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Our Australia Day Heroes

Lilian Ries Oam
Lilian ries oam was among over 700 people recognised at the australia day honours list

Several locals were honoured in the 2024 Australia Day Honours and Awards announced by Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley today (January 26th) but the oldest of the 1,042 recipients was 100-year-old Lilian Ries from Northmead.

Her family said she was surprised and very honoured by the award which was for over 25 years of volunteering at Ronald McDonald House at Westmead.

Other locals honoured included: Hills Community stalwart John Ebbott (OAM), Prostate Cancer support volunteers Graham and Adele Staggs (OAMs), Prof Maria Wardle (AM) Michael Lee (AM) and former Castle Hill swimming coach and Paralympian Ellie Cole.

John Ebbott Oam
John ebbott with the medal of order of australia with his “service to the community through a range of organisations.
Prostate Cancer Support Volunteers Graham Staggs And Adele Staggs
Prostate cancer support volunteers graham and adela staggs (oams) were recognised along with other local community members at the australia day awards.

The Governor-General congratulated those named saying “Recipients have made a difference and had an impact at the local, national and/or international level. Individually, they are inspiring and collectively they speak to the strength of our communities.

“To each recipient: know that you have the thanks and respect of your nation. In my experience most are humble and often try to deflect attention or praise – please enjoy the moment because your country has decided that you deserve recognition.

Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, nominate them now at

Bev Jordan

Bev Jordan studied journalism at Harlow College in the UK.  She achieves a Diploma in Journalism from the National Council for the Training of Journalists. After migrating to Australia at the end of 1984, she took up a Senior Journalist position with Cumberland Newspapers, based on the Parramatta Advertiser. She has since worked on the Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald and was a lecturer in Journalism at Macleay College in Sydney. Bev returned to Cumberland Newspapers (NewsLocal) and worked for 30 years covering all different mastheads, including Mosman Daily, Mount Druitt Standard and finally Hills Shire Times for the last 17 of those years. Bev’s passion has always been local community journalism.  She says “As a journalist, I have always seen it as my job to inform, inspire and involve.  I am a passionate advocate for organisations and people making a difference to the world around them. Connectedness is so important to the health of an individual but also to a community, no matter how small or large.

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