A young man who has a passion for improving youth mental health, a dedicated Bella Vista Farm volunteer, a resident raising funds to find a cure for cancer and a netball club empowering young women to do their best on and off the court, have all been recognised at The Hills Shire’s 2018 Australia Day Awards on Friday, January 26.

Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne said the awards recognised personal achievements that go beyond the ordinary. “On behalf of the people of The Hills Shire, I say thank you, congratulations and the very best of luck to each and every one of our finalists in the 2018 Hills Shire Australian Day Awards.”

This year’s Australia Day Award winners are:

Young Citizen of the Year – Sina Aghamofid Sina Aghamofid is a part of the Hills Youth Army and the Youth Volunteer Force. He recently joined the Headspace National Youth Advisory Council, which sees him working with other inspiring and dedicated individuals on improving youth issues. Mr Aghamofid also volunteers with Bankstown Poetry Slam.

Senior Citizen of Year – Noreen Tait and Carol Baker Dersch Noreen Tait has been a volunteer with the Wirreanda Village for 18 years. She has also worked with the RSL Sub-Branch in Wirreanda, which now benefits from an increased volunteer presence and inclusion of ex-servicemen and women to facilitate Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies. Carol Baker has been a volunteer in The Hills for over 20 years in various capacities, including helping to raise money for many charities. Ms Baker is also the secretary and member of Friends of Bella Vista Farm. She is the Devonshire Tea caterer and it is through this role she has made Bella Vista Farm such a welcoming and relaxing place for visitors.

Citizen of year – Zoe Graham Zoe Graham is the co-founder of the Hills Relay Ball. Over the past 11 years, Hills Relay Ball has raised more than $400,000 for the Cancer Council. Ms Graham has also helped in charity missions overseas, taking books and stationary supplies to schools in Vanuatu and providing aid in Fiji. To add to her busy volunteer schedule, she was also on the P&C of Castle Hill Public School and was a member of the Hills Safety Committee.

Community Group of the Year – Computer Pals for Seniors- The Hills and Gazelles Netball Club Computer Pals – the Hills, is fully operated by a loyal band of around sixty dedicated volunteers, including trainers, computer technicians, office staff, cleaners and even gardeners, providing ongoing, valuable technological and social contribution to all seniors, in their bid to overcome the ongoing, ever increasing challenges via the world of technology Gazelles Netball has been running the Gazelles COMMUNITY NEWS Young citizen of the year

Senior Citizens of the Year: Noreen Tait (left) and Carol Baker. The Mayor, Dr Michelle Byrne, Noreen Tait, Carol Baker and and Australia Day Ambassador Leanne Jones (Sky News) The Mayor and Minister David Elliott congratulate Castle Hill resident Zoe Graham on her Hills Shire Citizen of the Year Award while her husband Pete Graham looks on.