The Ku-ring-gai Australia Day Awards are presented each year in recognition of groups and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the local community. The winners were announced by Mayor Jennifer Anderson at a special ceremony on Australia Day.

Four awards – the Group Award for Outstanding Service, Young Citizen of the Year, Senior Citizen of the Year and the Citizen of the Year – were presented by Mayor Jennifer Anderson, Councillors and Australia Day Ambassador Catherine DeVrye.

The Group Award was presented to the Financial Counselling Team from Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury, who have been helping the local community for 28 years. The team of seven accredited counsellors are highly experienced in dealing with clients who are financially distressed and in desperate need of help. The past year alone they have advocated for and assisted more than 700 clients over 2,600 hours.

The Financial Counselling Team from Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury

Ku-ring-gai’s Young Citizen of the Year is Katherine Bowditch from St Ives. Since completing a degree in Public Health last year, Katherine has volunteered with the St Ives Neighbourhood Centre, helped manage a dementia friendly café and organised an anti-ageism parade for the International Day of Older Persons. She has also helped with falls prevention classes for older people and advocated about the need for better aged care for non-English speaking residents. She is currently working as a caregiver, providing in-home care support and personal care for older Ku-ring-gai residents.

Katherine Bowditch

The Senior Citizen of the Year Award went to Gordon couple Noella and Malcolm Allerding. Noella and Malcolm’s main area of support and time given is to the Lindara Markets, raising funds for the homeless, families in crisis and domestic violence victims on Sydney’s North Shore. Noella also volunteers as a pastoral carer at the San Hospital every week, while Malcolm is the volunteer handyman at the Lindfield Uniting Church. He also organises a singing group to visit Whitehall Aged Care Facility in Lindfield. Noella and Malcolm are hosts for Frontier Services and hold regular BBQs for outback families at their home. They recently held a fundraiser BBQ for farmers affected by drought.

Malcolm and Noella Allerding

The Ku-ring-gai Citizen of the Year was awarded to Lucy Dahill. Lucy is a youth counsellor at both Turramurra High and Ku-ring-gai High.

Lucy Dahill

She is passionate about youth mental health, completing a Masters in Health and now studying a PhD through Western Sydney University in Youth Mental Health. She was a former board member and local manager for Streetwork, working with at risk young people in the local community.

Lucy has been the local founder and organiser of International Women’s Day and International Men’s Day in Ku-ring-gai. She was a board member for Triple H community radio, previously hosting a regular Sunday morning show and special community events such as the dawn service for Anzac Day. Lucy is also a Rotarian helping to raise funds for a number of community projects.

Mayor Jennifer Anderson said all those receiving this year’s awards had demonstrated extraordinary effort in helping their local community without any thought of reward.’ “I congratulate all the winners for their selfless service and the many hundreds of other volunteers who work seven days a week round the clock to help local people. Australia Day was the perfect day to recognise their contribution.”

Congratulations to all of the winners!

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