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.

The awards were presented at a ceremony presided over by Northern Beaches Mayor at Glen Street Theatre on Tuesday 25 January 2022. Watch the recording of the ceremony and view the ceremony program

If you would like to be notified when the Australia Day Awards nominations open (usually September), please complete our notification form.

Australia Day Award winners

Citizen of the Year

Bobby Lehane, Freshwater

Bobby started the Rock the Pool 2021 Swimathon initiative to raise mental health awareness and much needed funds for Lifeline Northern Beaches. He completed 100 swims in 100 days between January and June 2021 swimming every ocean rock pool from Yamba to Eden covering 250 kilometres or the equivalent of swimming the Bass Strait. He has raised more than $100,000 for Lifeline Northern Beaches helping with essential services such as the crisis telephone and text lines which has enabled them to answer 3,576 crisis calls which would otherwise not be possible.

Senior Citizen of the Year

Terry le Roux, Balgowlah

Terry has played a significant role in several resident/community groups on the Northern Beaches using his professional experience and passion for the environment to represent residents on many issues. He has been a community voice on the proposed Beaches Link Tunnel, Forty Baskets tidal pool remediation and rebuild, installation of a gross pollutant trap and landscaping in Jackson Street Balgowlah, remediation of North Harbour Reserve, BMX damage to the Baringa Bush Community Garden, preservation of the Clarence Street Bridge, and the Save Manly Oval Alliance.

Young Citizen of the Year

Molly Parker, Balgowlah

Molly has dedicated over 500 hours of her time to Surf Lifesaving in various roles. In the last 12 months she has been the Vice-Captain on patrol at North Steyne Surf Lifesaving Club and become one of five female jet ski operators on the Northern Beaches. She is also one of the only female UAV/drone operators on the Beaches and was the first female IRB/Rescue Boat Captain at North Steyne SLSC. Molly also volunteers on the after-hours call out team and working as State Duty Officer at the Surf Life Saving Support Operations Centre, where she is in charge of critical incidents and corresponds with the Westpac helicopter, liaises with NSW Police, Ambulance and Fire and Rescue.

Community Event of the Year

Northern Beaches Secret Rocks created by Sarah Downes

Northern Beaches Secret Rocks encourages people to paint, drop and hide rocks for other people to find during their walks. The rocks can be painted by anyone with any design, and the finder can keep them or re-hide them for others to find. The activity has minimal environmental impact, is accessible to people of all ages and abilities, and is particularly popular with children. It provides a new opportunity for people to be creative, practice mindfulness and stay physically active. The activity creates connection, a sense of community, and a reason to keep physically active especially during lockdown. Sarah also created a Facebook group and writes daily words of encouragement bringing joy to its members which is evident through the posts on the page.

    Sportsperson of the Year

    Patrick Wood, Collaroy Plateau

    Patrick was selected to play for the Sydney FC Academy at the age of 14. In 2020 at 18 years old, he received a scholarship to play with Sydney FC in the A-League Men’s team. Patrick now plays as a Striker for Sydney FC A-League Men. He received the Under 20’s Player of the Year award in 2021, with the team being grand finalists. He is a proud and honoured member of the 2021 Olyroos Under 23’s Australian team, that competed in the Asian Federation Cup (AFC) Qualifiers in Tajikistan. He scored the goal that secured the Olyroos a spot in the AFC. Beyond his sporting achievements, Patrick coaches and the U/16 1'S Collaroy Cromer Strikers Team and assists with grade selections for the club each season. Currently he is the Assistant Coach for the U/18's Collaroy Cromer Strikers Team.

    Outstanding Community Service Awards

    • Ruth Austin, Freshwater
      Ruth is awarded for over 37 years volunteering with numerous community groups including Harbord Community Library, Dee Why Lifeline Op Shop, Freshwater Uniting Church and Meals on Wheels.

    • Paul Cannings, Frenchs Forest
      Paul is awarded for volunteering for the Amateur Beekeepers Association NSW and Permaculture Northern Beaches.

    • Sandra Gillett, Dee Why Why
      Sandra is awarded for working and volunteering for Cubby House Toy Library for the past 30 years.

    • Adam Hennessey, Manly
      Adam is awarded for founding the North Steyne Boardriders Club in 1998 and being President for the past 25 years as well as many other roles at Manly Cove Rugby League and Surfing NSW. 

    • David Hickey, Allambie Heights
      David is awarded for volunteering with numerous community organisations including Lifeline, Manly Warringah Pittwater Community Aid, a Justice of the Peace and founder of Manly Dam Memorial Park Remembrance Trust.

    • Stephen Jennison, Narraweena
      Stephen is awarded for volunteering with Warringah Archers for more than 40 years as well as his involvement with Archery NSW and Archery Australia.

    • Andrew Little, Belrose
      Andrew is awarded for his work as President of Belrose Men’s Bowling Club for over 10 years and being involved in Northern Beaches and NSW governing bodies for bowls. He is also actively involved with Scouting Australia and Belrose Country Club.

    • Judith Malcolm, Newport
      Judith is awarded for her work as a PDHPE teacher and volunteer for 12 years coaching touch football for the NSW and Australian Touch/Targeted Sports Narrabeen Sports High and head coach/trainer for Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club for over 10 years.

    • Mike Pawley, North Narrabeen
      Mike is founder and owner of Mike Pawley Sports since 1980. He was awarded for his work running cricket coaching clinics for kids and has donated sporting goods and financial assistance to local sporting associations and schools. He started the ‘Happy Days Cambodian Village School’ charity in 2012 as well.

    • Frank Pikardt, Frenchs Forest
      Frank is awarded for his work as teacher and Principal for over 45 years at various local high schools advocating that ‘girls can do anything’ and is passionate about indigenous awareness ensuring Aboriginal experience are in the curriculum.

    • Katryna Robinson, Forestville
      Katryna is awarded for her work as founder of Every Little Bit Helps (ELBH) in 2013 which collects and distributes over 70,000 personal hygiene care packs to the homeless, victims of domestic violence, asylum seekers, community centres and at-risk youth across Australia.

    • Jessica Twells, Elanora Heights
      Jessica is awarded for volunteering as a Junior Leader with Elanora Girl Guides for four years, recently receiving the Queens Guide Award as well as teaching other guides Auslan.

    • Sonam Wangmo
      Sonam is awarded for her 24 years as a volunteer and community support person for the Tibetan community on the Northern Beaches, helping them find employment and giving guidance to those who have survived trauma and suffering.

    • Elliot Williams, Belrose
      Elliot is awarded for, among several roles, being a volunteer with St John Ambulance for 22 years, dedicating over 10,000 hours of service and outstanding leadership during the recent bushfires, floods and COVID-19 pandemic. He is also an intensive care Nurse at Royal North Shore Hospital.