Hawkes­bury Cit­i­zens YEAR of the

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Community News - Story by BEV JOR­DAN

ROSS MATHE­SON, Pres­i­dent of Hawkes­bury District Agri­cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion was named Hawkes­bury Cit­i­zen of the Year on Fri­day at a spe­cial Awards Cer­e­mony at Hawkes­bury Re­gional Gallery in Wind­sor.

The Mayor of Hawkes­bury, Coun­cil­lor Barry Calvert con­grat­u­lated all Aus­tralia Day Award win­ners say­ing, “Thank you for the con­tri­bu­tions you have made to the Hawkes­bury com­mu­nity.”

He was joined by the 2019 Hawkes­bury Aus­tralia Day Am­bas­sador, Ch­eryl Koenig as awards were made to Ross, Phillip Hurst, Betty Kelly, Sherri McMa­hon, City Slick­ers and Wind­sor High School. HAWKES­BURY CIT­I­ZEN OF THE YEAR:

Ross Mathe­son has been a mem­ber of the Hawkes­bury District Agri­cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion for more than 40 years, holding sev­eral a com­mit­tee roles in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent since 2016 and has been Head of the Show­ground Works Com­mit­tee for many years.

His com­mit­ment as a vol­un­teer is 365 days a year as the Show­ground is an all year busi­ness, stag­ing not only the an­nual Hawkes­bury Show but also the host­ing of a range of ex­ter­nally or­gan­ised events through­out the year.

As Head of Works Com­mit­tee Ross has planned, project man­aged and com­pleted projects with a value of around $700,000 in­clud­ing up­grade to the internal roads and drainage within the Show­ground, con­struc­tion of a new am­bu­lant toi­let block and in­stal­la­tion of a bore and ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem to the Show­ground’s main arena.

Hawkes­bury Vol­un­teer of the Year was awarded jointly to Phillip Hurst and Betty Kelly. Phillip Hurst has been a vol­un­teer in the Hawkes­bury Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice for more than 35 years. He joined Kur­ra­jong Heights Brigade in 1981 where he is still a very ac­tive mem­ber.

He has held the po­si­tion of Senior Deputy Cap­tain, Deputy Cap­tain, brigade trea­surer, per­mit of­fi­cer and brigade man­age­ment team mem­ber. Phillip is also a Deputy Group Cap­tain in the Hawkes­bury District a po­si­tion which he has held since 2012.

He has been in­stru­men­tal in run­ning the Hawkes­bury Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice District High School Cadet pro­gram which runs at Colo High School, Wind­sor High School, Hawkes­bury High School

and Arn­dell Angli­can Col­lege. In the time Phillip has been in­volved more than 200 Hawkes­bury stu­dents have grad­u­ated through the pro­gram.

Betty Kelly, 90, re­ceived a life mem­ber­ship of the Hawkes­bury Hos­pi­tal Aux­il­iary in recog­ni­tion of more than 15 years of con­tin­u­ous ser­vice to Hawkes­bury Hos­pi­tal pa­tients, fam­i­lies, friends and staff. Dur­ing her time as a vol­un­teer, Betty ful­filled im­por­tant lead­er­ship roles in­clud­ing as Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Aux­il­iary for a num­ber of years. Betty also vol­un­teered very reg­u­larly in the Hos­pi­tal Gift Shop work­ing many days a month over many years. Betty turned 90 in Oc­to­ber last year and, al­though her mo­bil­ity is now quite re­stricted, she still con­tin­ues to vol­un­teer in the Gift Shop, work­ing an av­er­age of five shifts per month. She also is reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor at fundrais­ing events at the Hos­pi­tal and is known as some­one who can solve is­sues. While Betty’s ser­vice is out­stand­ing and a tes­ta­ment to a con­spic­u­ous com­mit­ment to serve her com­mu­nity, it is her role as a men­tor and guide to the other vol­un­teers in the Aux­il­iary, that is ex­em­plary.

The Com­mu­nity Or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Year: City Slick­ers Ap­peal which helps ru­ral res­i­dents who are suf­fer­ing from the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of drought.

Hawkes­bury Lo­cal Hero is Sherri McMa­hon who has made a big con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity since ar­riv­ing in the Macdon­ald Val­ley in 1996. She joined

The lo­cal Vol­un­teer Bush­fire Brigade, trained as a Fire­fighter and went on to be­come a Deputy Cap­tain and even­tu­ally Senior Deputy. As a Pri­mary Pro­ducer, Sherri shared her knowl­edge, suc­cesses and con­cerns with oth­ers and was sub­se­quently elected as a Trustee of the St Albans Com­mon. Through flood, fire and drought, Sherri has stood by her com­mu­nity. She es­tab­lished an ef­fec­tive, wide­spread email net­work and she reg­u­larly no­ti­fies res­i­dents (and Week­enders) of the events which are shap­ing their lives. Sherri pro­vides prompt, ac­cu­rate and up-to-date in­for­ma­tion as events un­fold and has bought the com­mu­nity to­gether, whether it be fight­ing for a com­mon cause, ad­dress­ing threats to the com­mu­nity, sup­port­ing lo­cal in­sti­tu­tions such as the St Albans School of Arts, Macdon­ald Val­ley Pub­lic School and the Writ­ers Fes­ti­val or wel­com­ing new res­i­dents.

The Hawkes­bury En­vi­ron­men­tal Award was won by Wind­sor High School where stu­dents, Har­ri­son Moxon, Sean Gaiter, Chase Wright and Caleb Chase en­tered a com­pe­ti­tion called In­no­va­tion Na­tion run by the Foun­da­tion for Young Aus­tralians. The aim was to de­velop ideas for so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal change.

The stu­dents fo­cused on rub­bish re­duc­tion and re­cy­cling and cre­ated the Cash Cage Project af­ter con­duct­ing an au­dit of the garbage bins at the school. The Cash Cage be­came a whole school project as stu­dents used it to sep­a­rate dif­fer­ent re­cy­clable items. The money earnt for the school from the re­turn and earn part of the Cash Cage was used to pur­chase com­post bins to aid fur­ther re­duc­tion of waste and to make a prod­uct to im­prove the qual­ity of the soil in the school gar­dens and agri­cul­ture plot.

The school made it to the top ten, re­ceiv­ing a $1,000 mi­cro grant, on­line resources, as well as coach­ing ses­sions with ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness lead­ers. They also won an ad­di­tional $6,000 to keep The Cash Cage project go­ing.

Hawkes­bury Mayor Barry Calvert with Vol­un­teer of the Year Phillip Hurst and Lo­cal Hero Sherri McMa­honHawkes­bury Cit­i­zen of the Year Ross Mathe­son Pres­i­dent of Hawkes­bury District Agri­cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion.

Hawkes­bury Mayor Barry Calvert with Vol­un­teer of the Year Phillip Hurst and Lo­cal Hero Sherri McMa­hon

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