January 24 - 30, 2016: Issue 248

 Pittwater's Australia Day Award finalists 

Above: world class athlete Charlie Brooks - who praised and thanked the great work going on at Newport SLSC to support surf life saving athletes, his team mates and his dad!

Below:  Alyse Saxby, gold medallist thrice over!

 Pittwater's Australia Day Award finalists announced

22 Jan 2016: Pittwater Council

On Thursday 21 January Pittwater Council announced its Pittwater Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Sportsperson of the year at a reception held at Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

The Pittwater Citizen of the Year is Romilly Madew. Romilly is a passionate advocate for sustainable living, holding positions of both the Deputy President of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council and is the CEO of the Green Buildings Council of Australia. Romilly is the first Independent Chair of the Currawong State Park Advisory Board (NSW) and as President of Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club is a well-respected member of the Pittwater community.

Mayor Townsend said there were an overwhelming number of outstanding nominees this year for Citizen of the Year and a special mention was given to Michelle Heaton-Armstrong for her work with ‘Fight on the Beaches’. Michelle is the driving force behind the ‘Fight on the Beaches’ charity that has seen a staggering $326,000 raised for cancer research.

Pittwater’s Young Citizen of the Year is Kayleigh Greig. Kayleigh is only 12 years of age and is already an active wildlife ambassador. Her various roles include membership of Sydney Wildlife, a volunteer for Southern Cross Wildlife Care and a member of the Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association.  Kayleigh is currently negotiating with Ernst & Young to establish a wildlife ambulance and clinic.

The 2016 Pittwater’s Sportsperson of the Year has been shared between two recipients, Alyse Saxby and Charlie Brooks.

Alyse has represented Australia at the World Games for Special Olympics three times. This year she won a gold medal in Sailing Level 3 at the World Games in Los Angeles with her sailing partner and coach on board. She was also a finalist for Sailor of the Year with a Disability at the 2015 Yachting Australia Awards.

Charlie Brooks is a highly accomplished member of the Newport Surf Life Saving Club. This year he won medals at local and state events with five gold and two silver medals at the Australian Championships, earning him the title of ‘Male Athlete of the Carnival’. Charlie also represented Australia in the 2015 Youth Surf Life Saving team.

Mayor Jacqueline Townsend extended her thanks to all of the nominees who contribute so much of their time with their chosen interests to the Pittwater community.  “I’m extremely proud to be able to acknowledge them and make mention of their contribution they have made to our wider community” she said.


We asked Romilly Madew to share some of the speech made by her when receiving this award and her work as Chair of the  Currawong State Park Advisory Board. 

The president of Bilgola Beach SLSC kindly forwarded the following:

I have been coming to the Northern beaches since my teens, with my parents buying a house in Whale Beach when I was 18.  I became a life saver at Palm Beach when I was 21, patrolling for a few years then moved to the country (Lake George) when I married David.  When we moved back in 2008 we joined Bilgola SLSC for their Nipper program.  Now 8 years later, on my patrol, my husband is the IRB driver, my eldest son has his Bronze and my daughter her SRC with my youngest in my U13 Nipper group (the same group I have had since they were 7).

Coming from the bush where community is key – Pittwater has the same feel. People care, they care for where they live, their community and its people.  Bronwyn Bishop regularly states that the statistics on the number of people volunteering on the Northern Beaches is some of the highest in the country. We felt this same sense of community when we moved here.  You wouldn’t know Pittwater is in the largest city in Australia, from its beaches, to its beautiful parks and natural bushland, to the surf and sporting clubs, community activities and other quintessential Australian feel – we have a great mix up here on Pittwater.

But with that sense of being lucky to live here comes a sense of the importance to give back.  Our community is more the richer for its community spirit.  It is important to our family that we give back to the community that has supported us. 

I was overwhelmed to receive the Citizen of the year award, it was unexpected.  When I became both President of Bilgola SLSC and Chair of Currawong, I did not do it expecting recognition such as this.  

In April 2015 I was invited to be the inaugural Independent Chairperson Currawong State Park Advisory Board joined by the Mayor, GM, 2 Executive Members of the Friends of Currawong Community Group and Crown Lands Representatives.  Pittwater Council is the Trustee of the Currawong State Park.

