Cancer education and research advocate, Yvonne Crestani, has been named Citizen of the Year for her dedication to improving the life of cancer patients and their families, and providing educational opportunities for medical personnel on the Coast.
Yvonne formed the Crestani Scholarships in Radiotherapy Foundation – which raises higher education and research study funds for medical personnel – in honour of her late husband, Chris Crestani, a respected chief Radiation Therapist at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney who passed away from cancer in 2006.
One scholarship in particular has resulted in the team at Gosford Hospital’s Central Coast Cancer Centre being able to study a new technique which has reduced the number of radiation treatments for patients from 30 to just two or three.
Central Coast Council Mayor Jane Smith said Yvonne’s commitment to improving the life of cancer patients, and the welfare of their family members, for over a decade made her a worthy Central Coast Citizen of the Year.
“Australia Day is a celebration of our diversity, our values, our national achievements and our hopes for the future,” Mayor Smith said.
“Each year we celebrate the achievement and contribution of prominent local community members through our Australia Day Awards.
“Yvonne has been leading the Crestani Foundation for over a decade, and her dedication and commitment to delivering better outcomes for cancer patients is enriching our community and ensuring a better quality of life for residents.
“Her scholarships help provide specialist education in radiotherapy treatment to advance techniques in cancer treatments and potentially save lives here on the Central Coast.
“Yvonne has expanded her scholarship program steadily over the past decade, raising over $200,000 in funds for health workers. Her continued commitment to expand her scholarships to train all cancer health workers including additional nurses is inspirational and I am honoured to name Yvonne Crestani as Central Coast’s Citizen of the Year.
“On this special day we honour Yvonne and all our local unsung heroes who strive to better our community and make the Central Coast a great place to live.”
Other 2019 Australia Day Award winners are:
Arts, Culture & Entertainment Award - Brad Cardis
Brad works tirelessly behind the scenes to support and promote local businesses, musicians and artists on their path to success. Brad is also responsible for connecting many entrepreneurs and smaller business owners on the Central Coast through networking opportunities and his passion sees him continue to facilitate opportunities for local artisans to succeed.
Businesses Connecting Communities Award - Debbi Lalor
Debbi is the creator of the ‘What’s On Central Coast’ website, which has been running for the past 15 years with over 2.1million visitors. Debbie’s website connects local venues, market organisers, cinemas, small and big businesses with visiting tourists and locals to better the Coast community and promote the Central Coast as a destination.
Community Service and Activity Award - Philip Walker
Philip is an active member of his local community and a respected community leader delivering better outcomes for the Central Coast including economic development, job creation, investment attraction and the delivery of community infrastructure, funding and services. As Chair of Regional Development Australia Central Coast, Philip has lead collaboration efforts to drive improved economic outcomes for the region, demonstrating his strong community commitment and making him an inspiration to other regional leaders.
Community Volunteer of the Year Award - Sharon Baxter
Sharon has contributed in excess of 15,000 unpaid hours of dedication to the advancement of the Terrigal United Football Club, its members and extended families spanning over 17 years.
Community Volunteer of the Year Award - Robert Powell
With 15 years of community service, Robert lives and breathes Surf Life Saving and has educated and assessed thousands of surf life savers over the years at Umina Surf Life Saving Club. He was also recognised as Patrol Captain for the NSWSLS Patrol of the Year Award in 2018.
Environmental Award - Lyndall Parris
Lyndall is the founder of Narara Ecovillage, a sustainable, co-operative development on the old Horticultural Research Station site at Narara and has worked tirelessly for the last 20 years to bring this project to fruition.
Sportsperson of the Year Award - Isabelle Kelly
Isabelle is an outstanding role model for the Central Coast. She has played in the winning World Cup Jillaroos Australian Team, with The Roosters first ever women's League Team and has received Harvey Norman’s NSW State Player of the Year Award.
Youth of the Year Award - Deen Rad
Deen is an active advocate for cultural awareness, travelling around NSW promoting tolerance and harmony against racism and bullying, and mentoring young people of minority backgrounds who struggle to find identity and belonging.
Council also acknowledged Georgia Kent as a highly commended in the Youth of the Year Award for her work with various charities and her advocacy efforts around equality and multiculturalism.
For more information visit centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/australiadayawards
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