January 27 - February 2, 2019: Issue 391


Australia Day 2019 Awards: Recognitions For outstanding local residents

Romilly Madew AO

The Australian Honours system celebrates individuals who rise above the everyday and mark the extraordinary in our society. Awards are announced twice a year, on Australia Day and also on the Queen’s Birthday.

Australia established its own honours system, the Order of Australia, on February 14th 1975 ‘for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service’. Prior to this time, Australians were honoured under the British or Imperial Honours system.

There are four levels of awards within the Order of Australia to recognise commitment and achievement. These are:

  • Companion (AC) for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large
  • Officer (AO) for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large
  • Member (AM) for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group
  • Medal (OAM) for service worthy of a particular recognition.

This year’s Order of Australia award recipients celebrate Australia’s diversity. In addition to being Australian, recipients identified with an ancestral heritage from 30 different countries and 213 of the Australians honoured were born overseas. The youngest recipient is 26 and the oldest is 99.

The number of women receiving an award in the Order has increased from a long term average of around 30% to 37.4% in 2019, however women are still under-represented - although that could not be stated to be the case for Pittwater.

Bilgola SLSC's Romilly Madew has been awarded an AO in this year's Australia Day Awards. On January 14th, 2019, the Green Building Council of Australia made the following announcement:

'The Green Building Council of Australia’s long-serving leader, Romilly Madew, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Infrastructure Australia. Ms Madew’s appointment was announced by the Infrastructure Australia Board today and welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

An independent statutory body, Infrastructure Australia prioritises and progresses nationally significant infrastructure through research and advice to all levels of government, investors and owners.

“During her 13 years at the helm of the GBCA, Romilly has driven a sustainable building movement that has changed the shape of our communities and cities,” says Chairman of the GBCA’s Board of Directors, Rod Fehring.

“Romilly has built the GBCA’s global reputation as an influential advocate and change agent. Under Romilly’s stewardship, the GBCA has become a trusted advisor to government, and a global leader among the 70-strong green building council network.”

“When Romilly joined the GBCA in 2006, just a handful of projects had achieved Green Star ratings. Today, we boast in excess of 2,250 certified projects,” Mr Fehring explains.

More than 37 per cent of Australia’s office space is Green Star certified and six per cent of Australia’s workforce head to a sustainable office each day. Upwards of 1.3 million people visit a Green Star-rated shopping centre each day and 48,000 live in Green Star-rated apartments.

Ms Madew says she is “proud of the GBCA’s leadership in supporting collaboration across the property industry to deliver more productive, sustainable cities and communities“ pointing to the established influence of the GBCA beyond the commercial office sector to leadership in the delivery of sustainable infrastructure through Green Star rated airports, hospitals, train stations, and major urban renewal projects.

Ms Madew is a longstanding advocate for national leadership supporting integrated strategic planning for cities and infrastructure as past-Deputy President of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, and member of numerous federal and state government ministerial panels.

“It has been a privilege to work with a visionary board, outstanding organisations, inspiring individuals and talented colleagues over the last 13 years, and I am confident the GBCA will continue to play a central role as a sustainability champion and change agent.”

Infrastructure Australia Chair Julieanne Alroe welcomed the appointment of Ms Madew;

“Recognised around the world as a leader in the property and construction industry, Romilly is an experienced CEO with expertise in strategy, governance and policy development. She has forged strong working relationships with industry, government and community stakeholders through her current role and previous executive positions, including as Executive Director ACT and Sustainability at the Property Council of Australia and the National Client Relationship Manager for law firm King & Wood Mallesons.

“Romilly joins Infrastructure Australia at an incredibly important time for our organisation, and we are delighted to have her on board as we prepare to release the Australian Infrastructure Audit in mid-2019 and begin work on the next Australian Infrastructure Plan,” Ms Alroe said.

Ms Madew said she was honoured to begin a new chapter as Chief Executive of Infrastructure Australia as the organisation prepares to release two landmark documents.

