Outstanding citizens were celebrated at Blue Mountains City Council's annual Australia Day Awards on January 26.
John Turner was named Citizen of the Year for his efforts in fundraising to support families of sick children that have been admitted to Nepean Hospital.
In two years, Mr Turner has raised more than $16,000 for Ronald McDonald House Nepean, which is the closest neonatal intensive care unit for Blue Mountains families.
Despite battling flair-ups of rheumatoid arthritis, Mr Turner never fails to continue on his fundraising journey.
A physical education teacher at Springwood High School, Mr Turner has also been the convenor and coach for Sydney West Secondary Hockey, that includes Blue Mountains high schools, since 2019.
He was also the NSW Combined High Schools assistant hockey convenor in 2020 and has coached and been on the committee for the Blaxland Rovers Hockey Club for more than five years.
Mayor Mark Greenhill hosted the Australia Day event that also welcomed more than 50 new Australian citizens to the region.
He said: "It is a great honour to be able to present this year's Australia Day Awards. Gathered here are a group of leading Blue Mountains citizens whose tireless and selfless efforts to create positive change within our community are an inspiration for us all."
As the Gazette went to press, the other awards were being presented to: Annelise Schroder and Harry Elbourne for Young Citizens of the Year, Peter A. Kidd and Rosemary Hart for Senior Citizens of the Year, Lis Bastian for Environmental Citizen of the Year and the Blue Fringe Arts and Literature Exhibition for Community Achievement of the Year.
More details next edition.