Weekender Editor among Local Celebration Award winners

Troy Dodds has been named Penrith's Citizen of the Year.
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A series of hardworking Penrith residents have been recognised in the 2024 Local Celebration Awards.

This year’s award recipients were announced by Penrith Mayor Todd Carney at Council’s Ordinary Meeting this week, including the naming of Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year, amongst others.

The Weekender’s very own long-time editor Troy Dodds was awarded the prestigious Citizen of the Year Award, and the Young citizen of the Year award was given to Jack Conroy, who stood proudly in the Council Chambers to receive the honour.

Two more award categories were announced including the Mayor’s Local Heroes award which went to Mike Hicks and Julie Parsons, and the Making a Difference – Community Service Award recipients were Bailey Hand, Angela Lambros and Lucinda Harvey.

Dodds was recognised as Penrith’s Citizen of the Year for his significant contribution to the city of Penrith, including a number of charities.

“Troy is a familiar face to many,” Carney said.

“You’ve heard him on the radio, relied on his commentary and read his bylines in the Western Weekender, the cornerstone of local news which Troy has steered to success at a time when many local papers have been forced to close their doors.

Weekender Editor Troy Dodds chats with Sales Team Leader, Chris Middleton.

“Penrith is incredibly fortunate to still have this platform for local voices and stories.”

Deputy Mayor Mark Davies shared his respect for Dodds, saying that he is much more than an editor at the local paper.

“Troy Dodds is much more than running the Western Weekender and [being] an editor in our city and covering stories over many many years now and he’s worked in radio and all that,” Davies said.

“But it is also his work he has done in terms of supporting and helping a lot of the local charity organisations. So, his work is much broader than just the Western Weekender and his radio work – he really gets involved in the community.”

Dodds said he was blown away to receive the honour.

“I’ve lived in Penrith for my entire life, and I couldn’t feel more honoured to be recognised by a city that I love to its core,” he said.

“It’s been a thrill to have a front row seat to Penrith to have shared so many of its stories over many years now.”

Davies praised Conroy for his efforts in overcoming challenges to achieve so much in his life at a young age.

“It is interesting that Jack has an intellectual disability of autism and cerebral palsy, but he is a former school captain, [competed in] athletics, swimming and cross country,” he said.

“He’s hiked Mount Kosciuszko… he is a volunteer [and] he helps out in cafes and different areas in the community to help charities throughout our city.”

A dinner will be held in July where all of this year’s recipients will be honoured.

Emily Chate

Emily Chate joined The Western Weekender in 2024, and covers local news - primarily courts and politics. A graduate of the University of Wollongong, Emily has contributed to The Daily Telegraph and worked as a freelance journalist.

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