Winners announced: North Sydney Community Awards 2024

Marys House volunteer team picture holding their Community Builder Award with Mayor Zoë Baker
Community Builder Award joint winners Mary's House volunteer team with the Mayor

Altruistic locals have been recognised in the annual Community Awards.

They protect local wildlife, support social housing tenants, volunteer for women and children affected by domestic violence, and more. Council is thrilled to recognise a number of altruistic locals in the annual North Sydney Community Awards.

Winners of the Community Awards were announced during a presentation ceremony on 19 April 2024 at the Independent Theatre, North Sydney. There were five categories:

  • Community Builder
  • Eco Warrior
  • Living Legend
  • Trailblazer
  • Next Generation

Mayor Zoë Baker said: “The North Sydney Community Awards acknowledge the many local heroes who help make North Sydney a kinder, better connected and more sustainable place. The contributions of all the nominees for this year’s awards will inspire and delight our community.”

The Mayor sat on the panel alongside the Community Awards Committee.

Award winners for 2024

The Mary’s House volunteer team and Greenway Tenants Group were joint winners of the Community Builder Award.

Eco Warrior Award winner Vera Yee with Mayor Zoë Baker

Eco Warrior Award joint winner Vera Yee with Mayor Zoë Baker

Mary’s House provides services to women and their children who have experienced domestic violence, relying significantly on a team of volunteers. There are currently 30 active volunteers, who were recognised for giving more than 1,000 hours of support for Mary's House community events, programs and operations.

The Greenway Tenants Group is a not-for-profit providing services to the social housing tenants at Greenway, Kirribilli. The 12 volunteers provide support for more than 350 residents including packing food from OzHarvest, working in the community garden, providing transport, outings and the Men’s Shed.

The Eco Warrior Award went to both Michael Stevens and Vera Yee.

Michael is the founder of Harbourcare and is passionate about keeping our harbour clean, regularly cleaning the small tidal beach at Waverton Park and working to prevent future pollution.

Vera has led the Streets Alive group in Waverton for the past decade, doing weekly physical maintenance of street gardens, integrating native plants, and always looking for new opportunities to ensure our suburbs remain sustainably green.

Sissi Stewart holding her Living Legend Award with fellow Bushcare volunteers

Living Legend Award joint winner Sissi Stewart with fellow Bushcare volunteers

Sissi Stewart and Mark Shalovsky received the Living Legend Award, which recognises community members who have served the North Sydney community for 20 years or more.

Sissi has volunteered hundreds of hours over more than two decades to the unique urban–rural partnership with Boorowa Community Landcare Group. As well as helping to conserve biodiversity as part of the project, which has planted more than 65,000 native plants, she has been an ambassador for the project and a guide for greener participants.

Retired solicitor Mark has been volunteering his legal skills for many years to help people facing tenancy issues or navigating social housing rebate and concession systems – initially with Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre and, more recently, for Link Wentworth Housing.

The Trailblazer Award went to Aden Barclay, who has dedicated his building skills and knowledge to caring for and reviving a pocket of the Neutral Bay streetscape, working with Council, cleaners, and the local community.

Next Generation Award winner Ted Greenaway with Mayor Eco Warrior Award winner Vera Yee with Mayor Zoë Baker

Next Generation Award winner Ted Greenaway with Mayor Zoë Baker

Finally, there were three joint winners of the Next Generation Award. First, Redlands Senior students, who visit the residents of Bougainvillea Retirement Village every Thursday. Whether it’s helping with technology, writing memoirs, playing board games or reading, the residents and students alike appreciate each other’s regular company, care and conversation.

Second, Wenona student Ishnika Lokuge was recognised for her contributions to North Sydney Council’s Bushcare program. Ishnika helps to maintain our bushland reserves and create refuges for native plants and animals.

Third and finally, 11-year-old Ted Greenaway also received the Next Generation Award for his efforts to protect local native wildlife. Ted has worked with Council’s Bushcare and Streets Alive teams to have nest boxes installed, creating homes for local animals, and build a street garden that serves as a wildlife corridor near his home.


A group photo of the North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winners with the Mayor


Winners of the North Sydney Community Awards 2024 with Mayor Zoë Baker

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Mary's House volunteer team

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Greenway Tenants Group 

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Michael Stevens

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Vera Yee

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Sissi Stewart

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Mark Shalovsky

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Aden Barclay

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Redlands

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Ishnika Lokuge

North Sydney Community Awards 2024 winner - Ted Greenaway

Published: 19 April 2024