Australia Day Awards 2014

Last modified on 26 January 2014

Citizen of the Year Award

Don Wilson is President and Founder of Bushcare's Major Day Out Committee. Five years ago he decided to do more than be a highly active member of two or three bushcare groups in the Willoughby area and set up a volunteer committee to create a national bushcare volunteer day - Bushcare’s Major Day Out.

This event has gone from strength to strength and in 2013 involved over 130 sites in seven states around Australia, including the very successful Tunks Park local event. This has involved being both flexible and persistent in gaining support for an event which he started from scratch with almost no funds or initial awareness.

He is an excellent and enthusiastic spokesperson for the cause and is highly persuasive when gaining new sites. He is both tenacious and humble when speaking to potential supporters.

Don has also raised public and media awareness for the important volunteer work of restoring and maintaining the bushland around the Willoughby area and around urban areas nationally.

Diana Jones is the dedicated Treasurer of five local voluntary organisations in the Willoughby area.

She has given enormous and generous support to many local organisations including Castlecrag Progress Association, Willoughby Environment Protection Association, Castlecrag Conservation Society, Federation of Willoughby Progress Association, Salvation Army and Castlecrag Library.

Diana’s service has inspired and helped hold together many of the organisations which make up the community of Castlecrag and the wider Willoughby area. All have benefited from her high moral standards and strong work ethic.

Cultural & Community Building Award

Michal Wieczorek has enriched the cultural life of Willoughby for over twenty years through his role as principal cellist of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra.

In this role he was exceedingly dedicated, taking part in virtually every concert series run. In addition, he spent countless unpaid hours organising the cello section and looking out for the wellbeing of fellow orchestra members. He is a highly skilled and qualified musician, having completed a Masters of Music before becoming one of the youngest members of Poland's premiere orchestra at the tender age of 19.

It is the tireless and selfless efforts of extraordinarily talented professional musicians such as Michal that so enrich the cultural life of the Willoughby area.

Cultural & Community Building Award

Christine Lattimore has demonstrated a strong commitment to Willoughby’s arts and cultural organisations since moving to the area in the mid-1980s.

Just some of her personal service includes Secretary of Willoughby Historical Society, Chorister and committee positions with Willoughby Symphony Choir, and Treasurer of Chatswood Eastside Progress Association.

Most recently, Christine has volunteered for Willoughby Library Local Studies transcribing WWI veterans' diaries.

Young Citizen of the Year Award

Chris Armas teaches dance classes weekly at Chatswood Youth Centre. There he coaches young people from all ages and backgrounds, raising morale, self-esteem and confidence by providing a healthy and fun activity.

He also donates his time to entertain the community at a variety of council events including StreetFair, the welcoming dinner for Bingara and Japanese student exchanges, and Epping Boys High School Charity Competition.