Lithgow City Council Mayor Maree Statham invited the community to reflect, recognise and celebrate all the hard-working and inspirational individuals, organisations, and groups in our community at the Australia Day ceremony held at Queen Elizabeth Park on 26 January 2022.
“2021 has certainly been another challenging year for the nation and for our community,” said the Mayor. “But here we are, once again celebrating our community’s strengths and achievements while also acknowledging the hardships that many have experienced.”
The Mayor acknowledged the traditional custodians of this land and gave a special welcome to Aunty Helen Riley, a local elder representing the Wiradjuri nation through the Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation, who delivered the Welcome to Country address.
The Australia Day Ambassador address was given by James Chapman OLY, known for his achievements in national, international, and Olympic rowing.
The Mayor also presented the Local Citizenship Awards which seek to recognise those individuals and groups who make a significant difference to our community. “I think no-one will be surprised that we have once again received a number of very worthy nominations, said the Mayor”
The Young Volunteer of the Year Award recognises young people between the ages of 16 and 26 who have generously committed their time to benefit the community.
The award was jointly given to Ella Zorz for her voluntary work with Lithgow Headspace and Lithgow Youth Council and Jewell Small for her voluntary work with the Headspace pantry set up. She is a founding member of The Headspace LGBTQI support group and is a member of The Headspace Youth Reference group.
The Open Volunteer of the Year Award recognises the generosity and dedication of individuals who commit their time and expertise to worthy causes within the community. The award was given to Pam Day for her voluntary work with the Links to Learning Support Program, Lithgow Women Shed, Lithgow Flash Dragons, Hartley Farmers, and in providing transport for isolated community members.
The Citizen Achievement Award recognises the achievements of local individuals who make a difference to our community by excelling in their chosen field.
The Young Citizen Achievement Award was awarded to Brydie Zorz for her role in campaigning to the community and Councillors on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The Open Citizen Achievement Award was awarded to Ray Tang and Ben Lane for their work over many years in securing funding to construct an accessible fishing pontoon at Lake Wallace.
The Service to the Community Award recognises groups and organisations that aim to enrich the lives of the people in the Lithgow area.
The award was jointly awarded to Lithgow Community Projects and Lithgow Headspace. Lithgow Community Projects supports vulnerable groups in the Lithgow community including women and children living in or leaving domestic violence situations, young families, singles, and others facing homelessness.
Lithgow Headspace provides a range of free mental health and allied health services to young people in Lithgow.
The Outstanding Event of the Year Award was jointly awarded to Gorrie Ban for its Christmas party event and Christmas and Beyond for its Community Christmas Lunch.
On the day four local people took the Australian Citizenship Oath at the event. “An important part of each Australia Day event, and something that I find very moving, is the conferring of Australian Citizenship,” said the Mayor. “Today marks a special and important step in the lives of each of you, our conferees, and for those sharing this occasion with you. Because today, you will become Australian citizens,” concluded the Mayor.