“Infrastructure Australia has a critical role to play in helping governments prioritise projects and reforms that best serve our communities. I look forward to growing the organisation's focus on delivering better outcomes for individual users across transport, energy, telecommunications, water and social infrastructure,” Ms Madew said.

Ms Madew will begin her new role in April 2019.

While Romilly leads the way in contributing to that bigger vision for Australia so many have, there are among this year's lists some notable innovators without whom we would not have what they began and contributors to community whose efforts have brought joy to many or that shoulder needed.

Honours help define, encourage and reinforce national aspirations, ideals and standards by identifying role models. They  recognise, celebrate and say thank you to those who make a difference, achieve their best or serve others.

This year they recognise:

Australia Day Honours Lists 2019
By Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).


Ms Romilly Jane MADEW 
For distinguished service to the construction sector as a change agent and advocate for sustainable building practices.

Building sector:

  • Chief Executive Officer, Green Building Council of Australia, since 2006.
  • Executive Committee member, Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, since 2012.
  • Non-Executive Director, Sydney Olympic Park Authority, since 2016.
  • Board Member, Australian Government Cities Reference Group, since 2017.
  • Member, National Sustainable Development Council, since 2017.
  • Deputy President, Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, 2012 - 2017.
  • Co-Founder, Built Environment Meet Parliament Conference, 2008-2014.
  • Co-Founder and co-host, Green Cities Conference, 2007-2018.
  • Member, Nestl Creating Shared Value Roundtable, 2016-2017.
  • Member, Steering Committee, Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, 2015-2017.
  • Board Member and Executive Committee Member, World Green Building Council, 2012-2016.
  • Member, Australian Government's Expert Reference Group, Emissions Reduction Fund, 2014-2015.
  • Co-Chair, Global Coalition of Green Schools, 2013-2014.
  • Chair, ASBEC Cities and Regions Taskforce, 2010-2014.
  • Chair, WorldGBC International Rating Tools Task Group, 2011,2014.
  • Council Member, Australian Government National Sustainability Council, 2013-2013.
  • Member, Australian Government National Urban Policy Forum, 2012-2013.
  • Member, China/Australia Services Sector Forum, 2012.
  • Member, Independent Expert Group, Australian Government Climate Adaptation Outlook Group, 2012-2013.
  • Director, ACT Government Land Development Agency, 2005-2008.
  • Chair or Member, ACT Government Chief Minister's Planning and Construction Industry
  • Reference Group, Urban Committee, Audit and Marketing Committee, Design Review Panel, 2005-2008.
  • Past Member, Greater Sydney Commission Environment Reference 2017.
  • Consultant author, 'Dollars & Sense of Green Building', 2006.


  • Independent Chair, Currawong State Park Advisory Board, since 2015.
  • Board member and member, Chief Executive Women, since 2012.
  • President, Bilgola Beach Surf Life Saving Club, since 2013.

Awards and recognition includes:

  • Recipient, Chairman's Award, World Green Building Council, 2017.
  • Recipient, Citizen of the Year, Pittwater Council, 2016
  • Recipient, International Leadership Award, US Green Building Council, 2015.
  • Honorary Fellow, Planning Institute of Australia, 2015.
  • Named 100 Women of Influence, Australian Financial Review and Westpac, 2012.
  • Winner, National and NSW Telstra Business Women's Awards (Community and Government), 2009.

Mr Christopher John MITCHELL 
For distinguished service to the print media through senior editorial roles, as a journalist, and to Indigenous education programs.

News Corp Australia:

  • Editor-in-Chief, 'The Australian', 2002-2015 and Editor, 1992-1995.
  • Editor-in-Chief, 'Queensland Newspapers', and 'The Courier Mail', 1995-2002 and Journalist, 1984-1995.
  • Journalist, 'The Australian Financial Review', 1981-1984.
  • Journalist, 'Townsville Bulletin', 1979-1981.
  • Journalist, 'The Brisbane Telegraph', 1973-1979.


  • Ambassador, Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, since 2011. 


