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Last Updated
Thursday, February 02, 2017

Australia Day Awards 2017

Community Event of the Year

Hunters Hill Heritage Walks Guide.

The Community Event Of The Year was awarded to The Hunters Hill Historical Society for the project, the Hunters Hill Heritage Walks Guide.

In late 2016, Hunters Hill Historical Society published a Guide, an illustrated publication with specially drawn maps and historic photographs.

The publication details six heritage walks throughout the Hunters Hill Municipality, showcasing the Woolwich, Jeanneret, Garibaldi, Figtree, Missionary and Henley Walks which were suitably named after local people and places.

Each walk takes people past 70 bronze plaques which have been installed in the pavement. Each plaque has significance either because of the person who lived there or because of the place itself.

A former President of the Historical Society, the Late Gil Wahlquist had the original idea for the plaques to mark the Sesquicentenary of Hunters Hill, and this guide was published to coincide with the recent installation of the last of the plaques. More than 5,000 copies were printed in the first run and is being distributed free to interested Hunters Hill residents, local libraries and organisations etc.

The guide serves as an educational aid for local school students and will soon be available on the Hunters Hill Historical Society’s website - www.huntershillmuseum.orq.au.
The guide is truly a local community project with members of the Society, June Beck, Ros McGuire, Graham Percival, Beverley Sherry and Chris Schofield each contributing to the research, writing and production.

The Historical Society received assistance from Council’s Community Events Co-ordinator Adrian Black and the project was funded by the generous support of the Armati Family of Hunters Hill - welcome John & Kate - who also funded the first tranche of plaques, with the Mostyn Family Foundation funding the second tranche of plaques.

The Guide is a splendid addition to the volume of literature which documents Hunters Hill’s unique heritage, it allows residents and members of the public to learn more about this beautiful Municipality and is the latest endeavour by the Society to document the past for future generations.

Sportsperson Of The Year

Mr Nicholas Wilkinson

Sportsperson Of The Year was awarded to Mr Nicholas Wilkinson.

Nicholas was named in the Australian Schoolboys Rugby XV and has been Captain of the College First XV team. With over 800 players at the College he attended, this is an important role and one that sees him in a significant leadership role, not just in his team but also in the School.

On the field, Nicholas showed not only great skill and talent which saw him represent his country at the highest level possible in his sport, he showed nothing less than outstanding sportsmanship and conduct. He was well-renowned among all teams across the competition as an athlete of great integrity.

Nicholas was spotted beyond his school walls when he was chosen to captain the AAGPS representative team, the NSW Schoolboys team and then vice-captain the Australian team while on tour in New Zealand.

While many athletes choose to only contribute in one sport, Nicholas took time to be part of the swim team as well. He was named Captain of this team and has represented the AAGPS in Swimming.
A member of the swim team had a significant disability and Nicholas took it upon himself to help this boy in every way possible. He assisted him preparing for races, including assistance in dressing and helped and ensured his safety during the race and then again at the end. This consideration was shown at every training session and competition meet.
In recognition of his achievements and contributions, Nicholas has received the Jim Carlton Memorial Prize for Outstanding Sporting Achievement 2016; the Br. Henry Gaffney Memorial Prize for Best Back in the First XV 2015 and 2016; and the Peter Palmer Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Swimming Commitment (2016).

The positive leadership and genuine care for and interest in others is something which is a stand-out quality and the reason that Nicholas earned himself the great respect of his peers, the younger boys and the staff at his school.

His contribution to the community through his sport is best seen alongside his non-sporting contributions and involvements.

In recognition of his contributions outside of sport, Nicholas was awarded the Archbishop of Sydney’s Prize for Student Excellence, the Caltex Award for Best All Rounder, the Monsignor Patrick Hayden Memorial Prize for All-Round Excellence, a Highly Commended for the Monsignor Duffy Memorial Prize for Conduct and Leadership and a Highly Commended for the Br. Geoffrey Schwager Memorial Prize for Application and Effort..

There is no doubt Nicholas is extremely talented as a sportsman and his leadership achievements have illustrated to the community that being successful in sport and giving time for others can go hand-in-hand. When placed alongside his other commitments, you have a magnificent example of what is available in our community

Young Citizen Of The Year

Mr Patrick O’Farrell

Young Citizen Of The Year was awarded to Mr Patrick O’Farrell.

Patrick’s contribution and service spreads across many facets of life. He has been impressive as a student academically, in his community service and also in his sporting endeavours.

Among his achievements, Patrick has placed first in Biology, Chemistry, French, Religion, English, English Extension and received a High Distinction in the Alliance Francaise Challenge.

In the area of leadership and compassion, Patrick received the Champagnat Medal as recognition for his compassion and care for others and the manner in which he lives his life. Patrick was a carer at the Marist Children’s camp where he looked after a child with a severe disability for three days in order to give the child’s parents respite. He has conversed with residents of St. Anne’s Nursing Home, was a Dorm Senior where he looked after and cared for students in Year 10, the highest leadership role of the College he attended.

Patrick also was the liaison officer for the Marist Cricket Carnival, has performed as a singer at community and school functions; represented the College in the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition; successfully completed in the Lions Youth of the Year Competition; has had his literary work published in the publication “Kids of Dreams” and won the State National Championship for “Write a Book in a Day”.

Patrick's contributions, achievements and service have been summarised as he has contributed so much in an unassuming and modest way and never sought acclamation or praise, rather, he has gone about his business simply and in the pursuit of helping others.

Hunters Hill Citizen Of The Year

Mr Andrew Curtin

Hunters Hill Citizen Of The Year was presented to Mr Andrew Curtin.

Andrew has been volunteering since buying their home in Hunters Hill 20 years ago and has contributed to the community in many decisive ways from then on.

As President of the Riverside Preschool’s parent Committee, Andrew was instrumental in redesigning and rebuilding the preschool’s outer area that is now a major drawcard for prospective parents of active children.

Andrew played a major part in the redevelopment of Villa Maria Primary School, first trying to facilitate its move to the Holy Name of Mary Hunters Hill site, and then in a critical role, leading the fundraising effort and managing delivery of the extensive building works program for a new hall and an additional wing at the school a few years ago. Andrew supervised the implementation of the new playground despite major heart problems.

For his involvement with the Hunters Hill Sailing Club where he is the current President and brought new energy and initiative to the club. Andrew realised that the addition of a much needed pontoon was required and through internal and State Government funds, oversaw the introduction of the Optimist dinghy fleet which has attracted numerous new local children / families to the Club.

Andrew is particularly proud to have been associated with Foreshore 2000, a volunteer group that included the wonderful late Alysoun Ryves and that was instrumental in retaining community access to Defence Department land around Clarkes Point - where we stand today.

In his quiet, unassuming and caring way, Andrew has always managed to motivate a great team of volunteers to help him in any role he has taken on.

His commitment to family and community has been basically full time, he has worked effectively, tirelessly focusing on bettering the lives of children in this community and the services available to them.

Andrew is a quiet achiever who can motivate volunteers to do the very best for any projects at hand. His achievements are long lasting and unprecedented.

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