Campbelltown's top citizens named in Australia Day ceremony

Lesley Robson, left, picked up this year's Campbelltown Citizen of the Year in this morning's ceremony. Picture: File
Lesley Robson, left, picked up this year's Campbelltown Citizen of the Year in this morning's ceremony. Picture: File

We might not have been able to gather together for celebrations this year, but that doesn't mean the community spirit was missing from Campbelltown this Australia Day.

Campbelltown Council this morning announced the winners of its Australia Day awards, honouring the most selfless among our number this year.

Taking out top honours was Lesley Robson, a tireless advocate for victims of domestic and family violence.

Ms Robson was selected as the Citizen of the Year for her ongoing dedication to the eradication of domestic violence through the organisation of community projects and awareness programs, including the annual 16 Days of Activism and the Wash Away Violence project.

Campbelltown mayor George Greiss said it was a privilege to announce Ms Robson as this year's worthy recipient.

"Since 1993 Lesley has worked professionally in Campbelltown to help women and children who have experienced domestic violence," he said.

"She has generously provided her time, knowledge and skill to support a wide range of community projects... and managed the website DV Help Campbelltown, which contains information and resources to assist women.

"I thank Lesley for what she does to help others."

Disability advocate Renee Allara was named Disability and Inclusion Award winner for her work with Australia Deaf Elders, while Community Group Initiative of the Year went to Lomandra Community Pantry's hard work responding to community need during the pandemic.

Macarthur Orioles baseballer Mitchell Austin was named Sportsperson of the Year for recognition of his success at home and in the US, and finally Environmental Citizen of the Year went to Bin Chicken founder Alexis Bowen for her work encouraging others to think about their environmental impacts.

Cr Greiss congratulated the award winners for their contributions to the community.

"Australia Day is all about celebrating the work of people in our community who make Campbelltown the wonderful place that it is," Cr Greiss said.

"This past year has been among the most challenging in our shared history but it's amazing to see how many residents and community organisations have stepped up in different ways to support the wider community," he said.

"I know the selection committee had a difficult time choosing a winner from an incredible amount of nominations."

The virtual ceremony also included a Welcome to Country from Aunty Glenda Chalker, an appearance from Campbelltown Australia Day ambassador Maria Venuti (and her daughter and granddaughter), and a performance of the national anthem in both English and Dharawal language by local performer Hamani Tanginoa.

This story Campbelltown's top citizens named in Australia Day ceremony first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.