A Kenya Named Parramatta City Citizen of the Year in Australia


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Parramatta Council announced Rosemary Kariuki-Ffye as it’s Citizen of the Year in a ceremony this morning.

The Senior Citizen of the Year award was given to Bruce Allen, Rebecca Gray was declared the Young Citizen of the Year and the Sportsperson of the Year was announced as Tatafu Polota-Nau.

The Granville Men’s Shed was declared the Community Project of the Year.

Nicholas Alexander Brice, who died tragically in an abseiling incident in 2011, was also awarded a posthumous Citizen of the Year Award.

Ms Kariuki-Ffye, who works as the Multicultural Liaison Officer for Holroyd Police, said she was very surprised to be declared Citizen of the Year because she hadn’t realised she was nominated.

"I feel honoured to win, it’s a wonderful feeling," Ms Kariuki-Ffye said.

Originally from Kenya, Ms Kariuki Ffye received the honour for her work with the African Village Market, a program aimed at helping African migrants start their own businesses, which she founded.

She has also been running the African Women’s Dinner for the past six years.

When accepting her award Ms Kariuki-Ffye told the crowd that she had just told her friends on Facebook that she was very proud to be an Australian.

"And I asked them, how have you given back to Australia today?

"I think it’s so important that we all give back to Australia.

"If we all gave back something small imagine, what a better, better place this will be."

Ms Kariuki-Ffye said when she came to Australia as a refugee in 1999 she didn’t have any posessions and now she feels very lucky for everything that she has.

Young Citizen of the Year, Rebecca Gray, 17, said she felt humbled by her win.

Rebecca won the award for her work with the Northmead Uniting Church Kid’s Club program durin the past five years.

The program aims to provide social, spiritual and emotional experiences for children aged three to six.

"I was part of the program myself and when I reached high school I wanted to get involved and help out," Rebecca, of Oatlands said.

"I love working with children, it’s something I’m realy passionate about and I’d like to be a teacher when I’m older."

The Men’s Shed was recognised for its work with men in the area.

The project, which is run by the Granville Multicultural Centre aims to rovide men with a safe place where men can undertake activities while learning new things.

The Sportsperson of the Year winner, rugby union player Tatafu Polota-Nau, was not available to accept the award.

Mr Polota-Nau was born in Guildford and played rugby union for Parramatta and has gone on to play for the New South Wales Waratahs and Australian Wallabies.

The Australian Wallaby hooker has played a total of 31 caps includeing the recent Rugby World Cup held in New Zealand.

Trisha Lal received the Highly Commended Young Citizen of the Year Award for her work in volunteering.

Trisha, who attends Macarthur Girls High School, said she was very happy to be recognised.

She said she enjoys volunteering because she likes to help other people.

"I enjoy making a difference in other people’s lives," Trisha, 17 said.

"Making someone else smile, makes me happy."

Nicholas Alexander Brice’s mother said she was proud to receive the award on his behalf.

"I know Nick would have had a grin from ear to ear," Mrs Brice said.

"He worked hard to give back to his community and country when he was alive and it’s wonderful that he’s been recognised."





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