Professor David Charles HARRIS 
Duffys Forest 
For significant service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of nephrology, and to professional societies.


  • Director of Dialysis and Nephrology, Western Renal Service, since 1993.
  • Clinical Nephrologist, Westmead Hospital, since 1988.
  • Director, Renal Failure Laboratory, Centre for Transplantation and Renal Research, The Westmead
  • Institute for Medical Research, current.

University of Sydney:

  • Professor of Medicine, since 2004.
  • Associate Dean, Westmead Medical School, 2006-2016.
  • Head, Discipline of Medicine, 1995-2005.

Publications include:

  • Has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers and 11 books.
  • Contributor to Australian and international nephrology guidelines including 'Caring for Australians with
  • Renal Impairment' and 'Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes'.

International Society of Nephrology:

  • President, 2017-2019.
  • President Elect, 2016-2017
  • Chair, Education Task Force, 2011-2017.
  • Chair, Fellowship Program, 2009-2015
  • Chair, Publication Committee, 2011-2015.
  • Chair, Scientific Committee, World Congress of Nephrology Singapore, 2005.
  • Chair, Scientific Committee, International Congress of Nephrology, Sydney, 1997.
  • Chair, World Congress of Nephrology, Melbourne 2019, current.

Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology:

  • President, 2002-2004.
  • Executive Officer, 1998-2004.
  • Senior Investigator, 2008.
  • Asia-Pacific Society of Nephrology:
  • President, 2013-2016.
  • Chair, Nominating Committee, current.

Other medical:

  • Board Member, Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes, 2008-2016.
  • Board Member, Kidney Health Australia, 2003-2008.
  • Chair, Advisory Board, Australasian Kidney Trials Network, 2004-2017.
  • Chair, Medical Staff Council, Westmead Hospital, 2011-2013.
  • Editor in Chief, 'Nephrology', 2003-2010.

Awards and recognition includes:

  • Associe Etranger, French Academy of Medicine, 2017.
  • Honorary Member, Japanese Society of Nephrology, 2017.
  • Recipient, Richard Yu Awar, Hong Kong Society of Nephrology, 2017.
  • Recipient, Distinguished Professorial Award, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, 2016.
  • Recipient, Medical Staff Council Award for contributions to Westmead Hospital, 2016.
  • Recipient, Priscilla Kincaid-Smith Award, Kidney Health Australia, 2012.
  • Recipient, TJ Neale Award, Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology, 1998. 

Ms Anita JACOBY 
Avalon Beach 
For significant service to the broadcast and print media, and to community mental health groups.


  • Film and television producer, and journalist.

Programs produced include:

  • The Gruen Transfer, Gruen Nation, Gruen Sport, ABC TV, 2008-2012.
  • Country Town Rescue, ABC TV, 2012.
  • AFP, Nine Network, 2011-2012.
  • Can of Worms, Network Ten, 2011-2012.
  • Hun Elders, ABC TV, 2008-2009.
  • Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, ABC TV,2003-2008.
  • Angels and Demons (Documentary), ABC TV, 2008.
  • God on My Side (Feature Documentary), ABC TV, 2006.
  • David Tench Tonight, Network Ten, 2006.
  • Brothers in Arms (Documentary), ABC TV, 2005.
  • 60 Minutes, Nine Network, 2001-2002 and 1989-1995.
  • Sunday, Nine Network, 2001.
  • Surprise Surprise, Nine Network, 2001.
  • Only Human, Nine Network, 2001.
  • LAWS, Foxtel, 1998-2001.
  • Making Merry, Foxtel, 1999.
  • Witness, Seven Network, 1997-1998.
  • Sydney 2000, Seven Network, 1997.
  • Missing Pieces, Seven Network, 1997.
  • The Backpacker Murders, Seven Network, 1996.
  • Who Dares Win, Seven Network, 1996.
  • Today Show, Nine Network, 1986-1989.
  • Good Morning Australia, Network Ten, 1985-1986.
  • Magazine, SBS, 1984.
  • Weekend Sydney, ATN7, 1983.
  • NBN3, 1982.
  • Simon Townsend's Wonder World!, Network Ten, 1981.

