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Australia Day Celebration at Drill Hall Common

Posted Thursday 30 January 2014

On Sunday 26 January 2014 the Council celebrated Australia Day Ceremony at the Drill Hall Common. Around 200 people attended the ceremony followed by a community barbecue.

The day commenced with the official ceremony to give citizenship to 51 new Australians who are resident in the Mosman area. These new citizens came from nearly all parts of the world (from Asia –China, India, Nepal, the Philippines and South Korea; from Europe – France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom; from Africa – South Africa; and from the Americas – Canada, Colombia and the USA).

Following this ceremony, Mosman’s Australia Day Ambassador, Hayden Quinn, author, Masterchef contestant 2011, and Cleo Bachelor of the Year 2012, provided an entertaining Australia Day Address, but with a serious message. Hayden has travelled extensively overseas, and explained that what he values most about being an Australian are the many freedoms that we enjoy in our society and day to day lives. He asked a selection of the new citizens what they valued about living in Australia and their responses validated the importance of the freedoms that we in Australia appreciate and sometimes tend to take for granted.

Hayden Quinn, Mosman's Australia Day Ambassador
Hayden Quinn, Mosman's Australia Day Ambassador

The Citizen of the Year Awards are made in conjunction with the Australia Day Council and are for local citizens who have made a particular effort during the previous year for the benefit of Mosman, or been involved in activities which have brought credit to the Mosman area. They also extend to non-residents involved in voluntary community service or other activities directly benefiting the Mosman community or environment or bringing credit to Mosman. In addition, the Young Citizen of the Year is awarded to school age applicants.

The selection panel, comprising the Presidents of the Mosman Lions Club and Mosman Rotary Club, together with the Mayor and General Manager, met on 8 January and considered nominations received from the community and the Australia Day Council.

After discussion the Panel made a unanimous decision to present the 2014 Mosman Citizen of the Year Award to Mr John Dansie.

John Dansie 2014 Mosman Citizen of the YearJohn Dansie 2014 Mosman Citizen of the Year

John lives near beautiful Curraghbeena Reserve and has taken on the voluntary task of monitoring its care and maintenance. He has recently been the driver of a joint community project which has seen shade sails erected above the tables and chairs so that families can enjoy the amenities all year round. John helped raise the funds required through the Mosman Lions Club and has been the conduit between the Council, Lions Club, Men’s Shed and Bendigo Bank to bring this project to fruition.

John’s passion for local history sees him currently holding the position of Vice President of the Mosman Historical Society. In 2010, through many hours of research, John discovered the unmarked grave site of Mosman’s first Mayor, Richard Hayes Harnett Jnr, at Macquarie Park Cemetery and helped initiate a fundraising effort to have a suitable headstone erected which now marks Harnett’s final resting place.

John is also President and a Life Member of the Warringah Bowling Club, a committee member of the Men’s Shed, and member of the Mosman Lions Club. He takes great pride in the work that he does for Mosman.

The Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Miss Brooke O’Callaghan.

Brooke, who is 14 years old, made a huge contribution to Mosman Netball Club in 2013. As well as her own duties as an umpire, she also mentored younger umpires, inspiring many young netballers to take up the role, and coached an 8-year old netta team. In addition, she assisted at coaching and umpiring clinics throughout the season. Brooke gave a large amount of her time willingly to this community service. She is an inspiration and a positive role model to many young girls in Mosman.

Mosmans Young Citizen of the Year Miss Brooke O'Callaghan
Mosmans Young Citizen of the Year Brooke O'Callaghan, with Jacqui Willoughby, President of the Mosman Netball Club and Mayor Peter Abelson

The day’s activities concluded with the community barbecue operated by dedicated volunteers from the Lions Club of Mosman and thoroughly enjoyed by all present.