Lane Cove’s Annual Citizenship Awards 2021

Lane Cove’s Annual Citizenship Awards were held on Wednesday, 19 May 2021, to recognise some amazing Lane Cove residents and their achievements.  It was fitting that the awards were held during National Volunteer Week.

This year the awards also included Neighbour Day Awards.  These awards recognised neighbours who make a difference in their streets.  You can read about these great neighbours here.

Lane Cove Citizen of the Year

The citizen of the year criteria is a Lane Cove resident who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to Lane Cove’s community life, a Lane Cove resident who is an outstanding achiever or an eminent Lane Cove resident who contributes to community identity and pride.

The 2021 Citizen of the Year was John Devine.  John is the Chair of Sydney Community Services.  John joined the board of Sydney Community Services (or Lane Cove Community Aid, as it was then known) in February 2000.   Sydney Community Services has over 70 paid staff and more than 300 active volunteers (including John, his wife and other board members).

Sydney Community Services provide valuable services to the elderly, disadvantaged, people with a disability and the vulnerable in Lane Cove and Hunters Hill.  Their services have been needed even more since COVID-19, and John Devine and his team had to work extremely hard to “pivot” and keep up with the extra demand for their services (which includes meals on wheels).  Sydney Community Services also publishes The Village Observer.   They also work with Delvena Women’s Refuge Lane Cove to provide much-needed food and grocery items.  Find out more about the Sydney Community Services on our podcast here.

Special Lifetime Achievement Award

Past Citizen of the Year, Guy Warren was awarded a special lifetime achievement award.  Guy Warren is one of Australia’s greatest living artists.  The award was presented to Guy as he celebrates his centenary year.  The award acknowledges his long-standing support to art in Lane Cove which began 60 years ago when he arrived in Greenwich.  Find out more about Guy Warren here.

Gallery Lane Cove is currently presenting a major centenary survey exhibition of Guy Warren’s artworks, spanning his creative arc as a painter from the 1940s through to his self-proclaimed time of great productivity during 2020.  Entrance to the exhibition is free.

Gallery Lane Cove + Creative Studios is located in the building directly across from the Lane Cove Library.

Guy Warren – Cave 1997

Young Achiever Award

The Young Achiever award is presented to a Lane Cove Resident aged between 12 to 25.

Tommasso Signorello received this award for achievements in Fencing and his charity work.  He won a gold medal in the under 12 boys foil at the NSW Fencing Association biggest international children’s competition to be held in Australia – the Koala Challenge and Friendship Cup.  Last year Tommasso donated all his Christmas presents to the children living at Delvena Women’s Refuge.

Access and Disability Award

Nibu Café was the recipient of the Access and Disability Award. Nick and his team at Cafe Nibu received their award in recognition of their partnership with Sydney Community Services and Lane Cove Council to offer a safe place for Lane Cove’s Dementia Cafe.  The Dementia Cafe is a weekly social gathering for people living with dementia, their carers, family, and friends held every Tuesday from 10.00 AM to 12 noon.

A “street library” is also located in Nibu Café Nibu Café is located in the Village Shopping Centre This street library was created by Lane Cove local Em Patterson (who you can read about below).

Nick also has been a great supporter of the Mercy Centre Australia. You may notice their aprons are made from unused QANTAS First Class Seat Material, which they buy to support Mercy Centre Australia.  Read more here.

Music Art and Culture Awards

Karen Aubrey has been a member of the Lane Cove Historical Society since 2016.  Since then, she has devoted considerable time and energy to Carisbrook Historic House.  She volunteers as a guide, showing visitors around the house.  She is also heavily involved in the events at Carisbrook Historic House, such as their Jazz events and high teas.   She also maintains the Lane Cove Historical Society’s website, Facebook page and Instagram Page (and she also makes sure ITC knows when an event is on!!).  Carisbrook Historic House’s next Open Weekend is 19th and 20th June 2021.  More details here.


Carolyn Shaw has been Honorary Secretary of Lane Cove Music Since 2012.  Lane Cove Music was formed in 1946 to provide good music for the Lane Cove community and to provide performance opportunities for classical musicians. Some of those who have performed for Lane Cove Music include Joan Sutherland, June Gough (Bronhill), Peter Dawson, Simon Tedeschi, Amelia Farrugia and Richard Tognetti.

