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Community standouts honoured at Wollondilly’s Australia Day

Standout individuals of all ages as well as a few groups were recognised for their community, environmental and sporting endeavours at this year’s Wollondilly’s Australia Day Awards. The award’s ceremony is a focal point of the traditional celebrations held in the Picton Botanic Gardens.

The mayor, Matt Gould, deputy mayor, Matt Deeth along with Wollondilly’s Australia Ambassador artist, Yianni Johns, were on hand to present the awards to the various winners.

The 2024 Wollondilly Citizen of the Year was bestowed upon Rosemary MacAllister (wearing pink shirt) - a lifelong resident of the shire who has contributed to the community through the Wollondilly Pony Club and 35 years of service to Wollondilly Riding for the Disabled (RDA).

“I would like to congratulate and thank all this year’s nominees and winners for all the amazing work they do in our communities across the shire,” Wollondilly mayor Matt Gould said.

“In particular, I would like to congratulate Wollondilly’s Citizen of the Year, Rosemary MacAllister for her amazing contribution as a volunteer not only in 2024, but throughout 35 years of service to Tahmoor Riding for the Disabled.

“As the RDA Coach in Tahmoor, Rosemary manages riders with diverse disabilities, including Down Syndrome, stroke victims, limited vision, and autism spectrum disorders.

“Rosemary's lifelong passion for horses and equestrian activities, including international experience in Germany, is reflected in her coaching and mentoring efforts. She guides and supports aspiring coaches, exemplifying her dedication to ongoing learning.”

Ms MacAllister was both surprised and honoured to have received the award.

“I hope it makes people more aware of volunteering; we need help in volunteering,” she said.

Other category winners for 2024 included:

Disability Inclusion Award – Jacqueline Lockyer

Local Hero, Community Group – Picton High School Mentoring Group

Local Hero, Individual – William Beattie

Senior Sportsperson of the Year – Jessica Conje

Junior Sportsperson of the Year – Heidi Lewschenko

Achiever of the Year – Lyn Davey

Environmental Citizen of the Year – Michelle Maroun

Senior Citizen of the Year – John Bicknell

Young Citizen of the Year – Rheya Mason

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