HON­OURS AND AWARDS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Jenny Gal­braith

LONG-SERV­ING po­lice of­fi­cer and pas­sion­ate sport­ing vol­un­teer Robert Fitzger­ald was named Black­town’s Ci­ti­zen of the Year yes­ter­day.

Chief In­spec­tor Fitzger­ald, from the Black­town lo­cal area com­mand, is also pres­i­dent of East­ern Creek Pi­o­neers Net­ball Club, and a life mem­ber of two soc­cer clubs and one net­ball club in the area.

Black­town Mayor Ste- phen Bali and Aus­tralia Day am­bas­sador Ku­mud Merani pre­sented Chief-Insp Fitzger­ald with the hon­our at the Aus­tralia Day awards cer­e­mony.

Chief-Insp Fitzger­ald has been a po­lice of­fi­cer for al­most 30 years, con­tin­u­ally sup­ports lo­cal projects and cam­paigns, and is a board mem­ber of Sy­dWest Mul­ti­cul­tural Ser­vices.

He con­grat­u­lated the other nom­i­nees and award win­ners for their work to­wards build­ing a bet­ter com- mu­nity. “I’m most hon­oured and very hum­bled as a bat­tler from the west,” he said.

“We hear a lot of bad things at times about the western sub­urbs, Black­town, Mt Druitt, Camp­bell­town and all those sorts of places, but we don’t hear the good sto­ries.

“But you are the good sto­ries, each and ev­ery one of you here to­day.”

Mr Bali said Chief-Insp Fitzger­ald was a strong con­trib­u­tor to the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“He goes above and be­yond in his cur­rent role as chief in­spec­tor, with con­tin­ued sup­port of lo­cal com­mu­nity projects and lo­cal aware­ness cam­paigns,” he said.

“Sport­ing groups have al­ready recog­nised him with life mem­ber­ships and he also is a strong pro­moter of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism.”

Young Ci­ti­zen of the Year went to Har­jasleen Oberai, who was hon­oured for vol­un­teer­ing at or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Global Vol­un­teer­ing Net­work and the Youth Coun­cil of Aus­tralia.

The award for Com­mu­nity Event of the Year went to the Fes­ti­val of Colour, where peo­ple paint them­selves with bright shades and throw colour­ful pow­der into the air to pro­mote and foster equal­ity and tol­er­ance.

Be­fore the Aus­tralia Day awards, Black­town Coun­cil held one of Aus­tralia’s big­gest cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­monies, with more than 200 tak­ing part.

Pic­ture: PETER KELLY

Black­town Coun­cil’s Ci­ti­zen of the Year Robert Fitzger­ald with the city’s Aus­tralia Day am­bas­sador Ku­mud Merani and Mayor Stephen Bali.

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