Shellharbour City residents recognised on Australia Day

Australia Day Shellharbour style

Dorothy Dean and Jason Carrasco are Shellharbour City Council’s Australia Day award winners. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

TWO Shellharbour City residents have received recognition for their extensive community work at the Australia Day Celebrations.

Twenty-one year old cancer survivor, Jason Carrasco was named Young Citizen of the year, while Albion Park RSL Sub Branch member Dorothy Dean received the Citizen of the Year Award.

Shellharbour City Mayor Marrianne Saliba said the two recipients were more than worthy winners.

‘‘Jason’s work has had a huge impact not just in our area but the broader community as well, his work with the You Can centres has given young people battling cancer an important place to come together and share their stories and experiences and he shows the quality of young people we have in our region,’’ Cr Saliba said.

‘‘Dorothy is just an absolute gem and shows the calibre of volunteers we have in the region, her work not only with the RSL and their Day Club programs, but with Meals On Wheels and other organisations helps a large number of people and it’s great we can recognise somebody like her.’’

Mr Carrasco, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 18 said the award was a shock and dedicated it to close friend Cassie Nascimento, who passed away following a battle with brain cancer.

‘‘This award was definitely a shock, the things I’ve done have never been to win an award, they’ve been to help people and to keep Cassie’s memory alive,’’ he said.

‘‘When I was in treatment, Cassie was always there for me, she was in remission then and then she relapsed, I just wanted to help people the way she helped me and keep her memory alive, this award is for her as much as it is for me.’’

You Can is a youth cancer program founded by the Sony Foundation of which Mr Carrasco is an ambassador, last year his You can Walk For Cass event raised $70, 000 for the program.

Mrs Dean, a former member of the air force, also said she was surprised to have been named a recipient.

‘‘When I heard I was nominated I was shocked, then I saw the calibre of the others who had been nominated and I thought any of them should win befor me,’’ she said.

‘‘A lot of my walk has been with elderly people and I just think it’s important to give back to them.

‘‘They’re people who have gone through the hard times, women who had to look after the house and family while their husbands where at war, these people have gone through so much and I think it’s important there’s somebody to help them now when they need it.’’

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