Citizens Awarded For Outstanding Contributions

Respected local clinician, Dr Philip Lee has been named Parramatta’s 2017 Citizen of the Year, for his extensive contributions to the medical field and commitment to the Parramatta community.

Raised and educated in Parramatta, Dr Lee has provided excellence in specialist palliative care for more than four decades at Westmead, St Joseph’s Auburn and Mt Druitt Hospitals.

A strong fundraising advocate and educator, Dr Lee oversaw the development of a Palliative Care Nursing Education fund at Westmead to help further education and specialist training in the Western Sydney Local Health District. Dr Lee also helped strengthen relationships with local organisations to improve necessary equipment for palliative care patients in the area.

sydney-fijisydNorth Parramatta resident and 2016 Vice-Captain of Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta, Gabriella Wehbe, has been awarded Young Citizen of the Year.

Diagnosed in 2015 with Metastatic Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, an extremely rare form of cancer, Gabriella underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy while continuing with her school commitments and leadership role.

She also assisted in raising more than $200,000 for the Chris O’Brien Light House Foundation.

A role model to her peers and the wider community, her resilience, positive behaviour, and strength has been an inspiration to all.

Recipients were presented their awards at the City of Parramatta’s Australia Day Local Awards ceremony at Riverside Theatres earlier today, by Australia Day Ambassador Kumud Merani.

Ms Merani is a distinguished public speaker, journalist and actor and a well-known public figure in the Indian community.

“The Australia Day Awards in Parramatta recognise the dedication and commitment of individuals and groups who, like Dr Lee and Gabriella, have not only made a positive contribution to their local community, but have been an inspiration as a result of their actions,” City of Parramatta Administrator Amanda Chadwick said.

“I congratulate all of the 2017 winners and nominees, whose work will continue to make a positive difference to their communities for years to come.”

Other award winners included:

Community Group Award                

Wentworth Point Community Central provides a hub for connecting the Wentworth Point community. The Committee has six members who deliver social events, advocate for better community services, foster community consultation with respect to developments in their suburb and the dissemination of information that is of interest to the community.

Arts & Cultural Award                      

Felicity Castagna is a significant contributor to the Parramatta cultural sector through her work as a writer and educator of literature. In particular, she has worked tirelessly in the last few years to put the City of Parramatta on the map through her writing and her work with young people, particularly young women.

Sports Achievement Award

Bill Gurney is the Secretary of the North Rocks Soccer Club where he runs coach and referee sessions and coaches several teams. As a graphic designer he also regularly produces marketing material for the Club. Bill has been instrumental in developing a mentoring program for young referees. His dedication to coaching has also seen him become involved with athletes with a disability. Bill has volunteered as Assistant Coach of the NSW Paralympic Football team for the past six years, where he provides support and service to meet the needs of the team.

Volunteer of the Year                       

Enid Cutler has been a volunteer with Karabi Community & Development Services since 1989. Enid was one of the founding volunteers and has been consistently volunteering with the Social Support Project working with the frail aged, people with a disability and their carers. The Project assists the frail aged and people with a disability to maintain an active social life with volunteers visiting them in their home, and helping them to access support groups and recreational activities to prevent loneliness and isolation.

Senior Citizen of the Year                

Through her generous spirit, Deborah Martin changes the lives of many community members as well as devoting time to saving wildlife. She is President of Parramatta Computer Pals, the Finance Coordinator for Circular Keys Chorus and heads the WIRES North West Branch.