Central Coast Council names Olympic skier Matthew Graham as its Citizen of the Year in 2020 Australia Day Awards

HIGH ACHIEVER: Central Coast Citizen of the Year, skier Matthew Graham, is gearing up for his third Winter Olympic campaign in 2022. Picture: Andrew Railton.

HIGH ACHIEVER: Central Coast Citizen of the Year, skier Matthew Graham, is gearing up for his third Winter Olympic campaign in 2022. Picture: Andrew Railton.

OLYMPIC silver medal-winning skier Matthew Graham was named Citizen of the Year in Central Coast Council's Australia Day honours.

Graham was one of 11 award recipients across eight categories.

In 2018, Graham won silver for Australia in the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics and, in 2019, he won silver at the World Freestyle Mogul Skiing Championships in Utah, USA.

He is currently the No.2 skier in the world and preparing to become a three-time Olympian in 2022.

Mayor Lisa Matthews said Graham was a worthy winner of the top award.

"Matthew's achievement on the world stage speak for themselves," Cr Matthews said.

Graham was also acknowledged for giving back to his community.

"Matthew often interrupts his own busy training schedule to inspire the next generation, encouraging students to pursue their passion for sport whilst also continuing their journey with education.

"This is a Coastie who practices what he preaches, not only is he at the top of his sport in the world he is currently completing a double degree in civil engineering and business."

There were joint winners of the Youth of the Year award.

Jasmine Shaw, 19, was honoured for founding the Central Coast Animal Rescue Network in 2019. She shared the award with Callum Sutton, 18, who has represented Australia in multiple sports while volunteering more than 100 hours of community service as a surf life saver every year.

Mark Power was named Volunteer of the Year after recently celebrating 50 years of volunteer surf patrolling on Terrigal Beach. Jenny Roberts was highly commended in the category. She has been volunteering with Girl Guides Australia since 1971, more specifically with Budgewoi Girl Guides since 1987.

The Environmental Award went to Cathy Gilmore who, in 2005, launched Australian Seabird Rescue Central Coast, and has been rescuing wildlife on the Central Coast for more than 28 years.

Former Gosford Imperial Centre manager for 19 years, Deborah Warwick, received the Community Service and Activity award for her work across multiple community organisations in and around Gosford.

AWARDED: Sharyn Burgess created the Community and Business Womens Network (CBWN) on the Central Coast. Picture: David Stewart

AWARDED: Sharyn Burgess created the Community and Business Womens Network (CBWN) on the Central Coast. Picture: David Stewart

Sharyn Burgess won the Business Connecting Communities category. Ms Burgess created the Community and Business Women's Network (CBWN) on the Central Coast, the biggest and most active networking group on the Central Coast.

Kaylene Conway was highly commended in the same category. Ms Conway created CC365 (Central Coast 365), a website that allows Central Coast operators, venues, and businesses to promote their events and services for free.

The Arts, Culture and Entertainment award went to Joshua Maxwell who has dedicated the last 14 years of his life to the Central Coast arts community. In 2016 he co-founded Jopuka Productions, which is now the leading independent youth-arts company on the Central Coast.

Cr Matthews congratulated each of the winners for their exceptional achievements.

"The Central Coast is very proud of you," she said.

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