A collection of selfless and community-focussed high achievers were honoured at the annual Northern Beaches Council Australia Day Awards ceremony last night, Thursday 25 January.
The event, held at Glen Street Theatre in Belrose, recognised 13 individuals and two organisations for their dedication to serving and assisting the Northern Beaches populace. Recipients included Citizens of the Year and Outstanding Community Service awards.
Although the accolades highlighted their actions over the past 12 months, many of the recipients have devoted years, in some cases decades, to their respective charities, clubs and projects. Some have even saved lives.
Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins praised them as deserving and inspirational.
“Each year, we recognise individuals and organisations who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and service to our community,” she said. “The judging panel had a very challenging job this year with so many amazing and worthy nominees.
“This year’s recipients exemplify the essence of our community,” she continued, “contributing significantly, often selflessly, across various fields and continually embody the spirit of the Northern Beaches. We heartily congratulate and thank our winners.”
List of Australia Day 2024 Award winners
Citizen of the Year – Jimmy Arteaga (Forestville), Unit Commander for Broken Bay Marine Rescue, which aids people and vessels in distress.
Senior Citizen of the Year – Aileen Ogilvie (North Narrabeen), a former Lifeline Counsellor, has been on the Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) for 22 years and is a founding member of MoWaNa Safe Space in the Mind Café in Narrabeen.
Young Citizens of the Year – Lachlan O’Callaghan and Cooper Morgan, from Narrabeen Sports High and Northern Beaches Christian School, respectively, oversaw a rescue operation at The Quays Marina, Church Point, which saved the life of a drowning man.
Sportsperson of the Year – Ben Tudhope, the youngest ever Winter Paralympian and three times Paralympic Snowboarder was a Beijing 2022 Bronze Medallist, 2023 World Champion, six-times World Cup Champion and co-captain of the Australian Paralympic Team.
Community Event of the Year – BEACH2BEACH Charity Fun Run, an all-ages and all-abilities event hosted by the Rotary Club of Warringah. Beach2Beach has donated over $5 million to local community organisations since its inception (including Surf Life Saving Clubs, schools, Scouts and charities).
Community Group of the Year – The Country Women’s Association of NSW, Manly Branch. Manly CWA holds community fundraising events and market stalls in addition to hosting skills-teaching workshops.
Outstanding Community Service Awards winners
David Price (Balgowlah Heights), member of Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club, volunteered his time to assist with the evacuation of people during the devastating 2019-2020 bushfires and the NSW floods in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Denver J Beven (Queenscliff) has been the driving force behind the removal of invasive plants and complete upgrade of the Freshwater Beach Undercliff Reserve (southern headland), now renamed Irene Crump Reserve (in honour of the woman who saved it from developers).
Denver is also co-founder of Charity Tour de Cure (TDC) which raises money for Cancer research.
Gary Searles (Bilgola Plateau), President of Peninsula Cricket Club for the past three years and a committee member for a decade, he coaches and mentors young cricketers and has overseen the formation of three girls teams.
John Diamond (Terrey Hills) founded the Lions Club of Frenchs Forest in the early 1960s and has served as President and as the elder statesperson of the club, attending meetings for over 65 years. He has also contributed to the fundraising of millions of dollars to help the Northern Beaches community and charities.
Jon Russell (Cottage Point) was the driving force behind a telecommunications tower installation at Cottage Point that covered what was previously a ‘black spot’ area that had no emergency coverage.
Kelly Barr-Jones (Allambie Heights), Parents & Citizens’ President of Forest High School, P&C Vice President of Allambie Heights Public School, and Chairperson of the Diversity & Inclusion subcommittee of both Forest High School and Allambie Heights Public School. Kelly plays an integral part in supporting and raising awareness of parents and carers of neurodiverse students.
Marilinda Winter (Narraweena), for over 14 years she’s coached football (soccer) at several clubs on the Northern Beaches, including Manly Vale, Collaroy Cromer Strikers, St Augustine’s, and Beacon Hill. She’s also developed a program on “How to Coach Female Players”, encouraging girls and women into the sport. In 2023, Marilinda’s Manly Vale division 1 under 18s female team won the Football NSW State Cup and the Football NSW Champion of Champions trophy.
Terry Cook (Ingleside) is the president and coordinator of Peninsula Seniors Toy Recyclers, which refurbish toys, games, dolls and bicycles rescued from landfill and reused by a number of charities that care for children in need.
Northern Beaches Council Australia Day Awards Honour Roll website: https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/community/awards/australia-day-awards/honour-roll-2024