Uncle Ivan Wellington named Campbelltown Citizen of the Year

Deserving: Uncle Ivan Wellington, left, has been named the Campbelltown Citizen of the Year for his years of community work.
Deserving: Uncle Ivan Wellington, left, has been named the Campbelltown Citizen of the Year for his years of community work.

One of Campbelltown's most beloved figures was today honoured with the city's highest recognition - citizen of the year.

Proud local and Aboriginal elder Uncle Ivan Wellington received the award in a live-streamed virtual ceremony conducted by Campbelltown Council for Australia Day, as the pandemic forced the traditional public ceremony to move online.

Uncle Ivan is a fixture at all manner of Macarthur community events, frequently conducting smoking ceremonies and sharing his culture with locals and visitors alike.

He received the award for his dedication to educating the community, particularly young people, about local Aboriginal culture.

Uncle Ivan was also an instrumental force in getting Campbelltown's first public yarning circle - in Koshigaya Park - up and running.

"After a difficult and challenging year, it was wonderful to hear about some of the fantastic work being done by local residents to contribute to our community and enhance the lives of people around them," Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic said.

"Our selection committee had a difficult task to select the winners from a fantastic field of nominees.

"Congratulations to all our award winners and thank you for your contributions to our city."

Uncle Ivan takes the Citizen of the Year reins from local businesswoman Emma Macfarlane, who was awarded the honour last year.

Other award winners this year included Mount Carmel Catholic College student Jaden Legaspi (Young Citizen of the Year), multiclass swimmer Kaden Smith (sportsperson of the year), support worker Caroline Norman (Disability Community Contribution of the Year), Campbelltown East Public School assistant principal Martin Wallace (Environmental Citizen of the Year), and Youth Solutions (Community Group Initiative of the Year).

While the regular Australia Day activities were on hold this year, local still got a chance to pick up a free snag at six different locations across Campbelltown to help them enjoy the country's national day.