Australia Day Awards 2023


Keith Foulds was awarded Bungendore’s Citizen of the Year for his dedicated membership of the Bungendore sporting community with 22 years of service with the Bungendore Basketball Club, 31 years of service with the Bungendore Swimming Club and 31 years of service with the Bungendore Swimming Pool Trust where he has served as president since 1991. Keith ran the Bungendore Pool on behalf of council-employed lifeguards for years and has invested his time and expertise across lots of different areas including lifeguarding and training.

Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Chloe Parkinson for her outstanding achievements in Scouts, Venture Scouts, the SciScouts STEM Youth Council and school and community fundraising for cancer research. Chloe is a devoted and active member of the 1st Bungendore Scouts where she volunteers to assist Joey and Cub leaders with events and camps. She has been instrumental in raising over $10,500 to fund travel expenses for the 1st Bungendore Scouts to represent Bungendore at the World Scout Jamboree in 2023. She is passionate about promoting the value of Scouting life to her community. Chloe has grown out her hair and shaved her head twice to raise funds and awareness for cancer research and support.

Bungendore’s Event of the Year was awarded to Bungendore Police Station, Memorial Gardens and Commemorative Service for the Commemoration of Constable Bradley Van Heythuysen. Constable Van Heythuysen was stationed at Bungendore Police Station when he tragically died at the age of 25 in 1991. A memorial garden was created within the grounds of Bungendore Police Station to commemorate his life and service. After 30 years, local police and community members came together to restore the garden and honour Constable Van Heythuysen’s memory with a rededication ceremony in November 2021. The ceremony was a heartfelt example of Bungendore’s community spirit.

Susan Smith was awarded the Mayoral Community Service Award for her dedication and years of service with the Bungendore War Memorial Committee and for assisting Bungendore community groups. Susan has been a devoted and passionate member of the Bungendore War Memorial Committee for over 20 years where she has served as Secretary, Treasurer and President. She has worked closely with committee members to deliver numerous annual ANZAC dinners to commemorate the service and memory of Australian servicemen and women. She was also the director of Palerang Financial Services for over five years, where she was instrumental in helping local community groups apply for funding applications.

Captains Flat

Faye Grunsell was awarded Citizen of the Year for Captains Flat for her outstanding commitment to Captains Flat through her dedication to the Captains Flat Community Association and Seniors group. Faye moved to Captains Flat in 2008 and has been a loud and proud citizen of the close-knit town ever since. She recently stepped down as President of the Captains Flat Community Association but continues to contribute to the group, helping to make sure their monthly markets run smoothly. She has been an active board member of the Captains Flat Bowling Club for many years, taking great pride in planning events and maintaining the viability of the club as a place for locals to come together. She also organises lunch dates for the town’s Seniors Group.

Paul Gamble was awarded Young Citizen of the Year for Captains Flat for being community minded and committed to helping others as an active member of the Men’s Shed. The community of Captains Flat has watched Paul grow into a polite young man who is the first person to jump up and offer a hand at any time. He can be found at the community hall when the markets are on, going from stall to stall offering to help stallholders carry their goods back to their cars at the end of the day. He is an asset to the community and a beloved member of the Captains Flat Men’s Shed.


Laurann Yen and Sally Mathews were jointly awarded Citizen of the Year for their outstanding achievements and commitment to Araluen and the Araluen community. Both dedicated members of the Araluen Progress Association, Laurann and Sally show exemplary community spirit in all their endeavours to unite and support all members of the Araluen village. They organise and contribute to numerous functions and fundraisers, were instrumental in getting the local community hall restored, and lead their community with empathy and ambition through floods, fires and drought.

Braidwood’s Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Charlie Campbell for her outstanding achievements and leadership as an active member of the 1st Braidwood Scouts. Charlie joined the NSW Scouts in 2010 and the 1st Braidwood Scouts after its revival in 2016, representing Scouts at national and international Jamborees. She is a gifted leader who has repeatedly proven her tenacity and exercised her calm, level-headed approach to solve problems. Charlie is always eager to lend a hand with different fundraising and community events. Even since moving to Wollongong to undertake her university studies, Charlie has continued her Scouting journey with the 1st Balgownie Scout group.

The Young Writers Festival was awarded Event of the Year for Braidwood. The Festival aims to give young people living or going to school in Braidwood the opportunity to share their stories, essays, poetry, or opinion pieces on any subject. Since it began in 2018, the festival has continued to grow in popularity with 2022’s event receiving over 300 entries. The Braidwood Lions work diligently to secure well-renowned local authors to judge the entries as well as funding from up to fifty local businesses, and local and state governments.


Queanbeyan’s Citizen of the Year was awarded to Kelli Rixon for her outstanding and enduring leadership with Sleepbus Queanbeyan. Kelli is a qualified sleep scientist who is passionate about the importance of good sleep for more vulnerable community members. She has been a driving force in securing more volunteers for the Queanbeyan Sleepbus which has seen it go from being open two nights a week to five, with extended hours during winter. Kelli works at the Sleepbus two nights a week, volunteering in various roles such as a Night Service Volunteer, Caretaker, and doing housekeeping.

Ruby Holden was awarded Young Citizen of the Year for Queanbeyan for being community minded and passionate about Queanbeyan and the future of Queanbeyan youth. Ruby is involved with the local Youth Council where she actively helps to make decisions on how to make her community a place where young people feel heard. She plays the tuba in the Queanbeyan Community Jr Brass Band and is a member of the Australian Girls Choir where she enjoys mentoring the younger girls. She is a passionate volunteer who seeks out opportunities to give back, such as collecting donations to support local respite services.

The Jerrabomberra Residents Association (JRA) was awarded Event of the Year for Queanbeyan for the Carols @ Jerra in 2021. The JRA did a wonderful job of putting together a high calibre event that was appreciated by the entire community. It offered them the chance to come together and celebrate after a difficult few years following the pandemic. Approximately 1,000 people attended the event which featured music from the Weston Winds Concert Band, food and drink stalls from local businesses, and an exciting visit from Santa.

/Public Release. View in full here.