Camden Australia Day awards recognise locals for their contribution to the community

Camden’s citizen of the year has dedicated his time to making the community a greener and healthier place to live.

Steve Cooper is a volunteer at the Camden Community Garden and an organiser of the Camden parkrun.

He said he was delighted to receive this year’s award.

“It’s a bit over-whelming, I certainly didn’t expect,” he said.

“I feel very honoured. Someone said to me that lots of people were cheering but I didn’t hear a thing when I got up there – I was so surprised.”

The avid volunteer became an Australian citizen 20 years ago at the Camden Civic Centre where he received his award today.

Mr Cooper said he has always enjoyed volunteering in the community because of its small town feel.

“You can walk down the street and always see somebody that you know,” he said.

“We are still a small town.

“I come from a small country village in northern England – smaller than this – but Camden still has that country feel.”

Camden’s young citizen of the year was Joanna Kolevris.

Miss Kolevris said it was an honour to take home this year’s award.

“It feels amazing that young people are represented at this event,” she said.

The Camden High School student has been a member of the Camden Youth Council for the past two years.

She played an integral role in the establishment of the Paws for Second program which uses canine therapy to help stressed out HSC students.

“I loved being a part of the youth council – we have had some great ideas,” she said.

“I also just love getting out there to help other local young people.”

Miss Kolevris said she was looking forward to the year ahead.

“I am looking forward to representing young people and getting our voices heard,” she said.

“I hope we can host more events that make this community more inclusive.”

The full list of winners:

  • Community Group of the Year: The Camden Show Society
  • Arts and Cultural Award: Sana Al-Ahmar
  • Sports Achievement Award: Robert Whittaker
  • Young Citizen of the Year: Joanna Kolevris
  • Citizen of the Year: Steve Cooper