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Shire's outstanding citizens honoured with council Australia Day awards

A resident who has given a huge amount of his time to community activities over many years has been named Sutherland Shire's 2020 Australia Day Citizen of the Year.

Michael Batty has contributed to surf lifesaving and the Rural Fire Service, worked every Friday at the shop run by volunteers at Sutherland Hospital and is part of the group which established and runs the John Franklin lunch on Christmas Day.

Mr Batty is also a highly regarded member of the Sutherland District Trade Union Club (Tradies) and sits on several sub-committees including the Community Grants Committee.

Mayor Carmelo Pesce announced the winners of the awards, who will be honoured at Australia Day ceremonies.

"One of the best things about Sutherland Shire is its fantastic sense of community spirit," he said.

"I'm proud to say there were some outstanding nominees this year, so as well as offering my congratulations to the winners, I pay tribute to all of the nominees for what they offer our community and congratulate them on their commitment and dedication.

"I would also like to thank those who took the time to nominate their fellow community members for the 2020 awards."

The 2020 Young Citizen of the Year is Kal Glanznig.

Kal organised the funding for Caringbah High School's recent $100,000 solar-panel system, leading to $15,000 in savings each year to spend on better education for future students.

In 2019, he shared his Year 12 project designs for providing green space on former sand mining sites around Boat Harbour with representatives from the council, state government and the Holt Group.

The council said "his vision for increased green-space is being used as inspiration for the planning work currently underway for the area."

Kal also developed Plastic Free Cronulla with the Chamber of Commerce, which included this year's Cronulla Spring Festival being free of single-use plastic for the first time.

Volunteers at the council's animal shelter at Taren Point are the 2020 Community Group of the Year.

They help to socialise and train the animals in readiness for finding a new home. Last year, 750 animals were brought to the shelter.

The 2020 Environmental Citizen of the Year, a new category, is Chase Cross.

Chase collects cans and bottles used at home, restaurants, social and sporting events and even family holidays as part of a school project called The Planet is there to Share.

Chase collected 2061 items in a single school term and donated the $206.10 he received through the Return and Earn scheme to Love Mercy Foundation, a shire based charity that helps people in Northern Uganda, Africa.