Australia Day Award nominations now open

Mayor Yvonne Keane
Mayor Yvonne Keane

Hills Shire Mayor, Councillor Yvonne Keane, is encouraging residents to nominate their local hero for The Hills Shire Australia Day Honours Awards.

“On Australia Day, The Hills Shire Council recognises the outstanding achievements of community members through the Australia Day Awards,” Mayor Keane said.

“These awards acknowledge the valued work and commitment of our unsung heroes who give generously of their time and expertise to help others.

“You may know of a neighbour who volunteers in the community, the friend who never hesitates to give support and the colleague who endlessly encourages those around you.

“You may have experienced the many groups in the community that exist to lend a hand in various ways.

“Being nominated for an Australia Day Award is a great honour and is a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to someone who makes you proud to be Australian.

“Help us to recognise and award these people and groups that you believe make The Hills Shire a wonderful place to live, work, play, build and grow.”

Before her election to Council, Mayor Keane won the 2012 Citizen of the Year Award at The Hills Shire Council’s Australia Day Awards ceremony after she helped to save early intervention centre Hear the Children from closure more than nine years ago.

She raised funds and awareness for the service which teaches hearing impaired children aged six weeks to six years to listen and speak naturally and clearly through free therapy.

As a result, the charity continues to provide its much needed services to residents and families of The Hills and surrounding suburbs.

At least 90 per cent of children who attend Hear the Children go on to attend mainstream schools with spoken language on par with their hearing peers.

Mayor Keane said she was surprised when she was named the winner of the Citizen of The Year award.

“As a full-time mother of two wonderful children, first and foremost, to be considered worthy of the Australia Day Award was not something I would have ever thought could happen to me,” Mayor Keane said.

“To have the support and recognition from The Hills Shire Council and the rest of the public meant the world to me.

“It gave me the opportunity to speak out and continue my support for Hear the Children and other causes close to my heart.”

Nominations can be made online at www.thehills.nsw.gov.au before the closing date of 4pm on Friday 9 December 2016.

Applications can be filled out online and nominations must include a brief explanation on what makes your nominee an outstanding community member, how they are role models for others to follow or how they have excelled or contributed to the greater Hills Shire community.

Recipients of the 2017 awards will be announced in the lead-up to Australia Day 2017.

Nominees must be residents of The Hills Shire local government area.

The 2017 Australia Day categories are as follows:

  • Citizen of the Year Award
  • Young Citizen of the Year Award
  • Senior Citizen of the Year Award
  • Community Project of the Year Award
  • Community Organisation of the Year Award