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Citizens of the Year


Our annual Citizen of the Year awards offer the perfect opportunity for us to salute and reward those residents who work hard supporting our local community while achieving success in their chosen fields. 

Our 2023 Citizen of the Year awards were awarded on 26 January 2024 across four categories: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Sports Citizen of the Year and Arts and Culture Citizen of the Year.

Our 2023 Citizen of the Year award recipients were:

2023 Citizen of the Year – Hannah Rayment

Hannah joined the local not-for profit organisation, Communities for Communities, after her first overseas immersion trip to Indonesia in 2015. She has been Vice President of Communities for Communities for the past three years and brings her experience in public communication to the organisation, providing marketing and public relations support as well as organising various fundraising events throughout the year such as Carols in Halliday Park. Hannah also volunteers with the St Vincent de Paul van service each month.

2023 Young Citizen of the Year – Alexia Paglia

Alexia is a medical student and science communicator with a passion for democratising access to education. She has authored a children’s book called My Strong Heart which teaches young children about heart health and runs free lessons about the topic at the Sydney Childrens Hospital School. As a medical student Alexia hopes to expand her reach to rural and Indigenous communities, teaching them about positive health behaviours.

Alexia is a passionate medical researcher who champions equitable knowledge and healthcare access. She has experience in clinical trials, paediatric psych-neuro oncology research, scientific communications as well as education. Alexia’s mission is to advance health literacy and pioneer inclusive science initiatives, using her children’s book as a catalyst for driving a better health future.

2023 Arts & Culture Citizen of the Year – Adele Mitchell

Adele moved to Drummoyne as a young mother in 1978. While her family was growing, she became involved with community groups that established the Drummoyne Community Centre and Occasional Child Care. Adele moved on to establish a small business designing and facilitating educational programs primarily in the legal and financial sectors.

Retirement offered Adele opportunity to reconnect with her community. She became president of the Drummoyne Community Centre for a second time – the first being in 1987. This role partners well with her other volunteer roles: coordinating the Wednesday Hub at St Bede’s in Drummoyne, establishing the Drummoyne Markets and co-founding the Drummoyne Art Trail to educate the community about public artworks and local artists. She set out to develop a precinct where a range of local artisans and makers regularly showcase their work. The markets and art trail are spaces where everyone is welcome to gather, meet neighbours, shop, and at the same time support local cafes and community initiatives.

2023 Sports Citizen of the Year – Declan Ruane

Declan moved to the City of Canada Bay over 10 years ago and since then has ingrained himself as a leader in the community. He has established himself as a core member of three local clubs and organisations: the DSA Dragon Boat Club, Rhodes parkrun and Rhodes Runners.

At the DSA Dragon Boat Club Declan quickly progressed from Division Captain to Club Captain. As Club Captain, his role is to mentor and inspire others to be their best for themselves and the team. He is also a long-standing member of Rhodes parkrun and in the last few years has stepped up to become a Run Director. More recently, Declan founded the local running club, Rhodes Runners, where people from across the city and beyond get together on a Wednesday night to run through Rhodes and Sydney Olympic Park. Declan’s involvement across these organisations has fostered an undeniable sense of community and camaraderie, inspiring people to be healthy and appreciate the beautiful parks and waterways we have on our doorstep.

Citizen of the Year honour board



Young Citizen


Arts & Culture


Lance Brooks

Sarah Hanania

Mark Byrnes

Keith Cowen OAM


Dr Bruce Menzies


Ante Milicic

Frank Marjason


Jack Nolan OAM


Michael McCann

Lois Michael OAM


Betty Robertson OAM


John Hahn

Dr Eric Gross AM


Ron Yeo OAM

Eric Knight

Declan Stacey

Ern McQuillan


Justine Perkins

Kaiya Robertson and Joshua Heard

Craig Parry



Alan Wright OAM

Patrick Massarani

Bradley Zalloua

Ashley Wing


Warwick Williams

Vishaal Sharma

Carla Blancato

Terry Robinson


Joe Di Giacomo

Chantelle Hayek

Alyssa Healy

Clare Hooper


Mervyn Spencer

Bronwyn Poole

Olivia Price

Lydia Burjan


Terry 'Tiger' Jones

Daniel Castagnoli 

Gerard Price OAM

Rusty Priest AM


Professor Robert Lusby AM 

Rosie O'Halloran 

Drummoyne U14 Girls Water Polo Team 

Kathryn Zerk 


Marie Piccin

Melissa McKeon

John Coates AC

Yuehan Zhang


Michael Hahn

Aly (Carmelein) Fernandez

Maximilian Brenner

Chris Castledine


Jeanette O'Hara

Rose Cox

Tyler Martin

Brian Simmons


Alice Kang

James King

Abbotsford Juniors Football Club U18s

Concord Garden Club


Joseph Assaf AM

Daniel Kordy

Franco Parisi

Wendy Schmid


Tom Galea

Doey Choi

Anne Burt

Paul Kapeleris


Mary Jo McVeigh

William Wheeler

John Critchley

Nicky Apostolopoulos


Ken Wright

Aiza and Abdullah Khurram (joint award)

Sabrina Barutha

Julie Peadon


Keith Cox

Hannah Kiefer

Luca Tropiano

Melle Smith-Haimona


Hannah Rayment

Alexia Paglia

Declan Ruane

Adele Mitchell