Hills Shire Australia Day Award winners announced

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The Hills Shire Council’s Australia Day Award recipients have been announced during a special ceremony at the Pioneer Theatre on Wednesday, January 19.
Mercedes Durante has been awarded Citizen of the Year, while Scarlet Bradatsch was announced as the Young Citizen of the Year. In addition to this, Shirley Purser secured the Senior Citizen of the Year Award, Chris Jones received the Environmental Citizen of the Year Award and the Lisa Harnum Foundation was awarded Community Group of The Year.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi thanked the winners and finalists for all their hard work in the community.
“On behalf of The Hills Shire, I congratulate everyone that has been nominated in our Australia Day Awards,” Mayor Gangemi said.
“The people and groups that we celebrate today come from all parts of our great Hills Shire community and they have served this region and its residents in every possible way.
“They’ve worked hard despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and are dedicated to making this region the best place in the world to live.
“I thank them for their kindness, generosity and their unwavering support to others.
“The Hills is a better place because of them,” Mayor Gangemi added.
More about our Australia Day Award winners:
Mercedes Durante
Mercedes actively volunteers in areas supporting mental health, including The Hills Women’s Shed. In addition to this, she is the President of the Norwest Rotary Club and works with St John Ambulance on the weekends.
Scarlet Bradatsch
Scarlet’s Year 6 project on women’s rights and gender inequality has been acknowledged by the Football Federation of Australia. She’s also passionate about wanting to help women and children impacted by domestic and family violence and during lockdown, Scarlet worked to fill 150 backpacks with school supplies to be donated to The Sanctuary – The Hills Women’s Shelter.
Shirley Purser
Shirley has dedicated her life to The Hills community with a long list of volunteer achievements including being a charter member of the Zonta Club of Sydney Hills, a founding secretary and current co-chair of Western Sydney International Women’s Day Committee and many other organisations. Shirley runs a volunteer sewing group making a bra support she designed for breast cancer patients who’ve had a mastectomy.
Lisa Harnum Foundation
The Lisa Harnum Foundation provides a much-needed service for women victims and survivors of domestic and family violence in The Hills Shire. Because of the nature of protecting the women and children accessing their services, the work of the Lisa Harnum Foundation often goes by unknown by the community. The staff of Lisa Harnum Foundation are tireless in their pursuit to support women and families experiencing and fleeing domestic and family abuse and are consistently at the forefront of raising awareness and advocating for change.
Chris Jones
Chris is passionate about helping others and the environment. He is a member of the Cattai Hills Environment Network and a long-time volunteer at the Environment Centre at Annangrove. At the Centre, he has helped to establish various gardens that educate the public about gardening and the environment.
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