Citizen of the Year

Citizen of the Year Awards

Honouring our local heroes

The Inner West Council Citizen, Senior Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year Awards aim to recognise outstanding contributions from individuals within the inner west community.

Nominations are now open for Inner West Council's 2021 Citizen of the Year Awards until Saturday 17 April 2021.

  • Wednesday 10 March 2021: Nominations open
  • Saturday 17 April 2021: Nominations close 

Online nomination form


Conditions of entry


  • must be Australian citizens and be a resident / a student / a worker or a volunteer in the Inner West LGA;
  • must be 26 or over on 10 March 2021 to be considered for the Citizen of the Year Award;
  • must identify as a senior citizen to be considered for the Senior Citizen of the Year Award;
  • must be 25 years of age or under on 10 March 2021 to be considered for the Young Citizen of the Year Award;
  • must not be Members of Parliament, former Councillors, or employees of Inner West Council;
  • must be nominated by someone other than themselves;
  • cannot be considered for a second award in a category in which they have already received an award in a previous year; however future recognition is possible in one of the other two available awards.  For example, a person who has previously been awarded a Young Citizen of the Year award would be eligible for consideration under the Citizen of the Year or Senior Citizen of the Year categories in a following year.

Council reserves the right to withdraw an award if further information or the recipient's conduct draws the local Citizen of the Year Awards into disrepute.

Awards will not be granted posthumously.


Judging criteria

The nominee must have contributed significantly to their community in any field. The contribution will demonstrate an active concern for the rights, welfare, well-being and/or the advancement of others. Such a contribution could have been made to the general community, community groups, or individuals within the community. A person may be considered who has displayed an act of compassion, generosity or bravery.

Late applications and those which do not meet the entry criteria (including completion of entry form) will not be able to be accepted. 


Inner West Council Citizen of the Year 2020

Woman with fair skin and long blonde hair wearing an emerald green blouse in front of a street scape

Roxanne McMurray is Inner West Council’s 2020 Citizen of the Year

Roxanne is an active supporter and advocate of women experiencing domestic and family violence. She has worked at Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre for 25 years with the last 18 years as Manager. She has been on the Board of Detour House and The Girls Refuge for the past six years and in 2014 formed SOS Women’s Services with a group of local women to advocate (successfully) against the closure of the women’s and girls’ refuges in the inner city.

Through the formation of SOS Women's Services:

  • They successfully lobbied for all refuges to have their funding extended until 2020 to allow the sector to rebuild
  • Helped to secure $20 million in additional funding to assist with the expansion of 24 hour services across NSW
  • Retention of a specialist domestic violence caseworker at the Family Court with the support of the Chief Justice
  • Establishment of the Service Support Fund which ensured a further 14 women’s refuges are funded
  • Restoration of funding to homelessness services in inner Sydney, including preventing the closure of the city’s women’s refuges
  • Securing essential funding for mandatory pay increases for staff at Sydney's girls refuges.

Roxanne has  been an active member of the Board of Detour House and the Girls Refuge, and continues to advocate on behalf of women experiencing Domestic and Family Violence.

Woman with tanned skin and long black hair wearing a black singlet and jeans crouching in a natural setting hugging a blonde coloured dog
Honourable Mention for Citizen of the Year, Eleftheria Prodromou

Ellie’s devotion to all animals and to her charity is unparalleled. Almost singlehandedly, she has developed the Penny Marathon and tended to its growth via an expanding schedule of markets and public events. Although she has had a full-time job as editor and senior journalist since 2010, all her free time is devoted to the animal charity ‘Penny Marathon’. In doing so, she has raised much-needed funds and awareness for animal welfare and demonstrated practical compassion to community members of all ages.