Other media:

  • Authority Member, Australian Communications and Media Authority, since 2013.
  • Managing Director, ITV Studios Australia, 2013-2015.
  • Head of Development and Head of Production, Zapruder's Other Films, 2003-2012.
  • Board Director, Australian Film Institute and Australian Academy of Cinema and Television
  • Arts, since 2017 and Member, since 1984.
  • Member, Screen Producers Association of Australia, since 2015 and Mentor, 2015-2016.
  • Board Director, Arts Law Centre of Australia, 2013-2016.
  • Supporter, Documentary Australia, since 2013.
  • Journalist, Australian Women's Weekly.
  • Editor, Paul Hamlyn Publishing Group.

Walkley Foundation for Journalism:

  • Established the Jacoby Walkley Scholarship and involved in its administration, since 2013.

Women in Media:

  • Board Director, since 2018.
  • Mentor, since 2016.
  • Member, National Advisory Board, since 2016.

Belvoir St Theatre:

  • Member, the Co-conspirators Advisory Group, since 2013.
  • Member, the B Keepers, since 2013.

Community organisations include:

Alzheimer's Australia/ Dementia Australia:

  • Member, New South Wales Advisory Committee, 2012-2017.
  • Involved in the establishment of the Phillip Jacoby Scholarship, Genetic Research of
  • Alzheimer's, Faculty of Medicine, Sydney University, 2007-2012.


  • Non-Executive Board Director, 2013-2016.
  • Member, Headspace Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, 2013-2016.

Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme:

  • Chair, 60th Anniversary (2019) Committee, since 2017.
  • National Board's Communications and Media Advisor, since 2016.
  • Award Ambassador, since 2013.

The Funding Network:

  • Director, since 2016.
  • Supporter, since 2013

1 Million Women:

  • Advisory Board Member, since 2012.
  • Ambassador, since 2009.

Dr David Frederick MALIN 
For significant service to science as an astronomer and astrophotographer.

Founder and Director, David Malin Images, since 2001.

Principal Research/Photographic Scientist, Australian Astronomical Observatory, 1975-2001.

Adjunct Professor of Scientific Photography, RMIT University, since 2003.

Astronomer and Photographer:

  • Discovered galaxy 'Malin 1', 1986.
  • Author of 10 books and many articles, including:
  • 'Ancient Light: A Portrait of the Universe', Phaidon Press, 2010.
  • 'The Invisible Universe, Bulfinch Press', 1999.
  • 'A View of the Universe', Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Inspired the David Malin Awards for astronomical photography, 2004.

Awards and recognition includes:

  • Recipient, Hubble Award at the Advanced Imaging Conference, 2006.
  • Recipient, Honorary Doctorate of Applied Science, RMIT University, 2003.
  • Recipient, Lennart Nilsson Award for outstanding imaging in science, 2000.
  • Elected Fellow, International Academy of Astronautics, 1998.
  • Recipient, University of NSW Press/Eureka Science Book Prize for 'A View of the Universe', 1994.
  • Recipient, Commonwealth Medal of the Australian Photographic Society, 1993.
  • Recipient, Progress Medal, Photographic Society of America, 1993.
  • Recipient, Rodman Medal, Royal Photographic Society, 1990.
  • Recipient, Jackson-Gwilt Medal, Royal Astronomical Society, 1986.
  • Recipient, Henri Chretien Award, American Astronomical Society, 1985.

David Malin looking at a poster about Malin 1 the first galaxy to be discovered by him.

Mr Timothy James SIMS 
For significant service to the community through philanthropic initiatives.


