A strong commitment to supporting Ukranian refugees seeking to settle in the Central West has earned Pip Waters the Australia Day 2023 Orange Citizen of the Year award.
Pip received the award for her tireless dedication and generosity in providing a safe and caring environment for people fleeing the war in Ukraine, assisting some 10 families in the past year, including housing four families in her own home. She has sourced temporary accommodation, organised working bees and raised funds for Ukranians seeking a new life in the district.
Orange Deputy Mayor Gerald Power congratulated Pip and all the winners and nominees for the 2023 Australia Day awards.
“Orange is full of wonderfully giving people, whose commitment and dedication makes a positive difference to our community,” Cr Power said.
“Congratulations to all the winners, runners-up and nominees. They join a long list of unsung heroes whose contribution to Orange is an inspiration to the community.”
In the Orange Citizen of the Year award, Highly Commended was awarded to Rachael Brooking, who has raised thousands of dollars for research and awareness of Huntington’s Disease through HD Awareness Orange, as well as running a support group for people with HD and their families.
Orange Australia Day Community Committee chairperson Matthew Chisolm said more than 30 nominations were received for awards across six categories.
“I’m pleased that so many people were nominated for an award this year and I am proud to celebrate their contribution to Orange this Australia Day. Their commitment and dedication have made a significant, positive difference to other people’s lives and they deserve to be acknowledged,” Mr Chisolm said.
Orange High School Year 8 student and SRC member Madison Gwynne received the Young Citizen of the Year award for her contribution to dance at the school and in the community.
Madison is an integral member of the school’s junior dance troupe, year 7 dance troupe and Aboriginal girls troupe, as well as the NSW State Schools Dance Ensemble and the NSW Aboriginal Dance Company.
Anabelle Van Wyk received Highly Commended in the Young Citizen of the Year award for her extraordinary musical achievements. The young saxophonist is a member of the Sydney Youth Orchestra’s Symphonic Wind Orchestra and has performed on various stages, from the Parkes Elvis Festival to Carnegie Hall in New York.
Community Group of the Year was awarded to FoodCare Orange, a volunteer-run organisation that provides access to free and affordable food, groceries and household items for people experiencing financial hardship. Highly Commended went to Wangarang Industries, which provides employment and other services to people with disabilities and recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Community Event of the Year was won by the 2022 Orange Running Festival, which attracted more than 1500 competitors from across Australia and overseas to compete in seven running events, from a mile to a marathon, in a positive, welcoming and supportive environment.
The Local Legend Award was given to Linda Williamson, who works tirelessly to assist volunteer groups raise money through her administration of the renowned Bunnings barbecues. Highly Commended went to Orange musician Derek Johns, who has been serving Orange as a musician for 40 years, notably performing at Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies for the Orange RSL Sub-branch.
The Business Philanthropy Award was given to the Orange Ex-Services Club, which recently raised more than $300,000 for Eugowra flood victims, as well as facilitating emergency accommodation, meals and supplies for the displaced residents. The club also provides ongoing financial and in-kind support for local community organisations, including over $100,000 in Club Grants.
The awards were presented at the Australia Day Picnic in the Park in Cook Park. Click on the pictures below to view.