Christa Nicola

Local community members can now apply for the citizen of the year in a bid to recognise Ku-ring-gai’s residents who have contributed to the local community and shown excellent citizenship.

The recent bushfires and Pandemic have left a lot of people in need of help, and these awards will highlight the generous work people in the community have done for their fellow citizens.

North Shore MumsSmiles2U founder Michelle Key was named Ku-ring-gai councils 2021 citizen of the year for her selfless work to help others in need. Smiles2U provides children in local hospitals with care and activity bags, toiletry packs for parents, and cancer care packs for parents staying at the children’s palliative care facility at Bear Cottage. She has also provided Dignity bags for homeless women and toiletry packs for female RFS volunteers.

Mrs Key spoke to Sydney Observer about the benefits to her not-for-profit charity since winning in 2021. “It’s been fantastic for NorthShoreMumsSmile2U, it’s lifted our profile, people have really come on board and supported us more with donations. People really have taken more of an interest in what we do and understanding it’s a real charity,” she said.

“It’s been pretty amazing.”

Ku-ring-gai’s Mayor Dr Cedric Spencer thinks the awards shine a bright light on those people who have gone above and beyond for the community. “These awards are a wonderful opportunity to publicly honour some of Ku-ring-gai’s most outstanding citizens. It’s very important for us to recognise the commitment some residents make to our community. This is especially true for the volunteers and organisations which have been helping residents get through the COVID19 pandemic”.

There are five categories of awards; Citizen of the Year; Young Citizen of the Year; the Mayor’s Award for an Outstanding Contribution by a Community Organisation; Environmental Citizen of the Year and Young Environmental Citizen of the Year.

The Environmental Citizen of the Year Award is open to organisations and individuals and the Young Environmental Citizen of the Year is open to high school students.

The awards will be presented on Australia Day, 26 January 2022.

Main Photo: Ku-ring-Gai Council.