Carolyn has automated many processes for Lane Cove Music and oversaw the implementation of their new website (on time and within budget).  The website project saw Carolyn devote over 100 voluntary hours.

She also took the lead on incorporating Lane Cove Music as an incorporated association.

Lane Cove Music’s next concert is on 22 June 2021, and Carolyn and Lane Cove Music would love to see you there. More details here.

Sports Award

John O’Farrell has led the development of Girls Cricket at the Lane Cove Cricket Club and developed pathways for the girls into the North Shore representative teams.   It all started in spring 2018 with one Under 11’s team of eight girls.  In summer 2019, that grew to three teams with 22 players.

In 2019, ITC reported the following:

“Girl’s cricket is alive and well in Lane Cove!!!

Thank you to John O’Farrell from the Lane Cove Cricket Club, who sent us photos and reported the following:

“Yesterday’s first-ever U11 Girls Cricket Grand Final was contested by two teams from Lane Cove (LC Healy defeated LC Sthalekar) at Blackman Upper, and Local Member Anthony Roberts officiated at the coin toss.

It was an outstanding season for the Lane Cove girls with all 3 teams participating in the finals series.”

In the Spring/Summer 2019/20 session, there were three Under 13 teams with 24 girls and three Under 11 team with 20 players.  One team in each age group made it to the semi-finals.

Without John O’Farrell and his dedication, girl’s cricket would not be thriving in Lane Cove.

You can find out more about John in our podcast here.

By the way, John does all of this, even though his daughters are no longer eligible to play junior cricket.

Community Sevice Awards

Community Service Awards are presented to Lane Cove residents who as a volunteer or administrator make a significant contribution to the community or have had significant success in their chosen field.

Prue Carroll is a tireless volunteer for many local organisations which support Lane Cove residents.   She volunteered for numerous years as the fundraiser coordinator of the Lower North Shore Multiple Birth Association.  She organised first aid seminars and events for parents to connect.  She was also Vice President of the Australian Multiple Births Association.  She has been an active member of the Lane Cove Public School P&C, raising funds for the school band and being the fundraising coordinator.   The Lane Cove Netball Club and the Lane Cove Fun Run have also benefited from Prue’s efforts.

In 2019, Lane Cove local Linda Botter organised the Liverity Spring Fashion Gala. The Fashion Show was designed to celebrate life through community engagement.  The inaugural event empowered local cancer patients to model the latest spring fashions through the kind generosity and community spirit of Lane Cove. A team of Lane Cove locals (including Prue) donated their time to help Linda to stage a very successful event.  All money raised from the event was donated to Can Assist.  You can read more about Can Assist here.


Lyn Du was recognised for her decade of service to the Linley Point community.  Lyn formed and chairs the LINC committee of community-minded residents that arrange get-togethers twice a year.  The events have included morning breakfasts, evening drinks, a movie night, a children’s petting zoo and a children’s talent quest.  With the changing demographics of Linley point (including a wide variety of culturally diverse neighbours), these gatherings have been valuable in breaking down barriers and bringing residents together.


Paul Johnson is a long time Longueville resident and, over the years, has been involved in a range of local causes to help benefit the community.  In particular, Paul has been on the board of Pottery Gardens, which is a housing service offering accommodation services for many older residents who would find it a struggle to afford private rented housing.  Pottery Gardens offers self-care, self-contained units for 58 individuals and 8 couples.

Paul has gone above and beyond his volunteer role to ensure the continued successful management and operation of Pottery Gardens to a high standard.

You will often see Paul out and about Lane Cove with his grandchildren.


Margaret Miller has lived in Lane Cove for over 50 years.  Margaret is a keen gardener, and her garden is a mass of fruit and vegetable plants. Margaret spends most of her weekend volunteering her time through Lane Cove Council’s bushcare programme.  Margaret has been an active member of the Bushcare programme for more than a decade and spends countless hours cleaning up and weeding (particularly at the Moore Street Bushcare site).

When accepting her award, Margaret said, I went to plant a tree, and I am still there.

Emily Patterson is a Lane Cove powerhouse. Emily is involved in many committees and local organisations, including the Lane Cove Public School P & C and the Lane Cove Theatre Company.    She has been the driving force behind the Lane Cove Public School Art Shows, Year 6 plays, and Gala nights.  She donates her time volunteering in the uniform shop and school canteen. She is the founding member of a mentoring community programme for Gifted and Talented Children, and she maintains the social media pages for numerous local community groups.