Penny Marathon has been actively working in Australia since 2012 and has contributed significantly to the animal community by demonstrating active concern for the rights, welfare, well-being and/or advancement of companion animals. Her commitment and tireless work have benefited hundreds of stray cats and dogs who have been spayed, medically treated, fed and/or rehomed. Penny Marathon also financially assists local animal charities that may be struggling due to an excessive number of pets in need of help. Desexing, fostering and rehoming are additional services provided by Penny Marathon to our local community and beyond.

Ms Prodromou is also a strong advocate for recycling and repurposing goods and for healthy living. The PM market stores, supported by Reverse Garbage, retail items including pet bandanas made from material scraps, pompoms made from unwanted wool, and baskets woven from reclaimed council banners, to name just a few. These innovations raise funds for animals in need, while helping the local community to see unwanted material in a new way.

Image credit: Jo Lyons Photography

Inner West Council Young Citizen of the Year 2020

Young man with tanned skin, dark features and dark hair wearing a blue button up shirt in a natural setting
Daniel Lahood is Inner West Council’s 2020 Young Citizen of the Year

Daniel is a young man who is a passionate advocate for social justice in the Inner west and helps make significant connections between members of our community through intergenerational activities such as Neighbour Aid Shopping, serving in his local church and as a prefect at ABHS (Ashfield Boys High School).

As the 1,000th Scholarship recipient, and a 2019 recipient of the Jeff Shaw Unions NSW Scholar, Daniel was a guest speaker for the Public Education Foundation Presentation Night on May 15th 2019 at the Sydney Town Hall. He received the School Leader Recognition award from Jo Haylen MP in 2018. He was also the recipient of the Amy Large Youth Volunteering Award from the Inner West Council in the same year.

Daniel's passion for studying law has allowed him to be chosen for various opportunities, including being selected to spend the day at the Supreme Court of NSW as an associate for Her Honour Judge Julia Lonergan SC.

Inner West Council Senior Citizens of the Year 2020

Joint Winners Simon Chapman & Peggy Lane are the Inner West Council's Senior Citizens of the Year 2020

Simon ChapmanMan with fair skin and short grey hair wearing a black button up shirt and black leather jacket leaning on a pile of books placed on a polished timber table in front of a large bookcase filled with books

Professor Simon Chapman, is a highly respected Australian academic and health activist.

Most recently, his brainchild, a festival in which all musicians perform free, became reality with the first St.Anmore Festival of Music taking place in November 2019. In 2016, he suggested to his neighbour Richard Gill AO, a renowned Sydney musical identity, that their shared suburb of Stanmore might be a great place to pilot an Australian Festival of Music, inspired by the French Fete de la Musique.

He always steps forward to serve on boards and work with community organisations from the Cancer Council, to Gun Control, and even the Australian Koi Association. He was Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney, a sociologist whose PhD examined the semiotics of cigarette advertising, and has authored 17 books and major reports, 281 papers and 150 letters and commentaries in peer reviewed journals. Chapman is a regular writer on public health matters in leading Australian newspapers, having written over 200 opinion page and journalistic articles since 1981. He teaches annual courses in Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control in the University of Sydney's MPH program.

Image Credit: Tim Levy


Peggy LaneWoman with fair skin and grey hair pulled back wearing a white and black zippered jumper

Peggy’s impact and influence on the community of Marrickville is immeasurable. After 45 years at SDN Marrickville she has taught and cared for thousands of members of our community. She has imparted her humour and wisdom to hundreds of families. Peggy holds a deep knowledge of our community, remembering times different from now. She has supported so many parents in her time, and helped so many young people.

Peggy had no childcare qualifications when she began her career, but patience and kindness for all the children of our community. Over all those years, Mrs Lane has never tired of children. She doesn't mind the tantrums, the nappies or the squabbles. "Children never bother me, no matter what their behaviour, or what they're about," she said. "[Grown up] people do."

Even after 45 years as a dedicated member of the SDN staff, Peggy still wants to give back to the community by volunteering after her retirement. Peggy plans to continue caring for children at hospitals or through library programs.


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Page last updated: 18 May 2021