Australia Day Awards 2009

Last modified on 26 January 2009

Citizen of the Year Award

One of 2009's jointly awarded winners, John Beecroft is a tireless contributor to our community.  He has had important leadership roles in Rotary Club of Northbridge where is initiated the formation of a Rotaract Club for younger adults. During his six years as President of Northbridge Progress Association membership grew from 80 to 300 people and the association's finances also substantially improved.  He has also been an active participant in Northbridge Swimming Club and Northbridge Golf Club.

A lifelong resident of Northbridge, in his youth he was an outstanding rugby player, and became President of his club and later a coach for younger teams. He has been a Surf Club member and mentor for younger members for 43 years.

One of 2009's jointly awarded winners, Margaret Snodgrass is a committed and energetic volunteer who contributes to a wide range of community groups and organisations. Through her role as Director of Forsyth Lifestyle Properties she sponsors St Thomas’ School Willoughby Arts & Crafts Show and Willoughby Public School Fundraising.

As well as providing much needed financial support this individual also takes on hands-on roles in selling badges for the RSL on Anzac and Remembrance Day and manning a stall on Daffodil Day. In addition, she represents Willoughby City Council On the Community Participation Committee At the Royal North Shore Hospital, is a Justice Of the Peace, and is the current President Of the Inner Wheel Club Of North Sydney. She is particularly well regarded by the people of Chatswood, Willoughby Uniting Church and her immediate neighbours.

Cultural & Community Building Award

2009’s Cultural and Community Building Award recognises the achievements of Ruth Woodley, an individual who has dedicated much of her adult life to making a positive difference in aged care in the Willoughby community. Her visions, expertise and commitment over the past 15 years have helped establish and develop Keenagers Seniors Day Activity & Respite Centre, an initiative of the Chatswood Central Uniting Church. Her efforts have seen the centre grow from a small church initiative to a centre providing a stimulating program of activities for over 80 frail and aged people. An extraordinary woman - gracious, thoughtful and courageous.

Services to Young People Award

2009's recipient of the Services to Young People award, Toni Field, has been President of the Northern Suburbs Netball Association since 1993 and is the Founder of the Lane Cove Netball Club. Under her leadership the association has doubled its membership and upgraded facilities allowing for year round competitions. A member of numerous sponsorship and fundraising committees including Mater Hospital ‘Mater Lives’, she is described as that special breed of person: an intelligent, warm woman, a mother of three, a grandmother, an author, a committee member and a wonderful person to know and to have as a friend.

Young Citizen of the Year Award

Jason Rushton is an extremely passionate and enthusiastic young person. Jason is currently studying Arts (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney. He is also the President of Chatswood Rotaract, which is a Rotary sponsored youth service organisation based in the Chatswood area. Rotaract Chatswood is a non profit community organisation that services the local and international community by volunteering and organising humanitarian projects. Jason was the instrumental driving force behind getting Rotaract Chatswood off the ground and running and leads close to 25 young members. The aim of this organisation is to empower students and young professionals to create a positive change in the local community and around the world. Jason also volunteers at Lifeline as a telephone counsellor and was a camp leader with the Edmund Rice Camps. In 2003 he was the youngest ever winner in the National Australian Public Speaking Competition and now coaches public speaking at St Aloysius College Milsons Point. 

A passionate youth leader and volunteer, Jason truly cares about making an impact with in the community. He has a witty personality and is a remarkably inspirational person.