Shoalhaven City Council celebrated their annual Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony on Monday, 31 January 2022 at the Ulladulla Civic Centre.
The awards celebrate local people and the diverse ways they contribute to our community across eight categories including sports, the environment, the arts and to building an inclusive Shoalhaven.
Shoalhaven City Council, Mayor Amanda Findley said she was immensely proud to see so many wonderful community-minded people being acknowledged and celebrated.
“I am thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of local people, often unsung heroes, doing amazing things in our community across a range of fields.” Mayor Findley said.
“I would like to congratulate these inspirational award winners and the nominees in each category.
"You should be immensely proud of the positive impact your efforts make to our community. I would also like to thank those who took the time to nominate the deserving community members for the awards.," she said.
Citizen of the Year – Fran Mooney
Fran Mooney has been a member of the Rural Fire Service (RFS), St Georges Basin since 2012.
She has attended bushfires, motor vehicle accidents, back burning and more.
Ms Mooney was instrumental in the redevelopment of the Sanctuary Point Skate Park.
Her involvement in the project has seen a significant decrease in antisocial behaviour.
She consistently promotes and encourages activities for young people to ensure parents and children know what they can access and build support around safe play for children.
She is an inspirational role model for the community through her tireless work for Sanctuary Point youth.
Ms Mooney has also been a member of the St Georges Basin State Emergency Services for almost three years.
She is an honest, open, and passionate individual who leads by example and has proved that things can change, if you keep at it, to support youth to have more opportunities and a stronger sense of community.
Young Citizen of the Year - Wade Cawley
As a role model for young people, Wade Cawley demonstrates his passion for the environment by repurposing waste in meaningful ways. He took his passion from a hobby to starting a local e-Waste business to upcycle and keep recyclable material out of landfill.
Mr Cawley networks with local businesses and LGA’s to ensure e-Waste is suitably recycled with his electric van enabling him to collect obsolete items directly from businesses and residents.
Through Mr Cawley, his business educates clients on the intricacies of recycling and shows how small steps can create big solutions. His innovative approach to repurposing waste makes a major contribution to protecting the environment.
He is also an organiser of Clean-up Australia Day in Berry.
Mr Cawley’s love for helping others and making our environment cleaner for the next generation is incredible. This passionate young man is a role model and inspiration and deserves much recognition in the field of environmental excellence.
Sports Person – Kelsey Bennett
After 12 Years playing golf, Ms Bennett has achieved international status finishing equal second in the International Women's Amateur Asia Pacific Championship in Abu Dhabi.
She is now recognised as a leading young amateur in Australia and Internationally.
She is a true inspiration. While currently studying for her HSC, teaches golf to young children.
She also assists PGA Professional Staff with Junior development at around 15 Junior Clinics at the local primary schools.
In two years, she competed in 18 major amateur events across Australia where she had 13 top 10 finishes including two wins, second places and three third places. Kelsey's World Amateur Golf Ranking is an impressive 122.
Young Sports Person - Imogen Radburn
In a short period of time, Imogen Radburn has gained respect and admiration from everyone in the karting community.
Last year Imogen became the youngest ambassador for Karting NSW. She is an inspirational role model who is passionate about growing the sport.
She is committed to making strong connections with younger karters so they know they are fully supported in every way.
Apart from becoming an excellent karter, she is not afraid to get her hands dirty. Younger karters are often seen surrounding Imogen while she works on karts.
After completing her HSC, Ms Radburn would like to become a diesel mechanic and one day drive V8 Supercars.
Highly Commended Young Sports Person - Jackson Ingram
Jackson Ingram has achieved outstanding junior sporting achievements in cricket and AFL.
His achievements include representing under 15's Shoalhaven and under 15's Great Southern Marlins in cricket.
Mr Ingram has won 11 cricket awards, including, under 15's representative player of the year, Shoalhaven and under 15's Sydney Thunder Country player of the year. Jackson has now made his first-grade debut with Bomaderry.
As an inspirational and talented sportsperson, Mr Ingram also represented Shoalhaven in AFL at state championships.
Outstanding Contribution to the Environment – Maureen and Norman Webb
Maureen and Norman Webb have been extensively involved in voluntary efforts for over three decades, especially in the Bay and Basin District.
Since moving to St Georges Basin in 1990 Maureen and Norman established themselves in the community joining various groups committed to environmental conservation. They joined the Jervis Bay Regional Alliance and began a long association with the Australian Plant Society – Nowra, where Maureen is the current Conservation Officer.
The breadth of their contributions to the environment is impressive. Maureen and Norman embrace bush care, park care and native animal rescue. They undertake conservation activism at various Shoalhaven sites and provide public education on environmental concerns.
Highly Commended - Outstanding Contribution to the Environment - Julie Holstegge
Julie Holstegge is actively involved in a range of land care and community activities. She encourages a passion for native gardening at the local primary schools and volunteers land care sites.
She became a local champion educating and supporting landholders to undertake weed control. Ms Holstegge also volunteers on farms to support landholders to revegetate cleared farming landscapes.
She established her own on-farm nursery, leading a team of volunteers to collect seed and growing 1000's of tube stock to put back into local projects. As a team leader, Julie has successfully turned her local farming community into an engaged, productive and sustainable farming community.
Outstanding Contribution to an Inclusive Shoalhaven – Shirley Allison
Shirley Allison has made an outstanding contribution to making Shoalhaven a more inclusive community for people of all abilities, ages and culture.
Ms Allison has been a very diligent worker for Legacy, Coastal Controls, the War Widows, RSL Club and opportunity shop, Outreach and Ulladulla community transport for many years.
Her tireless commitment to support and bring people together creates more opportunities for inclusiveness and a stronger sense of community.
Outstanding Emerging Artist – Anya Mai Ellerington
Anya Mai Ellerington has excelled in her academic achievement in writing. Ms Ellerington had her first piece of work published at the early age of 13.
She has contributed to the field of Motor Neuron Disease, inspired by the loss of her grandmother. Her personal experience inspired her to use poetry to reflect the needs of others including the patient’s experience, a family’s journey and as a bystander.
Ms Ellerington has been a writer since her early primary years and her ability to articulate feelings on paper has become her passion.
Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture – Bonnie Porter-Greene
Outstanding contribution Shoalhaven’s Arts and Culture. As a multi-disciplinary creative Bonnie Porter-Greene is a powerhouse of local Art.
Ms Porter-Greene was born, resides and creates in the Shoalhaven. She explores her love of the landscape, both built and natural, through reflective studio practice and air excursions resulting in direct and honest painted memories of the landscape and connection to the environment.
She is the Director at Collator, a place for artist-led art education, design and murals. For the past two decades she has worked tirelessly within the local community.
Images: Shoalhaven City Council & Wade Cawley