  • Founder and Perpetual Board Member, Australian Charities Fund/Workplace Giving, since 2002.
  • Co-Founder/Sponsor, Provost Scholarship to Oxford, since 2016.
  • Sponsor, Aurora Project, since 2007.
  • Founder/Sponsor, King Street Associates, since 2017.
  • Founder/Sponsor, HOPE - Home Owners Partnering Equity/Affordable House, since 2017.
  • Sponsor, The Fathering Project, since 2015.
  • Sponsor, Christians Against Poverty, since 2012.
  • Founding Sponsor and Partner, Springboard Enterprises, 2012.
  • Host, Bridge Street Fellowship, since 2010.
  • Supporter, Future Directions International, since 2006.
  • Supporter, Sharelife/Outcomes Australia, 2006-2009.
  • Supporter, National Student Leadership Forum.
  • Supporter, Talent Development Project.


  • Patron, Oxford Business Alumni Association, since 2010.
  • Life Governor, Northcott, since 2010.
  • Sponsor, The Freedom Hub, 2016.
  • Founder, International Screen Academy, 2013.
  • Chairman's Leadership Circle, Sydney Opera House, since 2008.
  • Founder/Sponsor, Effective Ministry, since 2005.
  • Sponsor, Centre for Ministry Development, since 2013.
  • Founder/Sponsor, Young Street Initiative, since 2014.
  • Board Member, Ravenswood School, 1996-2008.

Garvan Institute of Medical Research:

  • Life Governor.
  • Board Member, Foundation, 1992-2004.


  • Founder and Chairman, Pacific Equity Partners, since 1998.
  • Founding Member, AVCAL, 1999.
  • Chairman and Managing Partner, Australasian and African Operations, Bain and Co, 1993-1998.
  • Board Member, Karpin Committee, 1992-1995.
  • Founding Partner, LEK Partnership, 1983.


Dee Why 
For service to animal welfare in South East Asia.

Vietnam Director, Animals Asia, since 2005.

  • Research Team Leader, Novartis Australia, 1989-1991.
  • Founding Member, Asia Canine Protection Association, since 2013.
  • Former Manager, Veterinary Clinic, Hanoi, Vietnam. 2004-2005.
  • Former Volunteer Technical Advisor, National Veterinary Diagnostic Centre, Vietnam, 2003-2004.
  • Former Volunteer Technical Advisor, Department of Animal Health, Vietnam, 2002-2003.
  • Former, United Nations Volunteer, Vietnam, 2001-2002.

Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

  • Research Initiator, Division of Livestock Industries, 1991-2000.
  • Research Assistant, Division of Livestock Industries, 1985-1989.

Mr Barry Christopher BENNETT 
For service to the surfboard manufacturing industry, and to the community.

Founder, Bennett Surfboards, since 1960.

  • Founder, Dion Chemicals (Bennett Foam Australia), 1962.
  • Former Member, Bronte Surf Life Saving Club.
  • Former Member, Avoca Surf Life Saving Club.

Manly Life Saving Club:

  • Member, current.
  • Board and Ski Captain, early 1980's.

Awards and recognition includes:

  • Inductee, Australian Surfing Hall of Fame, 2016.
  • Inductee, International Surfboard Builders Hall of Fame (United States of America), 2009.
  • Recipient, Life Membership, Manly Life Saving Club, 2004.

Barry Bennett with a board  which belongs to the Bennett family and is said to be apart of the royal Hawaiian families collection with the distinctive gold Waikiki. From Bennett Surfboards Facebook page

Mrs Margaret Elizabeth DENGATE 
Frenchs Forest 
For service to aged welfare.

  • Teacher, Better Hearing Australia, since 2006.
  • Volunteer, Manly Warringah Community Aid, 2001-2015.
  • Volunteer French Teacher, Balgowlah School for Seniors, since 2000.

Mr Rex Stanley HARDING 
Wheeler Heights 
For service to the community of Sydney's Northern Beaches.

St Vincent de Paul Society:

  • Diocesan Spiritual Advisor, Regional Council, since 2017.
  • President, St Rose Conference, since circa 2006.