The Function of the Currawong State Park Advisory Board is to provide strategic direction and leadership to ensure Currawong State park retains its tourism, heritage and recreational values.  This function also includes sustainable land management of the entire state park including master planning and strategic planning.

We are currently working on creating a shared vision for Currawong.

The Board is to assist Council in

• implementing the Conservation Management Plan and

• sustainably managing the site into the future while acknowledging and protecting its natural and cultural heritage values.

The Conservation Management Plan (CMP) outlines:

• how the site should be managed

• the cultural, built and natural heritage of the site

• the maintenance, restoration and infrastructure backlog

• that adaptive reuse and sensitive, low key development of the site will be integral to ensuring the long-term viability.

Council, Currawong State Park Advisory Committee, Friends of Currawong, Pittwater Environmental Foundation and the Pittwater community will develop a shared vision for Currawong.

When I was offered the role of Chair, it was like all my combined experiences had come together for this opportunity.  With my background of both a Bachelors of Agricultural Economics with a thesis based on a Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Landcare Project in Western NSW along with working in Sustainability in the built environment for over 14 years plus my passion for Pittwater, I find my involvement in Currawong’s long term sustainability fulfilling and rewarding.

Romilly with Mayor Jacqueline Townsend. 

A clearly delighted Mayor of Pittwater and Kayleigh Grieg - Young Citizen of the Year 

 Pittwater's Australia Day Award 2016: Young Citizen of the Year Kayleigh Greig

On Thursday 21 January Pittwater Council announced its Pittwater Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Sportsperson of the year at a reception held at Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

Pittwater’s Young Citizen of the Year is Kayleigh Greig. Kayleigh is only 12 years of age and is already an active wildlife ambassador. 

Lynleigh, Kayleigh and Justin Grieg at Pittwater Council's Australia Day Awards 2016

We spoke to Kayleigh on Friday about helping her mum Lynleigh look after our native animals as a volunteer carer for Sydney Wildlife, Southern Cross Wildlife Care and Wildlife Roadkill Prevention Association and about winning this year's Young Citizen Australia Day Award for Pittwater;

When and why did you begin doing this?

I began my involvement in all things wild when I surprised my parents with a request for a serpentine pet on my seventh Birthday... 

Soon after we obtained the most wonderful pet ever (Scayleigh Slithers Greig - a beautiful Spotted python), people started ringing us for advice about wild snakes that were in their yard/house/garage. We always went to help out, and eventually my mom decided to learn the correct handling techniques and became a volunteer rescuer for Sydney Wildlife.

Kayleigh with Scayleigh and her mates‏

What was the first animal you looked after and what did this involve?

The first animal we looked after when mum joined Sydney Wildlife was a superb fairy wren who was rescued from a sticky insect mat by a worker at a plant nursery. Sadly, as a result of being stuck to the insect mat, many of the little wren's feathers were ripped out during the process. Appropriately, we named her Plucky.

Listening to her cheerful tweeting and excited fluttering on her road to recovery, we could all see that this was a beginning to a long line of furry, scaly and feathery faces, just waiting to be rescued!

Being awarded the Young Citizen of the Year 2016: how does this feel? 

Being Pittwater's Young Australian Citizen of the Year has provided me with many reasons to be ecstatic! For one, it was very flattering and I think I was smiling so hard I might have looked creepy... But it was also a huge triumph for Australian native wildlife, as it showed that the protection of animals (not just pets) is being recognised. We must hope that many others also use their passions for wildlife to lend a hand. 

What’s next?

My next aim is to get funding to create a ‘Mobile Wildlife Hospital’- the first of its kind - to use in roadkill hotspots. With all the road widenings and the new hospital site, wildlife are going to be harmed on the busy roads. We have already pleaded for help from some of our politicians and are optimistically waiting for their response…

Kayleigh, we'd like to place this among our Pittwater Profiles, these are where we get to celebrate and honour the wonderful people here, and check in with you soon for more - for the moment though, as a final note, do you have a 'motto'?

Standing up for yourself is great, but standing up for others is greater...


See: When One’s Alarm Clock Says Hiss, Not Beep, You’re At Kayleigh’s House! by Kayleigh Greig - Pittwater Young Citizen of the Year

Pittwater Council's Australia Day Awards Finalists photos by A J Guesdon, 2016.