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Local Citizen of the Year Awards

Nominations for the 2025 awards are now open.

Award Categories

Local Citizen of the Year Awards

  • Local Citizen of the Year (26 to 64 years)
    For those aged 26 to 64 years who live, work, volunteer or belong to a community group in the Cumberland Local Government Area.
  • Local Young Citizen of the Year (up to 25 years)
    For those up to 25 years of age who live, work, study or belong to a community group in the Cumberland Local Government Area.
  • Local Senior Citizen of the Year (65+ years)
    For those aged 65 years or over who live, work, study or belong to a community group in the Cumberland Local Government Area.

Local Citizen of the Year Awards - Specialised Categories

  • Sportsperson of the Year
    This award recognises sportspersons in the local community for their outstanding sporting achievements over the past year
  • Environmental Citizen of the Year
    This award recognises individuals and organisations; including schools, community groups, and local businesses that have made an outstanding contribution to the local environment.
  • Young Environmental Citizen of the Year
    The Young Environmental Citizen of the Year Award recognises the next generation of environmental champions. Nominees must be school-aged (primary or secondary) and may be recognised for their contributions to environmental initiatives in their local community.

Terms and Conditions

Before making a submission, please read the 'Terms and Conditions' as provided on the relevant nomination form.

Nomination forms

Closing date

Nominations for the 2025 awards close on Sunday 24 November 2024.

Former Winners

2024

Environmental Citizen of the Year - Auburn Hospital Recyclers

Auburn Hospital Recyclers began over 17 years ago when a young local boy wanted to raise money for an orphanage in Vietnam. Their continual efforts to recycle has made a positive and inspiring effect on people throughout the hospital. Accepting the award on behalf of the organisation were Ms Helen Sala and Ms Roseanne Smith.

Sportsperson of the Year – Renee Alame

Renee is a local young tennis player, who at 14 years of age has received several accolades and titles at National and International levels. A passionate tennis player, Renee engages with other young children at her local tennis courts and encourages them to pursue their aspirations.

Local Young Citizen of the Year – Zainab Jalloh

A young and active voice within the community services sector, Zainab has been an advocate for refugees and migrants within the Cumberland Local Government Area. Having has a strong and positive impact, Zainab has been invited to speak at various events and conferences to share her experiences and inspire others.

Local Senior Citizen of the Year – Alan Patterson

For over 20 years, Alan has shared his enthusiasm, independence and work pride with the Wests Track & Field Club at Wyatt Park. Alan inspires young athletes and is always exploring opportunities for athletes with disability by providing accessibility and ensuring all aspects of the grounds are safe and operational.

Local Citizen of the Year – Bulent Ada

Bulent is dedicated to providing mental health support to individuals, particularly those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds within the Cumberland Local Government Area. Over several years, Bulent’s commitment and advocacy for mental health is unwavering, volunteering his time to provide free psychological support services or getting involved in various community events to assist those disadvantaged within the community.

2023

Local Citizen of the Year

Haiying Gao - Haiying is a passionate volunteer within the Cumberland community. Throughout the year she has helped local residents who are elderly, disabled and from non English background residents with everyday tasks and organising services such as Council’s free household clean up collection to keep the area tidy. Her kindness and positive attitude has encouraged others to volunteer. She is a living example of generosity of spirit, compassion and hard work.

Local Young Citizen of the Year

Alisha Khan - Alisha is a local tutor who has provided a supportive and encouraging mentor role to young students with their school studies. She inspires her students to reach their full potential and relates to them by providing examples of her own school life experiences.

Community Pride Award (Individual)

Sankalp Mehta - Sankalp has been a strong support person for members of the community, and throughout the past year in particular he has dedicated his time and efforts into assisting those impacted by COVID. With the provision of free cooked meals, essential grocery items and emotional support, Sankalp selflessly helped others wherever he could. Requesting nothing in return for his service, Sankalp encouraged people to contribute to the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood by making a blood or plasma donation.

Community Pride Award (Group)

Rotary Club of Granville - The Rotary Club of Granville work tirelessly to support various charities and communities across Australia. Over the last year, the Rotary Club distributed over 1,150 grocery hampers to those disadvantaged and partnered with likeminded organisations to deliver hot meals to the homeless. Community projects were also facilitated such as the Women’s Wellness forum which focused on the importance prioritising their health and wellbeing and a digital literacy program for seniors to keep connected with loved ones.

2022

Local Citizen of the Year

Ismail Shah Jafar - Ismail’s attitude and benevolence is well-known within the community, always having a smile for other people and encouraging them to do their best. He is a living example of generosity of spirit, compassion and hard work.

Local Young Citizen of the Year

Nargis Karimi - Is currently in year 9, and on top of her school and personal commitments, has dedicated a large portion of her life to volunteering and supporting the community. Over the year, she has helped provide relief for people impacted by COVID-19 through the food package delivery program, supporting people who had been impacted by the virus directly or had lost work. Nargis embodies all the characteristics of what it means to exist in community and service of other people.