Northern Beaches Community Service:

  • Chair, Community Connect, since 2014.
  • Director, Community Connect, 2009-2014.
  • Volunteer, Narrabeen Club, Surf Life Saving Australia, six years.
  • Crew Member, Paul Jackman Rescue Jett boat Service, three years.
  • Cub Leader, 1st Collaroy Plateau Group, for 8 years in the 1980s.
  • Qualified Mate, Volunteer Coastal Patrol, two years.
  • Volunteer, Matt Talbot Home for Homeless Men, two years.
  • Minister of Communion, Narrabeen War Veterans Homes, over ten years.
  • Volunteer, Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Clan Gregor Association:

  • Northern New South Wales Delegate, since 2015.
  • Clan Society Delegate, for 20 years.
  • Overseas Australian Delegate, 2 years.

Other Cultural Organisations:

  • Host, Manly Scottish Gathering and Band Recital, five years.
  • Chieftain, Warringah Scottish Society, current and Publicity Officer, until 2018.
  • Former Secretary, Australian Irish Association. 

Mr Geoffrey David LUCK 
Dee Why 
For service to veterans and their families.

Collaroy Sub-Branch, Returned and Services League:

  • President, since 2005.
  • Vice President, 2001-2004.

Northern Beaches Division, Sydney Legacy:

  • Chair, 2008-2012.
  • Deputy Chair, 2005-2007.
  • Member, since 2002.
  • Director, Furlough House Retirement Village, since 2014.
  • Member, National Committee, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Association, since 2005.

Awards and Recognition:

  • Life Membership, New South Wales Branch, Returned and Services League, 2017.

Mr Gregor Maxwell MILLSON 
For service to people with a disability.

The Sargood Foundation:

  • Director, Joint Chairman, since 2015.
  • Secretary, 2014.

The Sargood Centre:

  • Co-Chairman, Director and Secretary, since 2014.
  • Founding Director, Mainbrace Constructions, since 1989.
  • Vice President, Dixon Park Surf Life Saving Club, 1983-1985
  • Former Board Member, SCEGS Redlands, 2001-2008

Dr Howard RALPH
Mona Vale 
For service to conservation and the environment.

Southern Cross Wildlife Care Service and Sanctuary:

  • Veterinarian, current.
  • Medical Practitioner, current.
  • Anaesthetist, current.
  • Founder, since 2002.
  • Worked during the Victorian Bushfires 2009, assisting injured wildlife.
  • Provides education sessions to wildlife careers, current.

Wildlife Rescue and Treatment New South Wales:

  • Teacher, Wildlife Training Courses, 2011-2018.
  • Volunteer, current.

TAFE New South Wales:

  • Teacher, Animal Care Course, since 2010.
  • Lecturer, Veterinary Science, 1992-1994.


  • Patron, Kangaroo Orphanage, current.
  • Provided emergency work in Kathmandu, Nepal, 2011-2017.
  • Registrar, Anaesthetics, Calvary Hospital, 2002-2004.
  • Visiting Medical Officer, Anaesthetics and Emergency, Moruya and Batemans Bay
  • Hospitals, New South Wales South Coast, 2002-2012.
  • Relief anaesthetist and teaching anaesthesia, Borneo, 2005-2007.
  • Consultant to Government of Jakarta to rebuild/refurbish a wildlife hospital, upgrade anaesthetic services and advise on animal welfare, 1980-2007.
  • Lecturer, Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, 1992-1994.
  • Lecturer, Veterinary Science, Macquarie University, 1992-1994.
  • Scholarship, University of Sydney and Taronga Zoo to study wildlife medicine and research oxygen transport during wildlife anaesthesia, 1992-1993.
  • Part-time Director, Emergency Department, Mona Vale Hospital, 1983-1992.
  • Veterinarian, Private Veterinary Practice and Wildlife Rescues, 1972-2018.

Awards and recognition includes:

  • Recipient, Service to Humanity Alumni Award, Sydney University School of Veterinary Science, 2017.
  • Recipient, Senior Volunteer Award, New South Wales Government, 2013.
  • Recipient, Volunteers Award, Pittwater Council, 2010.
  • Recipient, Volunteer Award, New South Wales Government, 2010.

