Do you know someone who has made a positive impact volunteering or who has done something to change the lives of others?
Penrith City Council is calling for nominations for the third annual Local Celebration Awards that aim to recognise and celebrate the people who are making a difference in the community.
It doesn’t matter how big or small their act of kindness is or how young or old they are, Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen wants to learn about all the contributions that locals are making.
“We have a great region with lots of really great charities and lots of people that work really hard for our community who get called heroes, but it is taking that next step of nominating them,” Hitchen said.
“I think it’s good that we recognise the people in our community that do work hard because there are so many people out there doing so many different things, but Council is not aware of them.”
There are four award categories with the Citizen of the Year for over 18s, the Young Citizen of the Year for those aged 24 and under, along with the Mayor’s Local Heroes Award for all ages and the Making a Difference – Community Service Award for all ages.
Whether it is someone who regularly donates blood, someone who raises money for charity or someone who gives their time to teach others, each person is worthy of recognition.
Winner of the prestigious Citizen of the Year award in 2022, volunteer Steven Green said the awards can spark the passion in more people to give back.
“In Australia it’s a cultural thing that we like giving to people in our community and we have lot of services that don’t happen anywhere else but in Australia on the back of volunteers because it not only helps others, but it has benefits for the volunteer like self-improvement and education,” Green said.
“Council supporting volunteers with a little recognition helps get the word out about programs and does lead to more people putting their hands in to make the workload lighter, which is a great outcome.”
With nominations open until Sunday, April 30, Hitchen encourages people to put their suggestions in.
“It’s a really easy process because it can be accepted in person, online, in writing, by mail or video and it is simple, so it will only take you around 10 minutes,” she said.
“There are people in areas such as aged care or different ethnic communities that work so hard in their own little communities but we don’t know that they exist, so it would be lovely if everyone took the time to do the application so those people can come to our attention, and we can reward them for what they do.”
The award recipients will be announced at Council’s Ordinary Meeting in July and will be honoured at a Civic Reception event in August.
For more information or to apply, visit penrith.city/local-celebration-awards.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Emily covers Local, State and Federal politics for the Weekender, as well as crime and general news.