Local For Locals Award winners announced

Published on 02 September 2019

Mayor Byrne Pictured with Local for Locals Award winners and Hills Shire Councillors - Clr Russo,Clr Jethi, Clr De Masi, Clr  Gangemi, Clr Collins and Clr Thomas .jpg

Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne has congratulated this year’s Local for Locals Award winners and finalists during a ceremony held at the Pioneer Theatre on Friday, August 30.

The awards recognise individuals, community groups and organisations for their contribution to education, arts and culture, sports and recreation, environment and sustainability, community service and local business.

“On behalf of The Hills Shire Council, I congratulate each of our nominees and winners on a job well done,” Mayor Byrne said.

“Events like Local for Locals provide an opportunity to celebrate our local heroes - those amazing individuals who have made an incredible imprint in our story.

“It’s also a chance to thank them for the beneficial work that they do for the betterment of The Hills region and to wish them every success in the future,” Mayor Byrne added.

The Local for Locals Awards ceremony marks the start of The Hills Shire Council’s annual Orange Blossom Festival.

The month-long festival includes an impressive line-up of local events, activities and workshops, which aim to showcase the diversity and uniqueness of the region.

“We’ve squeezed as much as we can into the month of September, including art exhibitions, dance classes, community festivals, sports events and so much more,” Mayor Byrne said.

“On Saturday, September 14, Council’s signature event – Lights, Beats and Eats – returns to Castle Hill Showground for an evening of fun, food, music and light. It’s family-friendly and there will be plenty to eat, see and do for people of most ages. Plus, we have entertainment group Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band from ABC Kids, dance and acrobatic group Dauntless Movement Crew, The X-Factor Australia Season Three winner Reece Mastin and Aussie rock legend Jon Stevens there on the night.

“For more information on The Hills Shire Orange Blossom Festival, visit www.orangeblossomfestival.com.au,” Mayor Byrne added.  


Business Award for Community Contribution

Highly Commended:

Alex Mottshaw from Online Spiderweb

Connie Mottshaw from Online Spiderweb


Julie Warner from Independent Business Network Inc: Julie has been running the not-for-profit networking group with the support of The Hills Shire Council for more than 11-years. She works very hard to create workshops that help to educate local members of The Hills business community.


Community Contribution Award for Arts & Culture

Highly Commended:

Robyn Dalton from Radio Active Live Inc

Carolyn Gould from Friends of Bella Vista Farm


David Sanders:  David Sanders is a gifted singer who shares his time and fine voice freely and generously with community organisations in the Hills as a unique way of giving back to the community.

He sings both the Australian and New Zealand anthems at the Dawn Service in Castle Hill and has done so for many years. David has also performed at the Christmas in the Hills event at Bella Vista Farm.


Community Contribution Award for Environment & Sustainability

Chris Jones a Community Environment Centre Volunteer: Chris, an avid gardener, has been a volunteer at the Community Environment Centre for more than eight years. During that time, Chris has delivered a number of environmental workshops at Hills Shire Library branches, as well as the Centre. He has also opened his home garden, which includes an extensive vegetable garden, to other volunteers to learn how to have successful and productive garden beds and produce. Chris was also instrumental in creating a 20-page gardening booklet, as well as producing a number of gardening tip guides and signage for Centre displays.


Community Contribution Award for Education


Learning in the Hills: Learning in the Hills is a project of Hills Community Aid which provides a range of tutor-led and social group classes for The Hills Shire community. Classes include dressmaking, painting, yoga, English classes, crochet, dance and many more. All of the programs offer opportunities to meet new friends, while learning or improving on a skill.


Community Contribution Award for Sports & Recreation

Highly Commended:

Kevin Dodds from Baulkham Hills Cricket Club

Brian Bowyer from Baulkham Hills Cricket Club


Kirsten Groll from Baulkham Hills Hawks JAFC: Kristen has been instrumental in the success of Baulkham Hills Hawks. In fact, she helped the Club to achieve the AFL NSW/ACT Sydney Juniors Club of the year in 2018.

During her 10-years at the Club, Kirsten has filled many roles, including as Auskick coordinator, team manager, club secretary and for the past four years she has spearheaded the Club’s executive committee. She has also spent a significant amount of time in the role of registrar, as well as encouraging others to become coaches and umpires. To add to her love of the sport, Kristen has also been instrumental in the development, growth and success of the Club’s girls’ teams. 


Community Contribution Award for Community Service

Highly Commended:

Alison Harper

Uma Menon from Community Migrant Resource Centre


Kelly Doyle from Foster Care Angels: Kelly and her husband Glen are the founders behind Foster Care Angels - a registered children’s charity based in Castle Hill that helps ease the trauma suffered by children and young people in foster care. Since starting Foster Care Angels, Kelly has worked tirelessly to expand the charity’s services to include training and support programs for children affected by foster care, as well as counselling, care packages and Christmas drives to help support children living in hotels. To add to her volunteer commitments, Kelly has been recognised in several awards including the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, NSW Woman of The Year, Pride of Australia Finalist, ExtraOrdinary Woman Of The Year Award and Champions Of The West Finalist.