News

January 26, 2022

MEDIA RELEASE

Hunters Hill has today (Wednesday 26 January, 2022) recognised outstanding service and welcomed new members to its community in an Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony at Bedlam Bay.

Mayor Zac Miles and Australia Day Ambassador Ethan Butson presented Citizen of the Year Awards to community-nominated recipients.

Geoffrey Chard, the 91—year-old recently-retired president of Hunters Hill Music was named Citizen of the Year for sharing the experience of his distinguished career on international opera stages to bring the joy of music to the Hunters Hill community.

“It’s a high honour,” Geoffrey said.

The Young Citizen of the Year Award was jointly awarded to Evander Conroy and Lola Dominguez, for being champions of inclusion, including through the design and promotion of Livvi’s Place playspace at Riverglade Reserve.

“It’s pretty cool,” Evander said.

Sportsperson of the Year is Sahara Hillman-Varma, a 14-year-old junior golfer who started her golf journey when she was just nine years old. She has represented NSW and Australia and is a mentor for younger golfers.

“I consider this the most amazing honour to be recognised this way amongst my community,” Sahara said.

The Rotary Tai Chi Group was named Community Group of the Year for providing community connection, lifestyle balance, good mental and physical health and bringing people together socially.

“What a wonderful thing to happen to our happy group of Tai Chi’ers,” instructor Elva Salter said.

She jointly accepted the award with Charles Amos from Rotary.

Clr Miles said the award recipients demonstrated what it meant to be a citizen of Hunters Hill.

“We are so fortunate to have community members who work hard to promote Hunters Hill and make it such a desirable place to live and visit,” he said.

“Australia Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of our citizens and thank them for their passion and dedication.”

A Citizenship Ceremony was also conducted as part of today’s event.

Eleven people with countries of origin including India, Nepal, China, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Iran, Italy, Argentina and Peru, took a pledge of commitment to become Australia citizens.

“It is a pleasure to officially welcome members of our community who have chosen Australia as their home,” Clr Miles said.

 

 

More information about the Citizen of the Year Awards recipients:

 

Citizen of the Year – Geoffrey Chard

Geoffrey has used the experience of his distinguished career on international opera stages to bring the joy of music to his community.

He was the President of Hunters Hill Music for 25 years, recently retiring at age 91, following the group’s last concert of 2021 in December.

The not-for-profit organisation’s purpose is to promote and enrich the musical life of the community, through concerts and activities.

Prior to Geoffrey’s tenure, it was threatened with closure, but the world-renowned baritone’s ability to attract crowds and bring top-quality talent and new show styles at minimal cost to community members soon increased subscribers.

Alongside his busy performing career in the UK and Australia, Geoffrey dedicated many years to music education and teaching, and musical boards and associations.

He also gave many up-and-coming musical entertainers public concert experience.

 

Young Citizen of the Year – Evander Conroy and Lola Dominguez (jointly awarded)

Lola and Evander have been champions of inclusion, including through the design and promotion of Livvi’s Place playspace at Riverglade Reserve.

They began the design process more than three years ago, working with Hunter’s Hill Council to ensure that the playspace was inclusive and accessible.

Lola and Evander volunteered their time and promoted the playspace to their peers.

They have advocated the benefits of local democracy, and how an accessible space and community can benefit everyone.

 

Sportsperson of the Year – Sahara Hillman-Varma

Sahara is a 14-year-old junior elite golfer who started her golf journey when she was just nine years old.

She has represented NSW three times in the past five years and by the age of 10 represented Australia in the US Kids Golf World Championships.

Her talent has been recognised with selection to elite squads at school and club level, and a range of awards including from Rotary and the NSW Premier.

Sahara has featured on national and international television programs and in the media, and is a mentor for younger golfers.

Now at age 14, Sahara has her sights set on the Olympics.

 

Community Group of the Year – Rotary Tai Chi Group

The Rotary-run Tai Chi group promotes community connection, lifestyle balance, good mental and physical health, and brings community members together socially.

The group raises money for Rotary, which in turn goes to projects in the Hunters Hill Municipality. The group meets twice a week and has been running for about eight years.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jacqui Jones, Communications Officer. Phone: (02) 9879 9400

Email: jonesj@huntershill.nsw.gov.au

 

 

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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400
E: customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au
ABN: 75 570 316 011