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Hilltops Australia Day Awardees 2023

Ceremonies were held across the Hilltops Region yesterday to celebrate Australia Day and recognise the achievements of some very deserving Hilltops residents. Congratulations to the Hilltops 2023 Australia Day Award Winners.

Lions/Apex Boorowa Citizen of the Year
Brendon Shean

The Len & Joan Oxley Memorial Award
Judy McGuiness

Boorowa Community Landcare Awards
Belinda Kelly
Danny Flanery

Senior Sportsperson of the Year
Tom Simson

Junior Sportsperson of the Year – 18 years and under
Isabella Piper

Junior Sportsperson of the Year – 12 years and under
Toby Corkhill

Sporting Team of the Year
Boorowa Roverettes League Tag Team

Club person of the Year
Murray Armour

Community Awards
Gail Grimson
Belinda Hewitt
Tracey Potts
Sue-Anne Corcoran
Margaret Carmody

Citizen of the Year
Christine Burnett

Junior Citizen of the Year
Charles Tuckfield

Business of the Year
The Health Studio

Citizen of the Year
Grahame Taylor

Junior Citizen of the Year
Samantha Emms

Community Involvement in Sport
Jade Emms

Special Community Award
Emma Collins

Special Community Award
Eliza Butt

Towncare Award
Mal Macdonald

Towncare Award
Bill Tobin

Wombatian Citizen of the Year
Ben Bokkerink

Junior Sportsperson
Beth Loco

Environmental Award
Jessica Holmes



2023 Australia Day Programs

Nomination forms are now available for various award categories for the 2023 Australia Day celebrations in the Hilltops region. Members of the public are invited to nominate individuals and groups across Hilltops who have exhibited outstanding community service over the past 12 months.

Boorowa Program


Harden Program


Wombat Program 



Young Program


2023 Australia Day Ambassadors 













Ms. Sonia Gandhi (Harden) – From international student to creative genius, Sonia Sadiq Gandhi M. Com is a serial entrepreneur and a champion of diversity and inclusion. She is an Australian Indian who arrived in New South Wales from India in 1998. 

Sonia has a Master of Commerce with Major in Human Resources from the Western Sydney University. 

She is the founder and CEO of a multi-award-winning social enterprise, Gandhi Creations Pty Ltd. As a social enterprise Gandhi Creations serves to create high-impact experiences that positively benefit the wider society. Through their suite of annual business and community initiatives, GC actively work to service and support Australia’s creative and business sector by providing opportunities for Indigenous, migrant, refugee, and cultural and linguistically diverse groups.

Sonia’s work directly promotes a more diverse Australia by engaging with multicultural communities. Sonia has executed over 550 events in her career. On a broader level, the work she produces has served as meeting grounds for the exchange of ideas between nations and platforms for enhanced cultural diplomacy and improved foreign investment and trade. Over the year’s she has also gained respect and trust of several high-profile State Government departments, for whom she has produced a series of multi-stakeholder projects of national significance.

Sonia was appointed to the board of the Multicultural NSW, (2017) the peak government agency whose purpose is to build and maintain a cohesive and harmonious multicultural society that enriches the lives of all the people of NSW.

Sonia was appointed an Australia Day Ambassador in 2018 (Ryde Council) I 2019 (Glen Innes Severn Council) I 2020 (Campbelltown Council)

She was appointed an ICC T20 World Cup Australia 2020 Brand Ambassador, actively promoting the tournament and specifically the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Sonia also was recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in 2014 and continues her ongoing charity work with organisations such as Alzheimer’s Australia, Beyond Blue, National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Salvation Army.

In 2017 her company Gandhi Creations won the Australian Event Award for Best New Event in South Australia, ACT and Northern Territory for Confluence, A Festival of India in Australia. In 2015 her concept Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Day took the Best New Event for New South Wales as well as in 2013 she was awarded the Best Community Event Category for the Premier’s Harmony Dinner. (The Australian Event Awards is the pinnacle awards program that rewards achievements across all segments of the events industry in Australia)

Sonia invites communities to engage across the various platforms she has founded such as Fabrics of Multicultural Australia (FOMA), a first ever national initiative across Cultural diplomacy that generates trade opportunities and fosters social cohesion through the universally binding industry that is fashion.

She is also founder of the India Australia Business & Community Awards (IABCA), an international initiative that celebrates the India-Australia relationship whilst simultaneously contributing to its development. IABCA has achieved international recognition as a tool for cultural diplomacy, bilateral trade development between the two countries. 

Sonia also directs the Western Sydney Awards for Business Excellence (WSABE), the premier platform for the Greater Western Sydney Region. In 2020, WSABE celebrates 30 Years of Business Excellence across the Western Sydney region, the engine room of the NSW economy.

Sonia is blessed to live in Australia, a land of opportunities and continues to promote intercultural connectivity and community collaborations, working towards a stronger, more unified Australia.

Sonia is married to Sohum Gandhi, who is an entrepreneur himself and is a very proud mum of a 4 year old boy. 

 Ms. Susanne Gervay OAM (Boorowa) –  Awarded the Lifetime Social Justice Literature Award by the International Literacy Association, Order of Australia, nominee for Australia for Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Susanne Gervay is recognized for her writing on social justice.  Her award winning stories are published in literary journals and anthologies including the Sub-Continent- Australian anthologies alongside the works of Sir Salman Rushdie and Thomas Keneally.  She represented Australia in ‘Peace Story’ an IBBY, UNICEF anthology where 22 authors, 22 illustrators from 22 countries wrote for peace.

You’ll find Susanne in Istanbul speaking on NO bullying at a literature festival and in schools; planting mangroves in Kiribati to protect the islands from rising seas, and speaking to hundreds of kids in Tarawa on story. She advocates on issues from early childhood eye testing with The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses endorsed by Vision Australia, supporting the United Nations Vision campaign; disability through her young adult novel Butterflies endorsed by The Children’s Hospital; feminism and gender equality in Shadows of Olive Trees; Harmony Day through her picture book Elephants Have Wings which can reach all children on the national curricula; to her acclaimed novel Heroes of the Secret Underground which reaches into her past as the child of refugees and war, The Edge of Limits on Consent for young adults, to bring hope to our young people, now and in the future.

Her award winning I Am Jack children’s books which have become rite-of-passage on school bullying adapted into an acclaimed play by Monkey Baa Theatre, have toured theaters across Australia and USA. Her books are endorsed by The Cancer Council, Room to Read, bringing literacy to the children of the developing world, Books in Homes reaching indigenous and disadvantaged schools, Life Education, many anti bullying and literacy organizations. Susanne heads the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (ANZ), is patron Monkey Baa Theatre, ambassador Room to Read, Reading and literacy Ambassador for many campaigns and is an acclaimed national and international speaker. She heads of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators SCBWI Australia East and New Zealand, and is committed to literacy and the power of books.





















Mr. Mark Warren (Young)  -Mark Warren is synonymous to the media space, son of The Voice Ray ”Rabs” Warren – Australia’s greatest sports broadcaster, with total bias! Mark heads up Warren Media & Co., a versatile full-service media agency.

An AFTRS graduate, NIDA trained, with media in his blood, there was no doubt that Mark Warren was always going to be in the media industry. A proven adman, experience his teacher. A highly skilled media buyer planner with experience across creative, production and talent management. Mark Warren is a dynamic broadcaster, actor, voice actor, MC, presenter and auctioneer.

Mark holds his Real Estate and Auctioneers licence. An Australia Day Ambassador 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 and travels to country areas, paraphrasing his family’s bond to bush.  

A good call comes naturally, after all he’s a Warren.