Sarah Smyth is a mum of five and the founder of the Junior Jivers Programme (a toddler/preschool music programme).  Junior Jivers connects mums, dads, carers and grandparents at St Aidan’s Longueville.  She volunteers her time to organise the programme and teaches each week on a volunteer basis.  She is a regular volunteer in multiple classrooms, a class mum each year, participates in reading groups and is on the school council.

Leadership Award

The Leadership Award recognises a Lane Cove resident who provides leadership or is a role model to others within Lane Cove.

Alison Cappetta was awarded this year’s Leadership Award.  Alison has been a volunteer and Lane Cove Guides leader for Junior Guides and Guides for almost 10 years.   She has made a huge difference to Guides in Lane Cove.  Every term, Alison plans activities to inspire and develop the Guides to be positive and engaged members of the Lane Cove Community.  You will see Alison each year at the Lane Cove Council ANZAC day ceremony.  The Guides play an important part in the ceremony, and she is always there leading them.  During COVID19 lockdown, she ran guiding sessions over Zoom.

Workplace General Award

The Workplace General Award is awarded to anyone who works in Lane Cove, whether as an employer or employee, and has made a significant contribution in their field.

Wade Death – Jack & Co

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia named Wade Death their 2020
Small Business Champion in recognition of his efforts during the bushfires and COVID19 pandemic.

Since that time, Wade has also been involved in helping out Flood victims and providing food and water to the SES.

Jack & Co has four stores.  One is located in Northwood, one in Pymble and two in Taree (where Wade grew up).  Wade went to school in Lane Cove at St Ignatius College Riverview.

In November 2019,  Taree was cut off from the highway amid raging bushfires.

To fight the fire fronts that were burning in all directions, firefighters needed 24-hour access to fuel. But there was one problem: all the large 24-hour petrol stations had closed.

The state’s emergency services asked Wade to keep his businesses open into the night, and he agreed to help however he could.

Wade kept his stores open entire weekends, and his staff worked double shifts to ensure volunteers from the Rural Fire Service (RSF) had enough fuel and food to keep going.

For Wade, 2020 demanded significant resilience as he responded first to the bushfires and then the pandemic.

“When Taree was cut off because of the fires, most of the large businesses had shut down. But we took a very different attitude of ‘if we shut down, the RFS won’t be able to fight the fire, and it’ll be a disaster.”

By March, the bushfires had subsided, and the coronavirus pandemic was spreading across the globe.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Wade made sure his customers could access everything they needed at his service stations, with his team contacting restaurants that had been forced to close and purchasing essentials such as flour, rice and toilet paper to sell them in the service stations.

Wade’s team was also quick to set up COVID-19 safety measures and organise a supply of locally produced sanitiser.

“We had screens up and sanitiser available before anyone,” he said.

“We started ringing around, and it turned out that Brookfarm from Byron Bay, who make muesli bars, also had a gin distillery, and they were looking at producing hand sanitiser”.

Wade told Brookfarm that if it made sanitiser, he would take the entire product, so when it produced its first batch, he had three pallets of sanitiser delivered to his stores when no one else had any available.

On top of operating his stores, Wade heads the industry organisation, the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA).

Reflecting on leading ACAPMA in 2020, Death said industry bodies are vital in providing advice to small businesses and advocating on their behalf to the government.

“I felt that ACAPMA had a role to play for the small business in helping them decipher the very rapidly changing rules and regulations so that we could help small businesses survive what was such a challenging time,” he said.

Jack & Co also employ many young Lane Cove locals in his Northwood store.

He has also raised money for local schoolboy Alex Nobel who was injured in a Rugby match.  Jack & Co raised $35 000 in 35 days.  Read more here.

Philippa King (or Pip as many know her) is a year six teacher at Lane Cove Public School. She has been teaching for over 40 years and for the last 27 years, she has been at LCPS.

Her impressive work in the creative arts sector at the school is synonymous with Mrs King. She introduced the art enrichment programme allowing students from Kindergarten to year 6 to participate in art lessons with professional artists – a programme that has now been running for 10 years.  In recent years it has culminated with an exhibition at Gallery Lane Cove raising over $13 000 in art sales.

