Australia Day Awards recognise amazing Coasties


Saturday, 25 January 2020


Australia Day honours for 2020 have recognised 11 exceptional Central Coast community members including Olympic silver medallist Matthew Graham who was named ‘Citizen of the Year’.

Mayor Lisa Matthews said Australia Day is an opportunity to acknowledge extraordinary Australians and in particular members of our very own Central Coast community.

“Australia Day is a time to reflect on our history, to celebrate our achievements and to look to the future of our country,” Mayor Matthews said. 

“I would like to particularly acknowledge our Indigenous community, the Darkinjung people, who play a vital role in shaping the future of our region.    

“I would like to congratulate each of our winners across the eight categories – this is an exceptional achievement and the Central Coast is very proud of you.

“Our ‘Citizen of the Year’ for 2020, Matthew Graham, is a worthy winner of this prestigious award. 

“Matthew’s achievement on the world stage speak for themselves – an Olympic silver medallist for Australia in 2018, silver at the World Championships in 2019 and gearing up to represent Australia and the Coast at a third Olympics in 2022.

“Not only does Matthew excel in his chosen field, he has shown that he is a leader who takes the time to give back to his community.

“Matthew often interrupts his own busy training schedule to inspire the next generation, encouraging students to pursue their passion for sport whilst also continuing their journey with education.

“This is a Coastie who practices what he preaches, not only is he at the top of his sport in the world he is currently completing a double degree in Civil Engineering and Business.”

A brief biography of each of the Australia Day 2020 award winners for the Central Coast is included below:

Citizen of the Year (Winner) – Matthew Graham 
In 2018 Matthew won Silver for Australia in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and in 2019 went on to win Silver at the World Freestyle Mogul Skiing Championships in Utah, USA. He is currently the number two skier in the World and preparing to become a three time Olympian in 2022. Not only is he successfully competing on the world stage, and an incredible skier, but he spends a significant amount of his time giving back to the community. He often interrupts his own training schedule to assist at Interschool Sporting Competitions to present awards and encourage students to pursue their passion with sports but also continue their journey with education. Matthew values education deeply – he is currently studying a double degree in Civil Engineering and Business, whilst juggling his international sporting career. He often lends a hand to provide tutoring support where he can and is a true role model speaking with students about combining sport and study efficiently. Matthew has truly demonstrated excellence in his field, whilst also showcasing great leadership and a significant contribution to the community.

Youth of the Year (Joint Winner) – Jasmine Shaw 
At just 19 years old, Jasmine is responsible for founding the Central Coast Animal Rescue Network. Jasmine started the network in 2019 to collect useful items to assist with the rescue and rehabilitation of animals throughout the Central Coast. Jasmine is a passionate animal lover and advocate, juggling university alongside casual employment and the CC Animal Rescue Network which she continues to grow. 

Youth of the Year (Joint Winner) – Callum Sutton 
At just 18 years old, Callum has succeeded in representing Australia on the world stage in multiple sports whilst also having strong ties with the local community. Callum volunteers his time as a Surf Life Saver and completes over 100 hours of community service each year. In 2017, one of Callum’s greatest achievements for his community was the successful resuscitation of a cyclist in West Gosford. 

Volunteer of the Year (Winner) – Mark Power 
Mark recently celebrated 50 years of volunteer patrolling on the Terrigal Beach. Season after season, Mark has been on the beach standing at the water’s edge, tube in hand, anticipating issues and preventing problems. He is the epitome of a dedicated Surf Lifesaver and Volunteer. His volunteer service equates to well over 600 hours keeping the community safe on the beach. 

Volunteer of the Year (Highly Commended) – Jenny Roberts
Jenny has been volunteering with Girl Guides Australia since 1971, more specifically with Budgewoi Girl Guides since 1987. Jenny has demonstrated a long term commitment to volunteering with Girl Guides. She began as a Guide Leader and now holds a management position within the district. Jenny also provides support and guidance to new leaders. 

Sportsperson of the Year (Winner) – Katelyn Smith
At just 23 years old, Katelyn represented Australia in athletics at the global games in 2019, where she placed second in the javelin, with an Oceania record. Katelyn has also represented NSW in tenpin bowling, where she finished first in the singles competition, and received the national record for the able bodied. 

Environmental Award (Winner) – Cathy Gilmore
Cathy has been rescuing wildlife on the Central Coast for over 28 years. In 2005 Cathy launched the Australian Seabird Rescue Central Coast (ASRCC) which is an organisation that equips the community with the knowledge on how to rescue, rehabilitate and release endangered marine species. 

Community Service and Activity (Winner) – Deborah Warwick
Deborah was the Gosford Imperial Centre Manager for 19 years and has many well established ties to the local community including an extensive list of voluntary roles across a multitude of organisations. Deborah is passionate about the continuous improvement of Gosford, working tirelessly and selflessly to do as much as possible for the community.

Business Connecting Communities (Winner) – Sharyn Burgess
Sharyn created the Community and Business Women’s Network (CBWN) on the Central Coast. The aim of CBWN is to connect women in business and in the community, fostering a robust network of healthy relationships which in turn creates a sense of belonging, identity and personal worth. CWBN is the biggest and most active networking group on the Central Coast. 

Business Connecting Communities (Highly Commended) – Kaylene Conway
Kaylene created CC365 (Central Coast 365), a platform that allows local Central Coast operators, venues, and businesses to promote their events and services for free. The website is a one stop shop for the community to find out what is happening around the Coast and have easy access to support businesses. 

Arts, Culture and Entertainment (Winner) – Joshua Maxwell
Joshua has dedicated the last 14 years of his life to the Central Coast arts community. In 2016 he co-founded Jopuka Productions, which is now the leading independent youth-arts company on the Central Coast. Joshua is also a big advocate for the LGBTIQA+ community and marriage equality, speaking nationally on such topics.


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Last updated : Wed 29 Jan 2020