A frontline aged care worker during the COVID-19 pandemic was named the Blue Mountains Citizen of the Year on Friday night, May 27.
Three Blue Mountains residents were recognised for their contributions to the community at special ceremony in Katoomba.
The Blue Mountains Citizen of the Year honour was awarded to Joanne Warrick while Maree Cairns was named Senior Citizen of the year.
The Community Achievement of the Year award was given to Alison Broderick and the Winmalee Public School community.
Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill hosted the event at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.
"It is a great honour to be able to present this year's Local Citizen of the year Awards," he said.
"Gathered here are a group of leading Blue Mountains citizens who inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better Blue Mountains and a better Australia."
The Citizen of the Year award citation stated: "Joanne Warrick has always put others first - and after 16 years of being a stay-at-home mum, she joined the workforce to be able to give back to her community. Joanne had been working with Anglicare for 12 months prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 and was one of the first to volunteer to work on the frontline at the Newmarch House Residential Aged Care Facility when the first wave of infection hit. She left her family for six weeks to help the elderly, in our own Blue Mountains community and then again in 2021 during the Delta variant outbreak, working across many communities across Sydney. Joanne has volunteered many hours, to help the elderly - from in home visits, taking elderly patients to and from appointments and always being someone, they can trust and rely on at any time."
Senior Citizen of the Year recipient Maree Cairns was described "as an educator of excellence, a mentor, and a supporter of community organisations, volunteer for many and advocate for change in the field of gender equality".
"She has had a lifetime of service in public schools throughout NSW, having made a significant contribution to the lives of families in the Hazelbrook community over many years as a classroom teacher and assistant principal. In addition, she is as a founding member of the Blue Mountains and Penrith Districts Women in Educational Leadership (WIEL) network, organising and facilitating many events to support women in, and aspiring to, leadership in education. Since retiring, Maree has energetically immersed herself in many community organisations including the National Trust, Friends of Norman Lindsay Gallery; and the Zonta Club of the Blue Mountains."
Alison Broderick and the Winmalee Public School community were recognised for being chosen to take part in a high profile program with NASA.
"Alison first applied to participate in the NASA/ARISS Educational Outreach Program two years before the event could be scheduled. On the evening of the April 20, 2021, students of Winmalee Public School community made history by talking live with NASA Astronaut Victor Glover, on board the International Space Station as it passed over Europe and the radio signal was patched through to Winmalee Public School. This highly successful community event was made possible as a result of the foresight and determination of Winmalee teacher Alison Broderick and a small group of support staff following their successful application to host this event."
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