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Media Release


30 January 2023

Local volunteers shine at Parramatta’s 2023 Citizen of the Year awards

An environmental champion who turns waste into bags and award-winning art has been named City of Parramatta’s 2023 Citizen of the Year, with local volunteers leading the charge at this year’s awards.

Julia ‘Julz’ Strykowski has been actively involved in the LGA for more than 10 years, founding Boomerang Bags Parramatta – which repurposes leftover fabrics into reusable bags – while running waste-to-art program PluckFastic. She also is the co-founder of Friends of Toongabbie Creek.

Julia was today honoured at a special Australia Day ceremony at Parramatta Park, alongside Bushcare volunteer Zyntaurus Donna-Aroon, who was awarded Young Citizen of the Year in honour of David Shakespeare OAM.

Jocelyn Dodd, who has been volunteering with City of Parramatta’s Community Care services for more than a decade, was named Senior Citizen of the Year , while the Parramatta State Emergency Service (SES) took out the Community Group Award following their tireless efforts across the LGA.

Each year, the City of Parramatta invites the local community to nominate an outstanding resident or organisation who have provided an outstanding contribution to the lives of our citizens or have provided a noteworthy contribution to the Parramatta community.

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis announced the 2023 recipients alongside Veteran and dual Invictus Games gold medallist Ben Farinazzo, this year’s Australia Day Ambassador.

“Parramatta is one of the greatest cities in Australia, and that’s largely due to the generosity of so many people in our community who go above and beyond to help others,” Cr Davis said.

“I congratulate all nominees of our Citizen of the Year awards, in particular Julz, Jocelyn, Zyntaurus, and the Parramatta SES crew whose fantastic achievements and dedication to this City have been recognised today.”

Cr Davis also conferred citizenship to residents from 35 different countries at a special Australian Citizenship Ceremony.

“It’s always a great honour to welcome new citizens to our wonderfully diverse community, one I am proud to serve,” Cr Davis said.

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