Mr Gregory Blaxland ROBERTS 
Scotland Island 
For service to the community of Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Long Reef Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC):

  • Committee member.
  • Bronze Medallion Instructor.
  • Member 1955 to late 70's.

Rotary Club of North Sydney:

  • Projects such as development of the Safer Driver Course' for year 11 and 12 secondary students, working with small committee.
  • Member, since 1966 to 2009.

Scotland Island Resident's Association (SIRA):

  • President 2000-2003.
  • Vice-President, 1996-1999.
  • Committee member, 1996-2012.
  • Member, since 1966 and Life Member

Pittwater Community:

  • Member Representing SIRA, Pittwater User Group, a community group concerned with the best and fairest use of the waterway of Pittwater, since 2009.
  • Pittwater Strategic Plan 2020, working with the then Pittwater Council and the community, 2010.
  • Member, Built Environment Group, 3 years, including development 'Steps to a Sustainable Home' booklet.

Home Access Association:

  • Founder and Member, 2000-2013. (representing home owners who can only get to the mainland by water to achieve a fair basis from Crown Lands, achieved in 2013)
  • Contributor, Sustainable Ingleside Advocacy Group, since 2014.

Awards and recognition include:

  • Environment Award, Pittwater Council

Mr Geoffrey Ronald SEARL 
Avalon Beach 
For service to the community of Avalon Beach.

Avalon Beach Historical Society:

  • President, since 1983.
  • Founder, 1983.

Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club:

  • Honorary Historian, since 1998.
  • Member, Judiciary Committee, 1968-1970.
  • Member, since 1998 and 1966-1970.


  • Member, Avalon Beach Village Chamber of Commerce, 1985-2006.
  • Convenor, Angophora Reserve Bushcare Group, current.
  • Past Executive Committee Member, Avalon Preservation Trust.

Awards and recognition includes:

  • Recipient, NSW Premier's Volunteer Recognition Program Award, 2017.
  • Recipient, Long Service Award, Avalon Beach Surf Club, 2015.
  • Recipient, Pittwater Medal, Pittwater Council, 2002.

Mrs Eileen Yvonne THOMPSON 
For service to basketball.

Manly Warringah Basketball Association:

  • Local Competitions Administrator, since 1985.
  • Administrator, current.
  • Volunteer, current.
  • Former Secretary, Board of Directors.
  • Former Company Secretary.

New South Wales Academy of Sport:

  • Former Court Controller.
  • Former Director, 'representative program'.
  • Former volunteer.

Awards and recognition includes:

  • Recipient, Life Membership, Manly Warringah Basketball Association.
  • The Volunteer of the Year Award for the Manly Warringah Basketball Association is named after Eileen and her late husband.

Mr Edward Garrett WATERS 
For service to the community through a range of organisations.

Rotary Club of Manly:

  • Membership Director, current.
  • Public Relations Director, current.
  • Director, Manly Fun Run, 2013.
  • Former President.
  • Former Board Director.
  • Co-Founder, Manly Women's Shelter.

Royal Far West:

  • Treasurer, 2015-2016.
  • Chair, Audit Risk and Compliance Committee, 2014-2016.
  • Member, Investment Committee, current.
  • Board Member, since 2013.
  • Former Chair, Nomination Governance and Renumeration Committee.
  • Former Chair, Redevelopment Steering Committee.

Employment - Other:

  • Chief Executive Officer, ING Insurance Spain, 2003-2006.
  • Country Manager Argentina, ING, 2001-2003.

Rotary District 9680:

  • Secretary, 2012.
  • Chair, Centre of Conductive Education Project, 1988-1999.
  • President, Rotary Club of Pittwater, 1993-1994.

Well-deserved locals honoured in Australia Day Awards

Thursday, 24 January 2019: BY NBC

It’s no surprise there were so many great achievements among the winners for this year’s Australia Day Awards. Recipients included a passionate wildlife rescuer, environmental warrior, founder of a youth suicide prevention charity and a representative of the Australian Wallabies squad.

Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said our community is full of outstanding contributors and it is wonderful to honour the award winners in this year’s Australia Day Awards.

"While none of the recipients seek recognition or praise, this is a great opportunity for us as a community to acknowledge their great contributions to our community as we celebrate Australia Day.

“It’s such a privilege to meet these amazing people and on behalf of the community we thank you for your outstanding work and achievements. We all know the Northern Beaches is a great place to live, but it is people like you who make it even better.

“Congratulations to the twenty overall winners and all the nominees – keep up the fantastic work!” Mayor Regan said.

The winners are:

Citizen of the Year:  Graham Whittaker of Narraweena for dedicating most of his life supporting others, particularly young people across the Northern Beaches as mentor of the RAISE program at Northern Beaches Secondary College (Cromer Campus). He has also been an on-call support person for juveniles in custody needing assistance.

Senior Citizen of the Year: Maureen Rutlidge of Elanora Heights is the Coordinator for the Sunday Activities Program for Adults with Special Needs at Northern Beaches Creative Leisure and Learning INC. For over 25 years she has been delivering a high level of service, creating opportunities and new learning experiences in a fun environment for the attendees.

Young Citizen of the Year: Paris Jeffcoat of Avalon is founder and director of the youth suicide prevention charity, One Eighty Avalon Inc. The youth driven charity is working toward a future free from youth suicide by designing, implementing and funding programs on the Northern Beaches that promote open communication, mental health management strategies and the prevention of suicide.

Leanne Westlake (One Eighty), Paris Jeffcoat and one very proud mum! Photo courtesy Cr. Kylie Ferguson

Sportsperson of the Year: Reece Hodge of Manly has played 42 Super Rugby games and 33 test matches. His junior years were spent with the Harbord Harlequins, then the Manly Marlins and in 2016 he signed with the Melbourne Rebels and the Australian Wallabies where he plays currently. Reece has faced adversity through a debilitating ankle injury but returned to the game to become one of the most influential and for aspiring rugby union players.

Community Event of the Year: The biannual Special Olympics Festival of Sport presented by the Special Olympics Sydney Northern Beaches provides a unique experience for people with an intellectual disability to develop their sports skills, experience fun and fellowship with the focus on their ability and the benefits of working as a team. 

Outstanding Community Service Awards

There were 15 deserving community members which received awards in this category.

  • Vivian Dunstan of Warriewood - Founder of ADHD Support Australia
  • Peter Watson of Forestville - Founder of the Forest Men’s Kitchen
  • Geoff McKay of Allambie Heights - Ex Serviceman and President of Balgowlah RSL
  • Harriet Spark of Fairlight - Started Operation Straw or ‘Strawkle’
  • Helen Pook of Manly - Volunteer at Lifeline’s Australia’s Helpline
  • Diana Aitken of St Ives - Volunteer at St Matthews Church Soup Kitchen
  • Eli Demeny of Manly - Volunteer at Manly Sailability
  • Mick Miller of Elvina Bay – Raised funds for the Tomorrow Trust charity for post cancer support.
  • Joan Reid of Collaroy Plateau - Volunteer for Sydney Wildlife
  • Robert Owen Carlon of Manly - For the last 60 years he has been involved in various roles in five swimming clubs
  • Ralph Schubert of Belrose - Volunteer for the MULTILIT program for Wakehurst Public School
  • Peter Dean of Frenchs Forest - Customer Manager at Grace City Foodcare Centre
  • James Cowan of Collaroy - World War II Veteran
  • Helen Hines of Elanora Heights - President of Physical Culture Edith Parsons School of Physical Culture and volunteer 
  • Rowena Graham of Collaroy Plateau – Treasurer, Children’s Medical Research Institute Northern Beaches Fundraising Committee.

The awards were presented by the Mayor on Thursday 24 January at Dee Why Civic Centre.

Sydney Wildlife's Joan Reid and Cr. Kylie Ferguson

Maureen Rutlidge with Venessa Crane(NBI) and Mayor Michael Regan - NBC photo