Australia Day Honours & Awards 2023 List

Australia Day Honours & Awards 2023 List! Australia Day Honours are awards given by the Australian government on January 26th each year to recognize outstanding achievement and service by Australian citizens. There are several different categories of awards, including the Order of Australia, the Australian Bravery Decorations, and the Australian Police Medal. These awards are intended to recognize and celebrate the contributions made by individuals and groups to Australian society.

The Australia Day 2023 Honours List recognises and celebrates 1,047 recipients, including 736 in the General Division of the Order of Australia and awards for meritorious, distinguished and conspicuous service.

‘What does being recognised mean to me?’ – hear from some recipients

The 736 recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia include:

In addition, the Australia Day 2023 Honours List includes

Message from the Governor-General

“Congratulations to the outstanding Australians recognised in today’s Honours List. The recipients have had a significant impact at the local, national and international level and are, quite simply, inspiring,” the Governor-General said.

“They go above and beyond, are from all over the country, and contribute every day in every way imaginable. These are the people who see us through good times and bad. They’re the first to show up and the last to leave.

“They’re almost always humble to a fault but I urge recipients, for today, to put aside that humility – it’s important they know how much they are valued.”

There are 736 awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia, with 48 per cent for women and 45 per cent for service to local communities.

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“It is encouraging to see an increase in diversity in the Order of Australia. Each recipient has something in common – someone nominated them. The Order belongs to each of us and we each have a part to play. The only way a person can be recognised is for someone to nominate them.”

Australia Day Honours & Awards 2023

A brief biography of each of the Australia Day 2023 award winners and highly commended for the Central Coast is included below:

Happy Australia Day 2023

Citizen of the Year (Winner) – Ryan Wilson
Ryan started the ‘Free Trade Day’ initiative after attending a gentlemen’s home in 2017. During this call out it came to Ryan’s attention that this gentleman had gone without hot water for some time due to a broken system that he could not afford to fix. Ryan donated and installed a hot water system, and this planted a seed for Ryan, wondering how many other people in the community needed trade work done but didn’t have the means. Ryan got to work gathering and inspiring hundreds of trade businesses to be a part of a ‘free trade day’ for locals in need with hundreds of jobs being completed each trade day. This initiative is growing with over 300 volunteers and more and more businesses coming on board.

Senior Citizen of the Year (Winner) – Warren Lupica
Warren has been an active Surf Lifesaver on the Central Coast since 1957, seeing seven decades of service. Warren is an active member and involved with a number of community service programs such as, Running Silver Salties Group at Shelley Beach, Running Tai Chi Classes, plus many more club activities. He also organises free First aid, CPR and Defibrillator courses for the local Probus club and Lions Clubs.

Senior Citizen of the Year (Highly Commended) – Gregory Douglas Mawson
Greg has been a pioneer in the many fields he has volunteered in, he has had his hands full with holding many positions at Woy Woy and Central Coast Division of Junior Rugby League, President of Gosford City Sports Council, President of Gosford RSL Subbranch, and President of the Central Coast RSL District Council. Greg has excelled in every organisation he has belonged to, making positive changes and implementing new strategies.

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Young Person of the Year (Winner) – Brittani Presland
Brittani is a Financial Analyst studying a Master of Business Administration and Master of Finance at Newcastle University and serves on a range of community-based boards and committees, contributing sound financial and accounting knowledge to the table. Brittani is a member of the Wyong Neighbourhood board, she is Secretary on the Scouts NSW public fund committee, an assistant treasurer to Cooks Hill lifesaving, on the Newcastle City Council Youth Committee, and lastly on the Gosford Preschool board. Brittani is a very ambitious and driven individual and serves her community well in these roles.

Young Person of the Year (Special Achievement) – Archer Pool
Archer is only five years old but has a big heart full of kindness and loves helping his friends, community, and his family. Since Archer was two, he helped his mother clean rubbish from parks, and bake cookies for garbage truck drivers, postmen, teachers, and the front-line heroes. During the floods, Archer jumped into action, with his family to help people in the neighbourhood by supplying sandbags to protect their properties.

Community Group (Winner) – Central Coast Kids in Need 
Central Coast Kids in Need is a small volunteer group that has been able to assist families over the last 29 years with accommodation costs to stay with their children who are undergoing specialised treatments in Sydney and Newcastle hospitals. They also assist with high-cost prescription items, specialised formulas, quality-of-life equipment, and travel expenses. Over the years Central Coast Kids in Need has outlaid $4.13 million in assisting over 3,573 families.

Community Life (Winner) – Peter Liston
Captain Peter Liston is the Founder and CEO of the Veteran Community Business Chamber. After a decade of military service – which later resulted in him being medically discharged from the Army – Pete reflected upon how hard it is for military spouses to maintain a career or find meaningful work while their partner is still serving. As a result, Peter now volunteers his spare time to develop the Chamber, while also serving as the conduit between members and government, as well as the Returned and Services League of Australia.

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Volunteer of the Year (Joint Winner) – Michael Sharpe
Michael is an active member of the Central Coast community, a dedicated volunteer, and a proven leader. Throughout his life, Michael has supported several community organisations including schools, fire brigades, many charity organisations and building a longstanding partnership with the Gosford Regional Gallery. Michael has been involved with over 18 services and a board member of many groups that support the community; just to name a few – Board Member Freemasons on the Central Coast Charity, Committee Member Central Coast Australian Olympic Team Fund, Board Member Central Coast Local Health District, Board Member at Lifeline Hunter and Central Coast and many more great services.

Volunteer of the Year (Joint Winner) – Robert ‘Bob’ Ihlein
Bob is a person who gives his all to any organisation or activity he is involved in. He is a Vietnam veteran and was part of the RAE construction group during his military service in Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Over time he has held senior volunteer positions with the RSL and the Men’s Shed movement. Bob has been a member of The Entrance Men’s Shed since before its official opening in 2009, holding the position of president. He also volunteers his spare time coordinating Overwatch, a suicide watch program for current and former defence force personnel.

Volunteer of the Year (Highly Commended) – Julie Redfern
Julie is a strong female leader at Terrigal. She is an inspiring mum working full time as a Professor of Public Health and has been a Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) Director of Member Services for three years, patrolling and managing the social media channels. She is an inclusive leader and has recently won the 2022 NSW Woman of Excellence. Her volunteerism spans all SLS activities and involves endless hours every week all year.

Australia Day Awards 2023

Every year on 26th January Australian Government arrangements some special Awards to their honorable citizens.

Australia Day awards are presented in five categories:

  • Senior Citizen of the Year (over 65 years of age)
  • Citizen of the Year (25 – 65 years of age)
  • Young Citizen of the Year (24 years and under)
  • Community Group of the Year
  • Environmental Citizen of the Year

Nominations for The Hills Shire Council’s Australia Day Awards for 2023 have now closed.

  • Award nominees will be notified in writing if they are a finalist.
  • Award nominees will be invited to attend an awards ceremony and are permitted to invite guests (subject to COVID restrictions).

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