Australia Day Awards 2017

Last modified on 30 January 2017


Citizen of the Year Award

Janet France is a key coordinator at the Dairy Community Garden at Warners park and co-founder of the North Shore Climate Action that began in 2006. She is a current chair of the Sustainable Reference Committee of Willoughby Council helping to create programs within the community that will mitigate climate effects. She volunteers as an English teacher at the MOSAIC centre and ethics teacher at many of the local Public Schools. She shares her interest in music and sustainability at the Repair café each month with a local Willoughby Ukulele singing group. Many of her contributions were recognised in 2014 when she was awarded a Rotary Achievement award. She applies her skills, shares her knowledge and enriches her interactions making Willoughby a better place now and for the future.

Grant Sheldon has been a member of St Marks Anglican Church in Northbridge for the past 30 years. He has been an active representative on the Combined Churches of Northbridge Committee, volunteered on the St Marks Pre-School Committee, and the local Northbridge Progress Association, not only did he volunteer his time to attend but facilitated a school holiday club for the children of Walcha, NSW and teaches religious studies at Northbridge Public school every Tuesday. In addition Grant has organised the pre-Christmas local toy collection for disadvantaged children and multiple charities all over Sydney and Australia. His involvement with Northbridge Football club as player, volunteer, coach, manager, age coordinator and referee highlight his versatility in the community. Additionally he has been coordinating the Northbridge “Clean up Australia” campaign since 2007.

Cultural & Community Building Award

Venerable Ru Yi is the superintendent of IBAA Chatswood Buddhist Centre. She is an ordained Buddhist nun from the Fo Guang Shan Monastery, one of the largest Buddhist monastery and charity organisation in Taiwan. Since moving to Chatswood in December 2013, she has worked diligently to promote social harmony and peace by engaging with the local community and participating in local events and cultural programs.

She has led mediation and Tai Chi sessions at the Art Gallery of NSW, and provided event management expertise for a Chinese calligraphy and Ikebana exhibition at The Concourse Civic Pavilion.

She has been a vital source of emotional support and counselling for many who are going through difficult times, and coordinated scripture classes and religious studies for school students.