An impressive array of local heroes were recognised at the Northern Beaches Council Australia Day Awards ceremony at Glen Street Theatre.

The Australia Day Awards celebrate the contributions of individuals and organisations who have dedicated their time to serving the community. Many recipients have devoted over 10-20 years to their cause; several have campaigned on safety and inclusivity issues, while others have saved lives.

Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins said the recipients were inspirational.

“Each year, we recognise individuals and organisations who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and service to our community,” Mayor Heins said.

“The judging panel had a very challenging job this year with so many amazing and worthy nominees.

“This year’s recipients exemplify the essence of our community, contributing significantly, often selflessly, across various fields and continually embody the spirit of the Northern Beaches.

We heartily congratulate and thank our winners.”

Australia Day 2024 Award winners

Citizen of the Year – Jimmy Arteaga of Forestville

Jimmy is the Unit Commander for Broken Bay Marine Rescue. In the past year, he has overseen the rescue of many vessels and people in the Pittwater/Broken Bay area, bringing them to safety. He is responsible for more than 90 volunteers. His drive and dedication have enabled Marine Rescue Broken Bay to have a wonderful new state-of-the-art building now in keeping with the rest of Marine Rescue facilities in NSW.

Senior Citizen of the Year 
– Aileen Ogilvie of North Narrabeen

Aileen has been volunteering on the Northern Beaches for 37 years, starting as a Lifeline Counsellor. She mentored vulnerable teenagers in high schools all along the Northern Beaches for over 21 years with Raise, also mentoring foster children. She has been on the Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) for 22 years, and Vice President, ‘Kindness Officer’ and founding member of MoWaNa – a Northern Beaches Safe Space. Aileen also hosts ‘Coffee with Kindness’ two mornings a week at the Mind Café, providing a safe place for people to get support or have a coffee and a chat, which can often change a person’s life.

Young Citizens of the Year  Lachlan O’Callaghan and Cooper Morgan

Lachlan, from Narrabeen Sports High, and Cooper, from Northern Beaches Christian School, 16-year-olds at the time, displayed leadership in a rescue operation that saved a life. While working at The Quays Marina, Church Point, Lachlan and Cooper heard a man calling frantically for help. Utilising the training they had received from the marina and the skills they had learned from nippers in Surf Life Saving, their quick and selfless actions led to the rescue of a member of the public.

Sportsperson of the Year – Ben Tudhope

Ben is a three times Paralympic Snowboarder, Beijing 2022 Bronze Medallist, 2023 World Champion, six-time World Cup Champion and co-captain of the Australian Paralympic Team.

Ben holds the record of being the youngest ever Winter Paralympian. He has always found a way to overcome physical setbacks, now competing in the hardest category in his sport – below-the-knee disability – and is one of the most naturally talented boarders on tour.

Community Event of the Year – BEACH2BEACH Charity Fun Run

Organised by the Rotary Club of Warringah
The BEACH2BEACH Charity Fun Run is an annual event open to all abilities and ages. This wonderful event encourages the community to get healthy, exercise and have fun. Since its inception, Beach2Beach has donated over $5 million to local community organisations, including schools, Surf Life Saving Clubs, Scouts and many other charities.

Community Group of the Year 
– Manly Branch of the Country Women’s Association of NSW

The Manly branch has been a steadfast pillar of support for the local community for the last 100 years. Over this time, they have demonstrated resilience and flexibility to address the pressing issues of the times. Whether it be providing support through significant events such as war or fostering community connections, they have exemplified a commitment to the Northern Beaches community. Currently, the Manly branch holds monthly meetings and free events, market stalls, and how-to classes to teach new skills and raise funds to donate back to the community.


David Price of Balgowlah Heights

David is a long-term member of the Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club. He is also a passionate volunteer and community leader. He has volunteered his time to assist with the evacuation of people during the 2020 bushfires and the NSW floods in 2020, 2021 and 2022. David is a true inspiration to the Northern Beaches community, and his dedication to surf lifesaving and volunteering is an example to us all.

Denver J Beven of Queenscliff

Denver has made an outstanding contribution to the Northern Beaches Community since he moved to Manly in 2001. Most recently, he has been the driving force behind the complete transformation of the southern headland of Freshwater Beach Undercliff Reserve (now renamed – Irene Crump Reserve) from a mass of jungle and lantana to a delightful garden paradise. He was also one of the eight people who started the Charity Tour de Cure (TDC) in 2007 to raise money for Cancer research, and he still volunteers with TDC.

Gary Searles of Bilgola Plateau

Gary has been President of Peninsula Cricket Club for three years and a committee member for the last 10. In fulfilling these roles, he actively contributes to a variety of volunteer positions as a coach, mentor, coordinator of cricket workshops and competitions, and ‘come and try’ sessions for children as young as six up to young adults. Ten years ago, there were no girls teams. Through Gary’s persistence there are now three girls teams. He presents the game in an inclusive, fun, accessible way that encourages all children to have a go.

John Diamond of Terrey Hills

John founded the Lions Club of Frenchs Forest in the early 1960s and has served the community with the Lions Club ever since. He has served as President and as the elder statesperson of the club, attending meetings for over 65 years. As a foundation member, he has contributed to the fundraising of millions of dollars to help the Northern Beaches community.

Jon Russell of Cottage Point

Jon displayed a tireless commitment to a telecommunications tower project, where he played a pivotal role in highlighting Cottage Point as an emergency black spot area in Sydney. Through Jon’s advocacy, funding for the construction of a telecommunications tower at Cottage Point was secured. This vital project not only enhanced communication but also strengthened our preparedness and response during emergencies.

Kelly Barr-Jones of Allambie Heights

Kelly is the P&C President of Forest High School, P&C Vice President of Allambie Heights Public School and Chairperson of the Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee of both Forest High School and Allambie Heights Public School. She plays an integral part in building an understanding of parents and carers of neurodiversity and how to best support students and parents. Her contribution has helped to create welcoming and respectful schools for all, regardless of their backgrounds or identities.

Marilinda Winter of Narraweena

Marilinda has been coaching football at various clubs on the Northern Beaches (Manly Vale, CC Strikers, St Augustine’s, and Beacon Hill) for over 14 years. She is an integral part of the Manly Vale Football Club, coaching and mentoring 19 junior football players to be assistant coaches to junior teams. She’s also developed a program for other coaches on “How to coach female players”, encouraging the longevity of female players for the Manly Warringah Football Association and in the sport of football generally. In 2023, Marilinda coached her club’s Under 18 – Division 1 team, which won the Football NSW State Cup and the Football NSW Champion of Champions.

Terry Cook of Ingleside

Terry is the main coordinator, President and contact for Peninsula Seniors Toy Recyclers, working tirelessly to refurbish many thousands of toys, games, dolls and bicycles for reuse by numerous charities. The convivial atmosphere has members helping to bring hope and joy to children in need. Terry’s commitment to keeping unwanted items out of landfills is exemplary – there isn’t much he won’t attempt to repair! You will find Terry in the workshop daily, just as he has been for the last 20 years.

A huge thank you and well done to all our Award recipients!


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