Fairfield’s 2015 Australia Day winners announced

Published Friday, 23rd January 2015

Fairfield City Council recognised its outstanding citizens on Thursday, 22 January 2015.

Fairfield City Council recognised its outstanding citizens on Thursday, 22 January 2015, with Mayor Frank Carbone awarding nine residents for their exceptional work within the Fairfield community. 

Fairfield City Council’s Australia Day Community Awards featured four categories: Sports Achiever of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Citizen of the Year.

Fairfield City also welcomed nine new Australians citizens who pledged their loyalty to Australia and its people.  

Fairfield City Mayor, Frank Carbone, said Australia Day is a time to reflect on what it means to be an Australian. 

“Our Australia Day Community Award winners dedicate so much of their time to making our community a wonderful place to live. Their tireless and outstanding work is an inspiration to us all and they are an excellent example for our new citizens to aspire too,” Mayor Carbone said.

“It was a wonderful occasion for our residents to become naturalised and I hope this evening demonstrated to them what a rewarding thing Australian citizenship is- the remarkable things you can achieve by participating in our community.

“I congratulate Cathie Watt, John Cochrane, Angela Arduca and Sebastian Acosta-Vazquez on their achievements and I am sure they will continue to be outstanding citizens throughout 2015 and beyond,” said Mayor Carbone. 

2015 Citizen of the Year: Cathie Watt

Cathie has been involved with the First Fairfield Heights Scouting Group since 1970. As scout leader she has taught scout law to younger generations including respect for parents, the elderly as well as the wider community. 

For over 40 years Cathie has volunteered her time and support to the community. In 2013, Fairfield City Council recognised this through a certificate of service to both Cathie and her son Marty. 

Cathie’s service to the community also includes coordinating scouts from the Fairfield District Scouts and Guides Group, Hume Region to attend Fairfield City Council’s monthly citizenship ceremony and assist in welcoming our newest Australians.

2015 Volunteer of the Year: John Cochrane

John has volunteered at the Mt Pritchard East Public School for the past 13 years. His children attended the school in the 1960s and his grandchildren years later. He is currently the School Council President, a position he has held for the last nine years. 

Four mornings a week for the past 13 years, John has operated the Making Up for Lost Time in Literacy program targeted at students in years 3 to 6 who are experiencing reading difficulties. He provides an individualised 30 minute program over a two hour period for four students identified by the learning support team. The program has sustained because of John’s regular and reliable contribution. He is a role model to the students in terms of dedication, punctuality, dress, manner and voice. 

John has been a part of the Anglican special religious education team for many years teaching at both Mt Pritchard East and Fairvale Public School. In addition to his time, he has also donated money to the school for the library and encourages others in the community to do the same.

2015 Young Citizen of the Year: Angela Arduca

Angela grew up in Fairfield City where she attended Marion Catholic Primary School in Horsley Park and Freeman Catholic College in Bonnyrigg Heights. 

She has been singing since the age of seven, and has delighted audiences with her solo performances in various events for religious festivals, church services, concerts, Australia Day celebrations and Christmas carols in Fairfield City.

In June 2014, Angela was invited by Fairfield City Council to record the Australian National Anthem Advance Australia Fair with local record producer Phil Anquetil. The local version mixes Angela’s vocals with a didgeridoo and music – to acknowledge the Cabrogal people of the Darug Nation. It was launched in August of that year and is now played at all Council meetings, Australian Citizenship ceremonies and events.

2015 Sports Achiever of the Year: Sebastian Acosta-Vazquez

Sebastian was a student at Fairfield High School who competes in the 100 and 200 metre, high jump and long jump. 

In 2014, Sebastian won five medals in six events at the NSW Combined High Schools Sports Association Championship. He won gold in long jump (6.96m), high jump (2m), 100m (11.20 seconds) and bronze in 200m with 22.91 seconds. 

In 2013 at the New South Wales Little Athletics titles Sebastian won gold and broke the under-17s long jump state record with a leap of 6.97m. He also broke his ankle. 

At the 2013 NSW Combined High Schools Sports Association, Sebastian won gold in the long jump (6.53 metres), silver in the 100m (11.25 seconds), high jump (1.96 metres) and triple jump (13.10 metres), and bronze in the 200 metres (23.03 seconds). He was fifth in the 60 metres hurdles, in 16.40 seconds.


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