Blue Mountains Posts

Australia Day Awards Recognise Outstanding Blue Mountains Citizens

By Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 28 Jan 2021
Annelise Schorder
Outstanding citizens were celebrated at Blue Mountains City Council’s annual Australia Day Awards on 26 January, 2021.

Award recipients for 2021, announced at the ceremony, include:

  • Young Citizens of the Year –  Annelise Schroder and Harry Elbourne
  • Citizen of the Year – John Turner
  • Senior Citizens of the Year – Peter A. Kidd and Rosemary Hart
  • Environmental Citizen of the Year – Lis Bastian
  • Community Achievement of the Year – Blue Fringe Arts and Literature Exhibition.

Mayor Mark Greenhill hosted the event that also welcomed more than 50 new Australian citizens to the region.

He said: “It is a great honour to be able to present this year’s Australia Day Awards. Gathered here are a group of leading Blue Mountains citizens whose tireless and selfless efforts to create positive change within our community are an inspiration for us all.” 

Young Citizens of the Year (Under 24 years)

Annelise Schroder

Since high school, Annelise has been volunteering her free time to ensure that young people in the Blue Mountains receive the support they need.

Through her voluntary role as the manager of Fusion Blue Mountains, a not-for-profit Christian Youth and Community organisation, she has worked tirelessly to organise activities such as breakfast clubs at three local public schools, lunch drops, Saturday activities, supporter nights and fundraisers. 

Annelise has engaged with kids and their parents and supported young people as they were coming out, being bullied or experiencing violence in the home. Through this work, she has been a powerful, positive role model in many young people’s lives.

Harry Elbourne

At just 16 years of age, Harry’s commitment to training, healthy lifestyles and social causes is inspiring. His positive attitude is infectious and he is always looking to help others.

Harry plays high level AFL football and he works at Rust and Timber in Lawson, who have consistently supported many local charities. Harry is currently training to participate in a charity run, JTS run for Nepean Family Rooms which aims to raise $5000 for the Ronald McDonald House rooms at Nepean Hospital.

Citizen of the Year (25 - 64 years)

John Turner

John has been fundraising to support families of sick children that have been admitted to Nepean Hospital.

What he doesn't tell people however is that he has rheumatoid arthritis which can and does flair up regularly. Despite this, in 2 years John has raised over $16,000 for Ronald McDonald House Nepean, which is the closest neonatal intensive care unit for Blue Mountains Families.

John is a PE teacher at Springwood High School and has also been the convenor and coach for Sydney West Secondary Hockey (that includes Blue Mountains high schools) since 2019. He was also the NSW Combined High Schools assistant hockey convenor in 2020 and has coached and been on the committee for the Blaxland Rovers Hockey Club for over 5 years.

Senior Citizen of the Year (65 years +)

Peter A. Kidd

Peter has supported his community as an Educator for many decades of this life. He was the Deputy Principal at Springwood High School from January 1981 to May 1985 and Principal of Katoomba High School from May 1985 to June 1987. He was also a member of the Metropolitan West talented students committee.

After retirement, Peter taught Maths to groups of students for several years and he currently leads a bible study group for retired men at Glenbrook Baptist Church.

For about 20 years Peter has also been a state bowls coach at Glenbrook Panthers Bowling Club and at 93, he is its oldest playing member.

Rosemary Hart

In a career spanning over 50 years, Rosemary Hart has been a caring and dedicated teacher who has worked tirelessly to help her students reach their full potential.

She has taught in both Victoria and NSW schools as well as overseas in Malaysia and since being appointed to teach at Springwood Public School, the mother of four has taught close to 1000 children at the school.

During her time as a casual teacher at the school, Rosemary worked with abused and behaviourally challenging children. As a result of her time with these kids, she was responsible for several children being assimilated into mainstream schooling.

Rosemary has also raised thousands of dollars over the years for numerous charities and under her guidance, children have learnt to be more compassionate and more empathetic to the plight of others in the world.

Environmental Citizen of the Year

Lis Bastian

For years, Lis Bastian has devoted herself to helping others live more sustainably. She does this by leading by example and by teaching people of all ages about permaculture and environmental responsibility.

Lis created The Big Fix which is a social enterprise that focuses on 'changing the story.’ The initiative has enabled a collaborative, solutions-based culture to grow and thrive in the Blue Mountains and beyond.

Other projects that have been spearheaded by Lis, include a Community Farm in Blackheath which she regularly reports on through Facebook to inspire others. Lis also set up and now runs ‘Pluriversity’, which provides a range of learning opportunities for young people who have left school engage with one another and the wider community.

Lis reaches out to others and builds partnerships with unlimited generosity and devotion to protecting the environment.

Community Achievement of the Year

Blue Fringe Arts and Literature Exhibition

Now in its 28th year of operation, the Blue Fringe Arts and Literature Exhibition embraces all aspects of mental health and encourages people to express their creativity and share their stories through art and literature, regardless of their level of expertise. 

With the events of 2020 seeing our community heavily impacted by the effects of bushfires, floods and coronavirus and the subsequent loss of homes, lives and displacement, the mental health of thousands has been impacted which has made the awareness that the exhibition generates around these issues even more important.

In 2020, the Blue Fringe Committee exceeded all expectations of what could be produced. Not only was an exhibition held during such a challenging time, but it was a virtual exhibition which reached countries right around the world. The exhibition has been highly commended and there has been a magnificent book produced from it which showcases the outstanding artwork and literature that was contributed by Blue Mountains residents.

This year’s exhibition was a timely reminder that even through adversity we can still achieve great things.

Harry Elbourne
John Turner
Peter Kidd
Rosemary Hart
Lis Bastian
Blue Fringe
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