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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 735

Mr MURPHY (4:14 PM) —On Australia Day this year I had the pleasure of attending several Australia Day ceremonies in my electorate of Lowe hosted by the local councils. Sydney turned on a beautiful sunny day to welcome hundreds of new Australian citizens as they took the pledge. Surrounded by family and friends, the spirit of community was reflected in the large crowds that gathered in the local parks. On Australia Day we welcome new citizens and recognise citizens who give back to our community through their extraordinary talents, volunteer efforts and participation in local life.

Canada Bay Council recognised the outstanding community contribution of Citizen of the Year 2010, Mr Warwick Williams, for his tireless service to Rotary and the Inner West Red Shield Appeal. Mr Williams has been the chairman of the appeal for 25 years and is a proud sponsor of local charity, Communities for Communities, which recently reached its $1 million fundraising target this year.

Mr Vishaal Sharma from Abbotsford was awarded the Young Citizen of the Year award for his efforts in founding the UNSW Education without Borders as well as for his involvement with the Canada Bay Youth Committee and the local Amnesty International Urgent Action Network.

Sports Citizen of the Year went to Carla Blancato for her dedication and involvement in the local soccer club. Carla played in the women’s state league competition and captained her team to victory in 2009. Mr Terry Robinson was awarded the Arts and Culture Citizen of the Year for his voluntary work as a graphic artist for many years for the Concord Heritage Society. In this area Mr Robinson designed and constructed displays for the City of Canada Bay museum. Mr Robinson is also very well known for his efforts at the local Rotary, often donating his artwork to assist fundraising efforts.

Strathfield Council recognised the efforts of Mr Ray Wilson, naming him Strathfield Citizen of the Year. Mr Wilson, who has supported Stretford Rotary for over 20 years, is a committed fundraising volunteer for multiple sclerosis research and was an instigator of the Bay to Bay walkway and cycleway.

Strathfield Young Citizen of the Year 2010 is Tyson Parcell. In 2009 Mr Parcell was awarded the best all-rounder award at Homebush Boys High School for his leadership, academic results, sporting achievements and community services, including efforts for the Exodus Foundation, the Uganda Children’s Fund and Stewart House.

Burwood Council awarded Citizen of the Year award to Mr Neville Snow, Young Citizen of the Year award to Mr Thomas Stephoulis and Sports Award to the Burwood Football Club over-50s team for their community spirit.

I take this opportunity to congratulate all of the Australia Day 2010 award recipients and offer a warm welcome to our new Australian citizens. I know that in my electorate of Lowe we are fortunate to have so many wonderful community members who contribute their talents and resources to make our electorate the fantastic place it is to live in, and I encourage all of my constituents to participate in 2010.