Macarthur residents nominated in NSW Australian of the Year awards

Angelina Arora at Sydney Girls School. Picture: Wolter Peeters
Angelina Arora at Sydney Girls School. Picture: Wolter Peeters

Two Macarthur residents have been nominated in this year’s NSW Australian of the Year awards.

The awards recognise NSW residents who have made outstanding contributions to their communities and beyond.

The winners will go on to be nominated for the Australian of the Year awards to coincide with Australia Day.

This year, Angelina Arora from Glen Alpine and George Tonna from Ingleburn have scored themselves nominations.

Sixteen-year-old student Angelina has been nominated in the NSW Young Australian of the Year category, while Mr Tonna has been nominated in the NSW Local Hero category.

Angelina is a scientist, inventor and philanthropist who has her heart set on reducing waste.

She has committed herself to finding a better solution to single-use plastic bags to help prevent the 1.2 trillion tonnes of plastic which goes to waste each year.

The exceptionally talented youngster, who attends Sydney Girls School, developed a toxic-free, strong and flexible plastic as an alternative.

She empowers young women to engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and also conducts charity work in Australia and across the world.

Angelina has showcased her work at the International Science and Engineering Fair and received multiple awards.

Fellow NSW Young Australian of the Year nominees include health advocate Gidon Goodman (Dover Heights), cancer researched Nicole Seebacher (Pennant Hills) and social entrepreneur Jarrod Wheatley (Surry Hills).

Physical Disability Rugby League founder George Tonna. Picture: Chris Lane

Physical Disability Rugby League founder George Tonna. Picture: Chris Lane

Mr Tonna has paved the way for disability inclusion in the sport of rugby league.

The avid sports fan has cerebral palsy and used his drive and personal relationship with disabilities to create a new league that gives physically disabled people an outlet to chase their sporting dreams.

The father-of-three is a South Sydney Rabbitohs tragic and took his love of the game to develop the NSW Physical Disability Rugby Leauge in 2010.

There are now five clubs in the league, including Wests Tigers.

Mr Tonna told the Advertiser earlier this year that he was chuffed to be nominated in the awards.

He had received an email from the government Cabinet informing him of his nomination in September.

“It’s been 10 years to get to this stage, so it’s really great to have this recognition,” he said.

Fellow NSW Local Hero nominees include retired teacher John Dyball (Vincentia), child-protection advocate Mary Jo McVeigh (Concord) and Running for Premature Babies Foundation founder Sophie Smith (Coogee).