Outstanding locals honoured

in 2022 Australia Day Awards

Twelve outstanding locals have received Australia Day honours, including Robyn Downham (Founder of River Cares Group Inc.) who was named ‘Citizen of the Year’, in the 2022 Australia Day Awards on the Central Coast.

21 January 2022


COUNCIL Unit Manger Community and Culture, Glenn Cannard said the annual awards are a chance to recognise the achievements of individuals who have made a positive contribution to the Central Coast community.


“I would like to congratulate our nine winners and three highly commended recipients on receiving this honour and thank them for their ongoing contributions to our community,” Mr Cannard said.


“Our Citizen of the Year for 2022, Robyn Downham is undoubtedly a worthy recipient of this award and epitomises the true meaning of community spirit, through committing her time to founding and running the River Cares Group Inc.


“The community of Spencer have been impacted by bushfires and floods for the past two years, leaving many people in the local community feeling overwhelmed and isolated.


“Under Ms Downham’s leadership, River Cares Group Inc. has led several initiatives that positively impact the communities along the Hawkesbury River, which includes successfully raising funds for a number of defibrillators positioned along the river.


“Perhaps the biggest job that Ms Downham and the River Cares Group Inc. have undertaken is the development of the Spencer Community Led Emergency Management Plan, which aims to help the community better prepare and recover from a variety of natural disasters that affect them, whilst also building crucial connections between community members and emergency services that are key components for a disaster resilient community.


“It is this level of care and commitment to support the local Spencer community and help them better prepare for natural disasters, that makes Ms Downham a worthy recipient for our 2022 Citizen of the Year Award.”


Council Administrator, Rik Hart said Australia Day awards honour the amazing achievements and work of a diverse group of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to our local community.


“It is with great pleasure that I congratulate each of the award winners, as well as all of those who were nominated,” Mr Hart said.


“To be recognised for your work and contribution to the local community at such a level is a great achievement, and something all winners and nominees should be proud of.


“Although many of us are still experiencing challenging times due to the ongoing pandemic, it is important that we continue to recognise those making outstanding contributions within our community and undoubtedly positively impacting the lives of many locals.


Other Australia Day 2022 award winners are:


  • Arts, Culture and Entertainment (Winner) – Darryl Davis


  • Business Connecting Communities (Winner) – Mitchell Gordon


  • Business Connecting Communities (Highly Commended) – Christine Mastello


  • Community Service and Activity (Winner) – Con Ryan


  • Community Service and Activity (Highly Commended) – Steev Hassall


  • Environmental Award (Winner) – Debbie Sunartha


  • Sportsperson of the Year (Winner) – Ryan Green


  • Volunteer of the Year (Joint Winner) – Gail Ransley


  • Volunteer of the Year (Joint Winner) – Jenny Cameron


  • Youth of the Year (Winner) – Phoebe Sheridan


  • Youth of the Year (Highly Commended) – Jayden Redfern


To watch the Australia Day Award winner announcements, visit Council’s YouTube channel.

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