On behalf of everyone on the Northern Beaches, we congratulate our Australia Day Award winners and thank them for the outstanding contributions they have made to the community.
The awards were presented at a ceremony presided over by Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan at Glen Street Theatre on Wednesday 25 January 2023.
If you would like to be notified when the Australia Day Awards nominations open (usually September), please complete our notification form.
Australia Day 2023 Award winners
Citizen of the Year
Rachael Jackson, Belrose
Rachael has assisted many community groups and managed projects and services for individuals in need. As a member of the Frenchs Forest Lions Club, she has been a key player in organising the Christmas Carols at Lionel Watts Oval for the last six years which raises much-needed funds for local charities. She also instigated the restoration of the bell tower for Dee Why Public School centenary. As a single mum of three children, she is an advocate for those with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and homeless. This passion has led her to raise funds for the renovations at Dalwood Spilstead Centre in Seaforth which provides vital services for vulnerable families.
Senior Citizen of the Year
Judy Elias, Narrabeen
For the last 10 years, Judy has been instrumental in Computerpals for Seniors – a not-for-profit organisation which assists seniors to become proficient with technology. She innovated BriteSparx – an intergenerational program which partners secondary school students with senior learners to train in digital services and Chatterbox – a social program which creates opportunities for group outings. Judy is also a volunteer host on Northern Beaches Radio hosting a technology educations segment.
Young Citizen of the Year
Noah Smith, Bilgola Plateau
Noah is already has a repertoire of achievements to his name. His passion is youth and indigenous issues. For the second year he was selected to be the NSW Youth Parliament Member for Pittwater as the Youth Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. His advocacy work has resulted in being awarded the Youth Parliamentarian of the Year. Also, a member of Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club he has been awarded the Chairman’s Award for his contribution to the Nippers program. He is also a member of the Northern Beaches Council’s Youth Advisory Group and is on the Student Representative Council at Barrenjoey High School.
Sportsperson of the Year
Evie Saunders, Freshwater
Evie has been sailing since the age of eight for Manly Yacht Club and in recent years became a coach there. Her passion and drive has seen her compete in the Youth World Championships, the Open Women’s World Championships various State Championships and she has qualified for the Youth Australian Sailing Team to compete in the Youth World Championships, winning silver. She was the only Australian medallist and the first female to podium at this event in 14 years. Last year she was awarded the Australian and NSW Youth Sailor of the Year. Her current world ranking is 149 in the open category. Her goal is to compete in the Olympics and she is well on her way.
Community Event of the Year
Night at the Barracks
Night at the Barracks presented by Second Sunday was a concert series held over a month (9 Sept – 9 October) at the iconic North Head seeing 19,000 people attend. The event was created during the pandemic by locals, for locals to benefit the wider community with the aim to reinvigorate Manly and the arts industry. Popular Australian artist Jess Mauboy, Symphony Under the Stars, and a performance by Sydney Dance Company were just some of the featured performances
Outstanding Community Service Awards
There were 10 deserving community members which received an Outstanding Community Service Award.
- Andrew Ward, Collaroy Plateau
Founder of Head Above Water an annual 24-hour swim event which raises money for mental illness.
- Barbara Harrison, Collaroy
A volunteer for Scouts for 32 years.
- Craig Perry, Mona Vale
A dedicated surf lifesaver with Warriewood Surf Life Saving Club for the past 10 years.
- Luke Peterson, North Narrabeen
School Captain and member of Northern Beaches Council’s Youth Advisory Group.
- Mary Jones, Newport
A long time fundraised and advocate of Northern Beaches Prostate Cancer Support Group, and a volunteer with Girl Guides and the American Field Service for 40 years.
- Maureen Eves, Mosman
For 20 years she has supported the Northern Beaches Vision Impaired Group organising activities for them.
- Nagi Maehashi, Mona Vale
Founder of RecipeTin Meals, a food charity which donates hundreds of healthy, delicious meals for delivery to vulnerable people in the Northern Beaches community every day.
- Penny Philpott, Frenchs Forest
A passionate advocate for the arts across the Northern Beaches as Co-founder of the Forest Youth Theatre, instrumental in establishing Glen Street Theatre, and Vice-President of the Friends of the Manly Art Gallery and Museum.
- Sarah Morris, Warriewood
Co-founder of Acts of Kindness, a community outreach program that collects unsold food and donated goods from local businesses and individuals, to provide food hampers for vulnerable people and families.
- Tony Philps, Narrabeen
A volunteer for various community groups for the past 20 years including Forest Community Men’s Shed and Lion’s Club Belrose.