Australia Day honours list showcasing outstanding citizens

Auburn Hospital Recyclers Helen Sala and Roseanne Smith on behalf of their group, received the Environmental Person of the Year win.

THE 2024 Australia Day honours list includes a range of special local identities including a refugee champion, Corrections staff who go above and beyond, Australia’s most decorated Paralympian, a health chief who likely saved thousands, a football life member who’s been the backbone of his club for over 40 years, a Lebanese migrant advocate and a former Navy submariner who is devoted to supporting veterans and Indigenous youth.

BULENT Ada has been awarded ‘Citizen of the Year’ for his dedication to providing mental health support to individuals, particularly those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
He was one of five winners recognised for their dedication to the community at Cumberland Council’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony.
Over several years, Bulent’s commitment and advocacy for mental health has been unwavering, volunteering his time to provide free psychological support services or getting involved in various community events to assist those disadvantaged within the community.
Mayor Lisa Lake congratulated the recipients and finalists on their efforts and said “the contributions, hard work and dedication of these individuals in our community are commendable”.
“It’s really important that the people who tirelessly devote their time and energy to making Cumberland a great place to live, work and play are recognised,” she said.
Opera Singer and Cumberland Council’s 2024 Australia Day Ambassador, Amelia Farrugia attended the event and helped present the awards.
Other winers were:
Environmental Person of the Year – Auburn Hospital Recyclers: Auburn Hospital Recyclers began over 17 years ago when a young local boy wanted to raise money for an orphanage in Vietnam. Their continual efforts to recycle has made a positive and inspiring effect on people throughout the hospital.

Sportsperson of the Year – Renee Alame: Renee is a local young tennis player, who at 14 years of age has received several accolades and titles at National and International levels. A passionate tennis player, Renee engages with other young children at her local tennis courts and encourages them to pursue their aspirations.

Young Citizen of the Year – Zainab Jalloh: A young and active voice within the community services sector, Zainab has been an advocate for refugees and migrants within Cumberland. Having has a strong and positive impact, Zainab has been invited to speak at various events and conferences to share her experiences and inspire others.

Senior Citizen of the Year – Alan Patterson: For more than 20 years, Alan has shared his enthusiasm, independence and work pride with the Wests Track and Field Club at Wyatt Park. He inspires young athletes and is always exploring opportunities for athletes with disability by providing accessibility and ensuring all aspects of the grounds are safe and operational.

The Mayor also welcomed almost 60 new residents into the community as Australian citizens.
Those who officially became citizens on the day originated from 15 countries including parts of South Asia, Asia and the Middle East.
“Cumberland is a place where everyone is welcome, where anyone can belong and where everyone is encouraged to succeed,” Mayor Lake said.
“Today is an opportunity for us to appreciate our culturally diverse community and reflect on this place we call home.”