More recently Philipa has introduced the S.E.A.T project to the school.  An opportunity for students to explore and apply their own creativity to a tangible object.  The timber seats have been sold off in partnership with the Royal North Shore Hospital with all proceeds going to charity.

Each year Philippa organises the Year 6 musical with students given the opportunity to participate in 3 sold-out performances each year.  In 2019, more than 100 students had a part to play.  Then there is the Year 6 bush camp, Year 6 fete and more…

Last year, ITC had the pleasure of meeting Philippa when she organised a year six-time capsule.  Read more here.

Philippa King on the far left

Lane Cove Council Employee Awards

Alex Cuthbertson has been with the Lane Cove Council for eight years.  He started as a building supervisor and is now the Manager – Facilities.

He has been involved in the fit-out/upgrade/refurbishments of the following:

  • Lane Cove Community Hub;
  • Greenwich Baths;
  • Lane Cove Gallery and Creative Studios;
  • Waterview Community Centre;
  • Carisbrook Historic House;
  • Kingsford Smith Oval Pavilion.

He is currently working on the Tantallon Oval Pavillion.

Alex makes sure all his projects incorporate the latest sustainability and technology initiatives.

Alex was also involved in the rebuilding of the 50m outdoor pool in Lane Cove.   He was also the driving force behind Lane Cove, donating water to drought-stricken areas in NSW.

On 18th December 2019, over 225,000 litres of water made a splash in drought-stricken Armidale! On 19 December 2019  trucks delivered another 225,000 litres. The water has already been deposited into a water tank and a dam at Armidale Airport used by the Rural Fire Service (RFS) for RFS helicopters and firefighting efforts across Northern NSW from the Queensland border to Tamworth.

In 2019, the Mayor of Armidale Regional Council, Simon Murray, thanked Council and the Lane Cove community for the water. “I wanted to thank you personally for thinking of us and choosing to donate the pool water to our Council and kicking off the donation drive to make it happen. Our Rural Fire Service’s capability to provide air support from the QLD border to Tamworth from our airport is extremely important during fire seasons. We still have 17 fires burning on our shire boundaries and 2 within our shire. Please also extend our thanks to your Council and community.”

Dan Sommerville – Parks Supervisor, is responsible for the Lane Cove Depot’s day-to-day operations and a range of open space services.  He has been with the Lane Cove Council for 15 years.  He was recently involved in:

  • Depot modification for the co-location of Hunters Hill Council Depot at the Lane Cove West Depot;
  • Assisting with the upgrade of the Deborah Hutchens Playground at Longueville Park; and
  • Project Delivery of the Puppy Tail Cafe at Blackman Park.

The above is in addition to his general playground and parks maintenance and upgrades.  During the COVID19 lockdwon, Dan was instrumental in ensuring the depot was operational and safe, continuing to deliver important services and open spaces for the community to enjoy at a time when open space and recreation were an important part of the overall wellbeing.

Outstanding Business of the Year

The outstanding business of the year was Shiftlineup.  Shiflineup is a technology company located in Lane Cove West Business Park.  They traditionally provide technology solutions to large multinational mobile field force.  When COVID19 hit last year, they wanted to use their existing technology to provide a quick and easy visitor recording mechanism.

Lane Cove businesses had in place QR codes months before the Service NSW check in-app was developed, and other suburbs were relying on people using pens and paper to record where they had been.  You can read more here.

Not only did they provide the QR technology, but they also helped Lane Cove Council generate individual posters and login details for each venue.  Their chief technology officer is a Lane Cove local.  Lane Cove Council said it was a team project and one that reflects a great partnership with local businesses demonstrating how one can excel in their field while also taking care of the local community.

Well Done

Well done to all these great Lane Cove Achievers and the people who nominated them.  If you know someone who is a Lane Cove legend or leader, make sure you nominate them next year.

If you would like to get involved in the Lane Cove Community and volunteer – here are some local volunteering opportunities.

In The Cove New Features

In The Cove is now producing a weekly Lane Cove Property Update.  See our latest update here. 

If you are selling, ask your agent if they are an ITC Lane Cove Property Guide supporter.

Are you looking for a local job? In the Cove is fast becoming the GO TO place for local businesses to list local jobs. Why – because we are passionate about local jobs for local people, and we offer FREE listings to help our local businesses and local residents.
If you have a local job email us at [email protected] with your job details.