team called Thunder Down Under, which is made up of about 50 high school students. Mentors volunteer their time to train and support the students in building a custom robot for a regional and global competition.
Naome has been volunteering with the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) for more than 15 years. She created and worked on many initiatives that the ARS still uses, and her volunteer community work extends into other areas such as the Granny Smith Festival, Salvation Army fundraising, helping families during Covid-19, and fundraising for earthquake survivors in Syria and Turkey.
Pauline has volunteered within classroom environments at St Charles Primary School Ryde, for more than a decade. Having Pauline available for two hours, twice a week, has allowed students of need to have vital one-on-one assistance with their learning.
Since arriving in Australia as a refugee in 2013, Reza has spent his time tirelessly giving back to his community. Reza is a culturally and linguistically diverse ambassador for Equally Well as well as being chairman of the board of the Top Ryde Iranian Educational and Cultural Centre and providing mental health crisis support through his work with UNSW.
DR BRUCE SIU-LUNG POON
Bruce is Vice President and Secretary of the Differently Abled People Association, where he has volunteered for 10 years. Bruce has a daughter with severe disability and runs his own business. In his limited spare time, he also serves in the Australian Army Reserve as a Major and on the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers NSW Section committee.
DR YAGIZ ALP AKSOY
Yagiz has served as the Founder and President of the Macquarie University Table Tennis Club for over 10 years and has shown remarkable dedication to its growth and development. Under his leadership, the club has become one of the largest table tennis clubs in the Sydney region.
As Group Leader of the Eastwood/Marsfield Scout Group, Charles attends and assists at The Sirius Cup Regatta and the Sydney North Region Scouthike. He is an adult helper for the Hornsby Gang Show Scout Group and is also a member of the St George's Guild that meets at Ryde’s Historic Addington House to help with the upkeep of the grounds.
Margery has been a member and volunteer of CWA Eastwood-Epping for about 15 years and during this time she has held many executive positions. She has also volunteered with Meals on Wheels twice a week for about 3 1/2 years, as well as at Sydney Town Hall and Sydney Living Museums.
Andrew has volunteered at the Macquarie Park Ryde Business Chamber and its preceding organisations for nearly 20 years, ensuring the chamber works closely and effectively with the City of Ryde whilst supporting many local businesses to network with other businesses, the Council and the wider community.
Cameron is the Moocooboolah District Scout Commissioner, Leader in Charge of 1st Meadowbank Scout Group and is the Camp Warden at Camp Windeyer. As a dedicated District Commissioner, Cameron offers mentorship to both leaders and youth members, creating better citizens for the future.
Even at 82, Werner remains a dedicated volunteer for City of Ryde Bushcare, working for an average of four hours a day at Brush Farm Park. He has invested his own money towards buying plants and has created all the walking tracks, as well as installing bridges, terraces and moving huge piles of rubbish.
Rochelle has volunteered for the Australian Breast Feeding Organisation for over 10 years, working 10-30 hours per week and often travelling long distances while helping mothers to cope with the difficulties of having a newborn baby
Denise is a volunteer for World League Protection of Animals (WLPA), working 5-7 hours per week at the adoption centre and many weeks fostering kittens and cats at her home. Denise is unfailingly pleasant to all and willing to assist whenever she possibly can.
DR FELIX LO
Among his many and varied community volunteering roles, Felix has worked with the City of Ryde on the Eastwood Lunar New Year Festival organising committee, the Community Migrant Resource Centre as its inaugural Multicultural Ambassador, and the Multicultural Advisory Committee.
Known as ‘Johnny Appleseed’ by his many friends, John is a tireless worker for the Granny Smith Festival, which is an annual highlight for the City of Ryde. Without John’s dedication in attracting sponsorship in the Festival’s early days, the Festival would not be what it is today. His care for the community also extends to helping raise funds for Ryde Hospital.
Lindsay is a dedicated local volunteer, having spent many years working for the City of Ryde Eisteddfod, community radio station 2RRR, Neighbourhood Watch, the West Ryde Easter Fair, and the Granny Smith Festival. The significant feature of Lindsay's community work is the breadth of connections he can provide by being so actively involved in each of the groups.
Liz has been a member of the Girl Guides since a child in 1973, before moving into volunteering as a young adult in 1987. Liz started as Unit Leader with Roseville Guides in 1987, and in 1999, she took on the role of Region Treasurer for Northern Sydney Region (NSR) of Girl Guides, a position she has held for the past 24 years.
Samantha is a vital part of the St Charles Primary School community. Not only does she volunteer four days a week at the library, but she is also secretary of the school’s P&F committee, works in the second-hand clothing shop, and assists in the setting up, running and clean up of school events such as the disco, election day BBQ and other community fundraising events.
Greg is a long serving, dedicated and hardworking volunteer with the NSW State Emergency Service
Ryde Unit. As a Team Leader, he directs the response to requests for assistance from Ryde residents impacted by storm and flood emergencies. It’s a 24/7 role, often in horrible weather, dealing with people in unfortunate circumstances and sometimes high-risk environments.
Rolf has been a volunteer for St John Ambulance NSW for 40 years, transferring to the Ryde Division in July 2001. He committed the equivalent of 12 weeks volunteer time to NSW Ambulance in 2022, including training, professional development, meetings, and administration. This included attending 210 events, with 987 duty hours.
Fran has been a volunteer for the Hope in a Suitcase charity for a little over a year, filling cases with clothing, blankets, and toys to be distributed to children in foster care. Despite her own significant health issues, Fran is on call 24/7 to help children in crisis who are often put into foster homes with only the clothes on their backs.
Daryl has been a great supporter of 1st Meadowbank Scout Group, starting with assisting on meeting nights, and soon doing hall and yard maintenance, organising storage, and helping at fundraising and community events. During Covid, Daryl really kept the Scout group going, encouraging participation and looking after the premises.
Iain volunteers as a community driver for Stryder every Friday. He assists frail, vulnerable, disabled and/or elderly clients who can't otherwise get around to medical appointments and on assisted shopping trips to Macquarie Centre. Iain turned 77 last October and he chooses to spend his retirement helping others.
Pam has been a member of the Rotary Club of North Ryde for more than eight years and has fulfilled the roles of President and Secretary at various times. The Ryde community has benefitted from Pam's instigation and leadership of programs and projects that have involved the elderly, people with disabilities and local school students.
Angel volunteers for Christian Community Aid (CCA), organising members' excursions and special outings for birthday celebrations, karaoke, and cultural movie events. She also volunteers for Eastwood Chinese Senior Citizens Club (ECSCC) every week, coordinating different activities for the club members.
Sunja makes lunch for the elderly Koreans who attend the CASS Ryde Community Services Centre every Friday, taking them back to their homeland with a menu that includes easy-to-chew nutritious porridge as morning tea, as well as soft meat dishes such as Bulgogi, Bibimbap and traditional side dishes like Kimchi.