Meet the 2021 Sutherland Shire Australia Day Award nominees and winners


Sandra Hudson, as a volunteer at Sutherland Shire hospital who organises events to raise awareness of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit including CPR nights, women's heart dinners and the 'Happy Hearts' Sutherland Shire walking group. Sandra also started the 'MRI for Sutherland Hospital' action group.


Ashleigh Dean is a Mental Health advocate working as an active member of the Headspace Youth Reference Group, as well as organising and leading the Wellbeing Day within her school. Ashleigh has achieved the 'highly commendable' award for Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs, as well as becoming the School Captain of her Local High School.

COMMUNITY GROUP OF THE YEAR WINNER - Engadine / Heathcote & Surrounds: New Mum Village

Engadine/Heathcote & Surrounds: New Mum Village. This year when nearly all mothers groups were cancelled, two local mums with newborns created an online community group helping more than 190 mothers in Engadine/Heathcote & Surrounds with their pregnancy and babies. The group plans park playdates, monthly 'Wine Down Wednesday' lunches at which they have raised $500 for Breast Cancer and are starting a local Nanna Morning Tea with community members who can't see their grandchildren due to the border closures



Sarah-Jo Lobwein is a marine scientist, science communicator, volunteer, teacher and a passionate conservation educator focussed on reducing plastic consumption and pollution. She is the founder of 'SO Shire' a community organisation – Sustainable Organisations of the Sutherland Shire – who work to protect our natural environment, waterways and beaches

NOMINEES - Citizen of the Year

Marilyn Urch & Sandra Hudson

Marilyn Urch (left) and Sandra Hudson spent two years working to have an MRI machine at Sutherland Hospital. At the moment approximagely 800 patients have to travel from Sutherland Hospital to St George Hospital to have an MRI.

Rob Cook

Rob helped set up the Sutherland Shire Community Co-op, an open pantry for Sutherland Shire residents who lost their jobs due to Covid. The co-op brings in over a tonne of fresh food every week, along with a similar amount of long life type foods, equating to more than 1000 meals per week.

Joanne Myers

Joanne volunteers her time to run the Grays Point Girl Guides teaching young girls about caring for the environment and life skills. She is also the NSW Cleft Pals contact new families of babies born with cleft lip and palettes and also helps at the hospital meeting the parents when their baby is born.

Günther Theischinger

Günther Theischinger is a retired entomologist who lives in the Shire. He would be considered one of Australia's leading experts on Dragonflies. In 2020 Mr. Theischinger helped Sutherland Shire Council staff with the identification of a possible rare Sydney Hawk dragonfly larvae.

Thomas McCabe

Thomas has been a dedicated member of NSW Rural Fire Service - Sutherland Communications and Heathcote/HQ Brigade for the past 46 years. Thomas is also an active member of the Sutherland District Secondary Schools Cadet Program.

Andrew Deards

Andrew serves with the Australian Air Force Cadets unit at Sutherland, No.18 Flight as Instructor/Lecturer. He is also a current member of the local Marine Rescue and a member of the Grays Point Rural Fire Service

NOMINEES - Young Citizen of the Year

Samuel Corby

Samuel Corby is an active member of both NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Service. Today at only 24 years of age, Sam has demonstrated commitment to both Emergency Services as a volunteer member.

Nicholas Creef

Nicholas has cared for families and children through tragedy and mentored students from year 6 to year 7 with disabilities. He has worked with Aboriginal organisations for the welfare of Aboringal families in the Sutherland Shire and organised parent breakfasts for the School community.

Bronte Leghissa

Bronte Leghissa developed an online platform to encourage local spending and support local business during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Darian Lenton

Darian founded We, Future Leaders - a tutoring and mentoring company and in less than 12 months has grown from just herself to a team of 25 staff. She is an active volunteer, musician, author and advocate for children in out of home care.

Keiley Mead

Keiley Mead, is a health & wellness advocate and one of the faces of Chronic Pain Australia's 2020 Awareness Campaign. Having suffered personal health challenges, Keiley is now a role model. She is a university student, business owner and disability support worker.

Kai Withers

Kai, a surf life saver and full time apprentice in construction, he dedicates his spare time to assisting kids his own age with disabilities. He goes above the requirements and develops friendships with them and even invites them to his mum’s for dinner.

NOMINEES - Community Group of the Year

Sutherland Shire Family Services

Sutherland Shire Family Services provides a comprehensive service for women, children and young people, when they are at their most vulnerable. They provide a safety net, financially and emotionally, and help people heal from trauma to rebuild their lives.

Sutherland Food Services

SFS is a Commonwealth Home Support Program funded by The Department of Health to provide meals, wellbeing checks and information to the aged community of the Shire.

Stellar Experiences

Enabling young people living with disabilities to engage in social activities helping them live their best lives. A social group supporting our additional needs youth to enjoy an inclusive social environment.

3 Bridges Early Years Support Service

Professionally trained and supervised volunteers home visit mothers referred by health & welfare workers for support due to lack of family support, or mothers who have as post natal depression, anxiety, multiple births, ill health and or disability issues, new to the area and Australian Defence families.

Sydney 3 CAMberra

The Sydney 2 CAMberra charity group, which was created in the Sutherland Shire to support families and friends touched by incidents of stillbirth and infant loss. Over 9 years this charity has raised/donated over $1.6M to various charities, all done on a volunteer basis.

Sutherland Shire Horse Owners Association Club


Sutherland Shire Horse Owners Association Club has been providing opportunities and support to Junior, Senior and Disabled riders to compete in the sport of Dressage. They also provide opportunities for Race Horses to be retrained and re-homed.

St George/Sutherland Parkinson's Support Group

The Parkinson's NSW St George/Sutherland Parkinson's Support Group provide social and emotional support for people living with Parkinson's and their families and carers in the Sutherland Shire. They raise funds to support the ongoing work of Parkinson's NSW by hosting BBQ's and Fashion shows.

Wildlife Emergency Response, Sutherland Shire & Beyond

Wildlife Emergency Response, Sutherland Shire & Beyond is a community response group that has assisted hundreds of injured, orphaned and rehabilitating native animals, following the devastation of recent drought and fire events.

More information


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