The City of Canada Bay has announced the recipients of its 2023 Citizen of the Year Awards.
“These awards are an opportunity to publicly honour those who serve the community and make the City of Canada Bay a better place to live,” City of Canada Bay Mayor Michael Megna said.
“We have so many remarkable individuals who quietly volunteer their time and these awards are an opportunity for us to recognise their efforts and say thank you."
“This year we were honoured to present the Citizen of the Year Award to Hannah Rayment, whose work with a local not-for-profit has benefited the lives of many people in our community and abroad.”
Other residents who were honoured at the ceremony included Young Citizen of the Year: Alexia Paglia; Arts and Culture Citizen of the Year: Adele Mitchell and Sports Citizen of the Year: Declan Ruane.
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.