2023 Australia Day Award Winners Announced
Published on 31 January 2023
Diane Gorman has been awarded Fairfield City community’s top Australia Day honour, being named the 2022 Fairfield City Citizen of The Year at today’s award ceremony.
Diane has given dedicated service to the local community through her volunteering and community work for 16 years with the Bicycle Recycling Program in the Fairfield Local Government Area with the Western Sydney Cycling Network.
She has volunteered for the Spring Cycle, Gear Up Girl, Amy Gillette and Parra Power, all events to raise money for breast cancer, children with a disability and the Heart Foundation.
Diane spends her time helping out at the bicycle recycling shed to provide low-cost bikes to the community, teaching children how to ride, about safety and to prevent obesity through school programs. She also helps people return back to the workforce after head injuries through the Western Sydney Cycling Network bicycle recycling program scheme.
Fairfield City Mayor Frank Carbone presented four major awards in various categories to outstanding community members at the annual Australia Day Community Awards ceremony today at Aquatopia at Prairiewood Leisure Centre.
The winners were:
- Diane Gorman – Fairfield Citizen of The Year;
- Neethu Siril – Young Citizen of The Year;
- Khanh Van Mach – Volunteer of The Year; and
- Luka Knezevic – Sports Achiever of the Year
Also recognised were medallion and certificate recipients in honour of their contribution to the community.
Medallion recipients were:
- Citizen of the Year: Joline George
- Volunteer of the Year: Geoff Davis
- Sports Achiever of the Year Medallion recipients: Ellen Ryan and Lukas Strbac.
Certificate recipients were:
- Citizen of the Year: Linda Ngoc Dao and Rod Galic.
- Young Citizen of the Year: Kalvin Lucas Biag, Sabrina Bizhn, Sogatta Lazar, Natalie Mak and Tina Tran.
- Sports Achiever of the Year Certificate recipients: Matthias Alai, Lucas Fordham, Jordan Miller and Christina Saha.
Fairfield City Mayor Frank Carbone said the Australia Day Community Awards are held each year to recognise and pay tribute to all those who dedicate their time and effort into making Fairfield City a better community for all.
“Their dedication and commitment is an example to us all,” Mayor Carbone said.
“Our winners often go about their business quietly, but I’d like to publicly thank all these community achievers, and recognise their tireless efforts on our special national day.
“I congratulate Diane Gorman, Neethu Siril, Khanh Van Mach and Luka Knezevic on their wonderful achievements.”
2023 Citizen of the Year: Diane Gorman
Diane has given dedicated service to the local community through her volunteering and community work for 16 years with the Bicycle Recycling Program in the Fairfield Local Government Area with the Western Sydney Cycling Network. She has volunteered for the Spring Cycle, Gear Up Girl, Amy Gillette and Parra Power, all events to raise money for breast cancer, children with a disability and the heart foundation.
Diane spends her time helping out at the bicycle recycling shed to provide low-cost bikes to the community, teaching children how to ride, about safety and to prevent obesity through school programs and helps people return back to the work force after head injuries through the Western Sydney Cycling Network bicycle recycling program scheme.
2023 Young Citizen of the Year: Neethu Siril
Neethu is part of her school’s Student Representative Committee and has volunteered her time generously, through her volunteer work with the Youth Group, the Red Shield Appeal, the St Vincent De Paul centre at Mount Pritchard and as a Catechist teacher. She was the 2022 Parish Leader for her school. She has also volunteered her time to a reading program as a tutor for neighbouring primary students to develop their literacy and reading skills.
Neethu was awarded Order of Australia and Youth Community Service award in 2022 recognising her service to the community.
2023 Volunteer of the Year: Khanh Van Mach
Khanh makes significant contribution to helping disadvantaged groups, in particular children with a disability. Since 2008, he has volunteered as one of the chartered members for Special Children Services Centre and has volunteered in the Fairfield area for 10 years. He settled in the Fairfield Area as a Vietnamese refugee in 1980 and has been in contact with many Vietnamese families with special needs children living in Fairfield City.
In 2012, he began running special needs training classes helping countless residents and still runs these two-hour sessions every fortnight. He educates new members on the importance of supporting children with a disability at an early stage. He gives people hope and encouragement during activity classes, at outings and through an educational program.
2023 Sports Achiever of the Year: Luka Knezevic
Luka is an exceptional young athlete and student who attends Bossley Park High School and is part of the school’s highly regarded Talented Football Program. He was recently signed for Marconi Stallions First Grade team for the 2022/2023 season at the age of 16 years. Luka has recently returned from the Australia Joeys (U17) camp held in Melbourne to prepare for the AFC U17 Asian Cup qualifiers.
2022 was a successful year for Luka being selected in the Australian Schoolboys Squad, NSW All Schools and Sydney South West teams.
The awards ceremony was assisted by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council.