Community Pride Award (Individual)

Ismail Shah Jafari - Has been a dedicated volunteer for years, and throughout the past year in particular he has dedicated his time and efforts into supporting his community. He often attends the Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Association centre in order to help clean, empty the rubbish and attend events to help cook for groups of newly arrived migrants and refugees, helping to provide free meals for anyone in need.

Community Pride Award (Group)

Good360 - A small team of 25 full time staff, Good360 work tirelessly to support almost 3000 charities and disadvantaged schools across Australia, many of whom say they would not have been able to continue operating during the COVID-19 Pandemic without the free PPE, cleaning supplies and other essentials their small Smithfield based team have matched in this time of intense need.

2021

Local Citizen of the Year

Sayeed Karimi - Volunteers and helps his community develop their leadership potential. He makes sure the youth grow up to be responsible residents who give to their local community. He has never been paid for his work and is available to those in need at all times. Mr Karimi shows the best of Cumberland and Australia through his initiative, compassion, openness, hard work and promotion of Australian values amongst the diverse community of Cumberland.

Local Young Citizen of the Year

Umar Khiyam - Is a hard-working person with integrity, who has freely chosen to spend his time assisting his community despite being in a vulnerable and uncertain situation himself. Umar has chosen to spend his time giving back and has made community work a priority in his life, while still trying to settle in this country himself.

Year Community Pride Award (Individual)

Irene D’Souza - A long-time resident of Holroyd, she takes it upon her herself to provide friendship and exceptional support to many Seniors, friends, bingo mates, and others. Irene reaches out to those that are not as privileged in order to make a positive change in the Cumberland community.

Community Pride Award (Group)

Guildford Public School - Is committed to inclusive education for all students regardless of their social, religious or socio-economic background. The Guildford Public School community has played a significant part to connect children and parents/caregivers to experiences and support which will inevitably develop strong, passionate and articulate citizens.

2020

Local Citizen of the Year

Remgarajan Chidambaranathan - Enthusiasm in the community service does not limit boundaries or borders. His dedication and tireless efforts are a testament to his community engagement.

Local Young Citizen of the Year

Ibrahim Taha - Works tirelessly in representing Cumberland youth through various initiatives that enhance their leadership skills

Local Senior Citizen of the Year

Bruce Banton - Worked within the Cumberland Community for over 50 years. In 1983 Bruce established a primary school, which is now known as Westmead Christian Grammar School. Bruce continues to provide guidance and support for families in the Cumberland area.

Community Pride Award (Individual)

Kanan Shah - With over 600 students passing through her dance studio, Ms Shah has provided practical meaning to diversity in culture and celebration of multiculturalism

Community Pride Award (Group)

Auburn Hospital Recyclers - A group of dedicated environmental warriors and the founders of the Auburn Hospital Recycling for the Future Project, where they strive to find new ways to recycle items and continue to reduce waste.

2019

Local Citizen of the Year

Dr. Chandrika Subramaniyan - Published author and successful lawyer who shares her legal expertise freely to support refugees and migrants.

Local Young Citizen of the Year

Simaima Taufa - International rugby league player, recipient of the Dally M Women’s Player of the Year in 2017 and an active community leader.

Local Senior Citizen of the Year

Alan Patterson - Outstanding contribution to sport in the local area, including Tiger West’s Little Athletics and multiple netball teams competing in the Parramatta Auburn District

Community Event of the Year

Merrylands RSL Club - George Cartwright Memorial Unveiling.

2018

Local Citizen of the Year

Maria Lucia (Lucy) Doherty - Tireless advocate for people with disabilities and their carers, drawing on from her own experience. Helping children with a disability participate in out-of-school activities, finding inspiration from her own experience of raising a child with autism.

Local Young Citizen of the Year 

Maddison King - Developed the Clever GIRL (Global Intelligent Rip Locator) buoy, which detects rips and warns swimmers of the dangers as part of her HSC works for design and technology. It floats and lights up if a rip is detected underneath.

Sportsperson of the Year

Paul Fogarty Significant contribution to local sport, especially football, and an integral part of the Girraween High School’s sporting success having explicitly imparted his knowledge & understanding of football to both students and staff.

Young Sportsperson of the Year

Carissa Uno - Extensive gymnastics career competing in various state and national competitions, and representing Australia at international competitions. In 2017, Carissa received various winning titles at the 2017 Australian Aerobic Gymnastics National Championships and ANAC International Aerobic Championships in the USA.

Community Event of the Year (shared) 

White Ribbon Breakfast Day - Fundraising event held to support the work of the Parramatta Cumberland Family and Domestic Violence Prevention Committee. The Committee aims to reduce domestic and family violence and improve the safety and status of those experiencing this violence in the Parramatta/Cumberland communities.

2017

Local Citizen of the Year

Trevor Simpson - Outstanding achievements over many decades.

Local Young Citizen of the Year 

Vinushan Kuganathan - Active in community work, school, events, working part time in Parliament and public speaking.

Community Event of the Year

Auburn Hospital - Cans for Kids - raised funds to assist local families and children.

Sportsperson of the Year 

Rachel Wood - Achievements in surf life saving and recent win at the World Youth Life Saving Championships.

More Information

For more information phone us on 8757 9000 or email council@cumberland.nsw.gov.au