Georges River Council announces 2018 Citizens of the Year awards

Honoured: Georges River Council 2018 Young Citizen of the Year Cooper Bennett, mayor Kevin Greene, assistant general manager David Tuxford and 2018 Volunteer of the Year Maureen Finch. Picture: John Veage
Honoured: Georges River Council 2018 Young Citizen of the Year Cooper Bennett, mayor Kevin Greene, assistant general manager David Tuxford and 2018 Volunteer of the Year Maureen Finch. Picture: John Veage

Georges River Council’s 2018 Citizen of the Year is Bryan Pirie, Oatley Lions president and one of the key organisers of the Oatley Village Festival.

Mr Pirie was one of three three outstanding members of the local community who have been recognised in the council’s  2018 Australia Day Awards.

Georges River Council’s mayor  Kevin Greene announced the winners of the Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year at a reception held at the Georges River Civic Centre at Hurstville today.

Guests included Federal Treasurer and Member for Cook, Scott Morrison; Federal Member for Banks, David Coleman; and Member for Kogarah, Chris Minns.

It was Georges River Council’s second Australia Day awards and continues the recognition of local volunteers.

The winners were nominated by the community for their ongoing contribution and dedication.

“In the lead-up to Australia Day it is important to recognise those who selflessly dedicate their time to making the Georges River area a great place to live, work and play,” Cr Greene said.

“The passion, hard work and commitment of our Australia Day nominees in helping others not only benefits those they directly assist, but has a flow-on effect which improves the social fabric of our community.”

Citizen of the Year, Bryan Pirie was unable to attend the awards presentation.

Mr Pirie has had a long involvement organising the annual Oatley Lions Village Festival which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year.

An estimated 15,000 people attended the 40th village fair last October helping to raise $35,000 for charity.

Councillor Greene said  Mr Pirie was a deserving winner of the prestigious award.

“Mr Pirie has devoted his time and effort to the community as 2017 Oatley Village Festival Chairman, Oatley Music in the Park Chairman and Oatley Lions president,” Cr Greene said.

“He has been involved with the Oatley Village Festival for 20 years and his selfless devotion to these community initiatives has had an immeasurable effect on their success,” he added.

The Georges River Council 2018 Young Citizen of the Year is Cooper Bennett, who is heavily involved in the Rockdale Air Force Cadets 302 squadron and actively participates in community service.

“Cooper has made a significant contribution to his community,” Cr Greene said.

“Not only is he a volunteer with the SES Mortdale branch he also devotes his time to senior leadership roles and numerous outreach programs at his school,” he said.

The 2018 Volunteer of the Year is Maureen Finch who has been recognised for her significant involvement with the Connells Point Netball Club for close to 30 years.

“Maureen is an integral part of the Connells Point Netball Club community,” Cr Greene said.

“Her dedication to the club sees her take two weeks of her annual leave from work each year to administer the competition entries,” he said.

“She also arranges coaches for over 25 teams, manages their training schedules and organises and trains the club’s umpires,” he said.

“The council’s Australia Day Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the efforts and significant contributions individuals make within the local community.

“These volunteers assist in almost every sector – from welfare, to education, conservation, emergency services, sport and the arts,” he said.

“These awards are the council’s way of celebrating these people and recognising their efforts in enriching our community. 

“I congratulate all those who were nominated for these awards, and thank you for the selfless efforts in making the Georges River area a better place.”

The 2018 Citizen, Young Citizen and Volunteer of the Year winners will be invited to attend Georges River Council’s Australia Day Festival at Carss Bush Park this Friday.

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