Our Hills Citizens of the Year

WHAT a small world.

Our new Hills Citizen of the Year, Jennie Page, used to be the St John Ambulance cadet leader of our new Young Citizen of the Year, Kasuni Fernando.

"Kasuni was in Cadets with my daughter Taylor [Page] who was the Young Citizen of the Year in 2009," Ms Page said.

"I am still trying to get Kasuni to join the adult division."

There's a good chance she'll get her wish because Hills Community Medical Equipment Pool, the charity where Ms Fernando does her volunteering, is located next door to St John Ambulance Hills division, in Baulkham Hills.

The pair were among seven locals recognised by The Hills mayor Michelle Byrne at a ceremony held in the new council building in Norwest Business Park on Thursday night.

Click here to view our photo gallery of the ceremony.

"The thing that ties all of these people together is that they are volunteers [who] don't look for recognition, yet they work away," Cr Byrne said.

Ms Page, of Winston Hills, joined St John Ambulance Australia 12 years ago and Scouts Australia 19 years ago.

She is a certificated leader with the Scouts and Superintendent - Hills division at St John.

"My first volunteering stint was when I was 19, coaching a seven-year-olds' netball team," Ms Page said.

"Then I got very involved in my kids' schools — with the clothing pool, I was one of the tuckshop mums, on the mother's club, the P&F [Parents and Friends Association], the fete committee."

Ms Fernando, 21, of Baulkham Hills, started doing charity work in year 9 at James Ruse Agricultural High School.

"Me and my brother organised to donate school supplies to tsunami-affected children in Sri Lanka," she said.

"I also did St John in year 9. At Hills Community Medical Equipment Pool we assist with the short-term loan of medical equipment, like wheelchairs and walkers.

"I think everyone should volunteer. I think it's a matter though of listening and taking action; that's my motto."

Also acknowledged on Thursday was Tour de Hills Bicycle Classic organiser Mike Blair, our new Senior Citizen of the Year.

Mr Blair is the service projects director for Castle Hill Rotary, which started the annual Tour de Hills cycling event as a fund-raising project 19 years ago.

"I hope it goes forever, even after I retire," Mr Blair, 69, of Baulkham Hills said.


■ Citizen of the Year Award: Jennie Page;

■ Senior Citizen of the Year Award: Mike Blair;

■ Young Citizen of The Year Award: Kasuni Fernando;

■ Community Project of the Year Award: Access2Art — an exhibition and artwork sale event organised by disability organisations Tallowood School, North West Disability Services, The Hills School, Warrah and Inala;

■ Australia Day Hero Award: Shirley Holden (for 50 years of service to Girl Guides NSW, including her continuing involvement with The Hills Trefoil Guild adult guiding group); Olga Zavaglia (for her work with North West Disability Services) and Dr Reza Ali (for his volunteer work with Rotaract Shandhani and hospitals in his native Bangladesh, where he has developed an emergency medicine department).

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