On behalf of everyone on the Northern Beaches, we congratulate our Australia Day Award winners and thank them for the outstanding contributions they have made to the community.

Award Winners

The award winners were presented at a ceremony presided over by Northern Beaches Mayor at Dee Why Civic Centre on Thursday 24 January 2019.


Citizen of the Year

Graham Whittaker of Narraweena for dedicating most of his life supporting others, particularly young people across the Northern Beaches as mentor of the R.A.I.S.E program at Northern Beaches Secondary College (Cromer Campus). He has also been an on call support person for juveniles in custody needing assistance.


Senior Citizen of the Year

Maureen Rutlidge of Elanora Heights is the Coordinator for the Sunday Activities Program for Adults with Special Needs at Northern Beaches Creative Leisure and Learning INC. For over 25 years she has been delivering a high level of service, creating opportunities and new learning experiences in a fun environment.


Young Citizen of the Year

Paris Jeffcoat of Avalon is founder and director of the youth suicide prevention charity, One Eighty Avalon Inc. The youth driven charity is working toward a future free from youth suicide by designing, implementing and funding programs on the Northern Beaches that promote open communication, mental health management strategies and the prevention of suicide.


Sportsperson of the Year

Reece Hodge of Manly has played 42 Super Rugby games and 33 test matches. His junior years were spent with the Harbord Harlequins, then the Manly Marlins and in 2016 he signed with the Melbourne Rebels and the Australian Wallabies where he currently plays today. Reece has faced adversity through a debilitating ankle injury but returned to the game to become one of the most influential and aspiring rugby union players. (Mr Graeme Hodge accepted on behalf of his son)

Community Event of the Year

The biannual Special Olympics Festival of Sport presented by the Special Olympics Sydney Northern Beaches provides a unique experience for people with an intellectual disability to develop their sports skills, experience fun and fellowship with the focus on their ability and the benefits of working as a team. Accepted by Ms Lorraine Clark and Mr Francis Rex Langthorne AM.

Outstanding Community Service

There were 15 deserving community members which received awards in this category

  • Vivian Dunstan of Warriewood - Founder of ADHD Support Australia
  • Peter Watson of Forestville - Founder of the Forest Men Kitchen
  • Geoff McKay of Allambie Heights - Ex Serviceman and President of Balgowlah RSL
  • Harriet Spark of Fairlight - Started Operation Straw or ‘Strawkle’
  • Helen Pook of Manly - Volunteer at Lifeline’s Australia Helpline
  • Diana Aitken of St Ives (non-resident) - Volunteer at St Matthews Church Soup Kitchen
  • Eli Demeny of Manly - Volunteer at Manly Sailability
  • Mick Miller of Elvina Bay - Author and fundraiser
  • Joan Reid of Collaroy Plateau - Volunteer for Sydney Wildlife
  • Robert Owen Carlon of Manly - Volunteer swimming enthusiast and teacher
  • Ralph Schubert of Belrose - Volunteer for the MULTILIT program for Wakehurst Public School
  • Peter Dean of Frenchs Forest - Customer Manager at Grace City Foodcare Centre
  • James Cowan of Collaroy - World War II Veteran
  • Helen Hines of Elanora Heights - President of Edith Parsons School of Physical Culture and volunteer
  • Rowena Graham of Collaroy Plateau - Treasurer Children’s Medical Research Institute Northern Beaches Fundraising Committee