City of Canada Bay local and Rosebank College Principal Tom Galea has taken home this year’s Citizen of the Year award.
“I was thrilled to present the 2019 Citizen of the Year award to education pioneer Tom Galea at our Citizenship Ceremony on Australia Day,” City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas said.
“Thanks to Tom Galea’s strong leadership, the school is recognised for its academic excellence and inclusive and flexible community where students are encouraged to advocate for justice.”
“Tom connects Rosebank students with the world through an extensive agenda of immersion programs to 20 different places both here in Australia and overseas. Tom will also show his support for our Rusty Priest Scholarship program by walking the Kokoda track in April this year.”
“He is a tremendous champion for the young people in our area and deserves every accolade for this award.”
Other residents honoured at the ceremony included: Arts & Culture Citizen of the Year, Paul Kapeleris, local musician and Australia’s Got Talent participant; Young Citizen of the Year, Doey Choi, NSW and Australian representative golfer; Sports Citizen of the Year, Anne Burt, who introduced junior netball to Briars in 2012.
“We had a wonderful morning welcoming our new citizens, celebrating our award winners, and enjoying a moving address by Australia Day Ambassador, Nic Newling.”
Nic Newling is an advocate for mental health, suicide prevention, and sharing personal stories. After six years with the Black Dog Institute he has now ventured into sharing with the world by founding the grassroots organisation The Champions. Nic has reached millions of people through live talks and media including Australian Story, Conversations on ABC Radio, and NBC’s The TODAY Show in New York.
2019 Citizen of the Year—Tom Galea, Principal, Rosebank College
Local resident Tom Galea is a tremendous champion for the young people of the City of Canada Bay.
As principal of Rosebank College, Tom Galea leads a community of 1,500 students and staff, most of whom live in the City of Canada Bay. Under Tom’s leadership the school is known for its academic excellence.
Tom also has a passion for connecting the school community beyond the gates to the broader world, with programs that provide students opportunities to foster curiosity, tolerance and understanding while gaining valuable leadership experiences.
2019 Young Citizen of the Year—Doey Choi
Doey Choi is a 19 year old local who began playing golf at the young age of nine. A member of Concord Golf Club, Doey has won many state golf titles and is currently a NSW and Australian Representative.
Doey has also made her mark as a generous young person, giving her time to support the club’s programs. She is a fantastic role model to many other young golfers at the club, offering mentoring on golfing and future educational opportunities.
2019 Sports Citizen of the Year—Anne Burt
Anne Burt was involved with Briars Cricket and introduced junior netball to Briars in 2012. In seven short years Anne has built a strong netball community within the traditional Briars Sporting Club.
Around 40 Briars netball teams were registered with the Inner Western Suburbs Netball Association (IWSNA) this year, thanks to Anne’s work growing the community here in the City of Canada Bay. Last year Briars Netball was awarded the IWSNA Junior and Overall Club of the Year.
Through Anne’s commitment, she has given hundreds of local girls and women the opportunity to connect and play this great team sport.
2019 Arts & Culture Citizen of the Year—Paul Kapeleris
Singer songwriter Paul Kapeleris grew up with his parents and older sister in Concord. Paul has been legally blind since birth and has shown a strong affinity for music since the very young age of three.
Paul recently appeared on Australia’s Got Talent, and acted as the Ambassador for Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight.
After finishing his Bachelor of Arts majoring in music, Paul will pursue post-graduate tertiary education, as well as employment in the work force and regular paid performances around Sydney.