Australia Day Award Winners

Published on 26 January 2024

Media Release

Warren Hickey has been named Bathurst’s Citizen of the Year at today’s Australia Day awards ceremony.

The ceremony includes the announcement of this year’s Citizen of the Year; Living Legends, Event of the Year, Youth Arts Awards, Greening Bathurst Jo Ross Award and the National Trust Award.

Biographies for the Citizen of the Year/Living Legends are attached.

Deputy Mayor of Bathurst Cr Ben Fry congratulated all the recipients on their Australia Day awards.

“The commitment and dedication of all our awards winners across each of the categories is remarkable. It is a tribute to our community that we have so many individuals who give up their time and energy for others and work to make our region a better place to live.”

“It was an honour to be able to present our Citizen of the Year, Warren Hickey, with this year’s award. The first time Council has coordinated the award process. Warren’s work with the youth of our community and helping change lives for the better is to be applauded. Like so many, he hasn’t looked for accolades for what he has done to help turn young lives around, but this award is a perfect opportunity to recognize his efforts, and for the community to say thank you.”

“Our Living Legends once again reflect the values that the award typifies. They have all made a significant contribution to our community over many years. Often their work goes unnoticed by many, but again, this is an opportunity for their peers to shine a light on what they’ve achieved.”

“To everyone who has been recognised at today’s ceremony, congratulations,” Cr Fry said.

2024 Citizen of the Year

· Warren Hickey

2024 Living Legends

· Kaye Price
· Dean Oxley
· Janet Page OAM
· Warren Hickey
· Vanessa Pringle

Event of the Year

· Destination – Mount Panorama Punish
· Community – Bathurst Gardeners Club Spring Spectacular Open Garden Weekend
· New – The Big Lunch

Youth Arts Awards

· Isabel Sargeant

Greening Bathurst Jo Ross Award – to be advised on the day
National Trust Award

· Alexander ‘Sandy’ Bathgate OAM


Warren Hickey - Citizen of the Year & Living Legend
Sensei Warren Hickey has been a true leader, teacher, and mentor in our Bathurst community for over 40 years. He has a passion for the Martial Arts/Karate. Warren is a highly regarded and respected educational and youth program co-ordinator who provides to the community through his business - Precision Martial Arts. Warren strongly advocates for positive change and has volunteered his time on hundreds of occasions to assist young people and their families, sometimes to the detriment of his own family.

Warren has worked across many schools in Bathurst providing personal health and wellbeing programs for both boys and girls at risk. Warren's ability to find the good in a young person and help them channel their energies toward positive outcomes has turned the lives of many students around for many years, and he has watched their growth and sense of self-worth improve after being included in these programs. Warren's ability and skill at connecting and communicating with young people who are off track in their daily lives has significantly reduced youth issues around Bathurst over time. In 2023 Warren was awarded the Most Outstanding Martial Arts School in Bathurst. Warren has successfully competed in tournaments at State, National and International levels winning many titles across all areas including a World Championship. Warren's contribution to our community is valued immensely.

Living Legends:

Kaye Price
Kaye has lived in Bathurst for more than 50 years. In the early 1970s Kaye was part of the committee which established the West Bathurst Pre School. While raising her family and working full-time, Kaye was a member of Bathurst Inner Wheel, Bathurst Business & Professional Women, Bathurst Regional Eats & Drinks, Bathurst Trefoil Guild, and held many roles on the Bathurst Uniting Church Council. After retiring in 2005, Kaye started a small walking group to keep people fit, while engaging with others. Every week for 18 years, Kaye has led the group on an hour-long 4-5km walk around the city, followed by coffee and socialising. Three years ago, Kaye was approached to lead a similar group for U3A, which she gladly took on and continues to run every week. Over the last 12 years, Kaye has been on the Bathurst Regional Council Organising Committee for the Seniors Festival, and in the nine years before COVID, Kaye led a 'Hymns of Praise' service at the Uniting Church. Kaye has been an active member of the Bathurst Ladies Probus Club for the last 18 years, having served two years as President and producing the club's newsletter for several years. For many years Kaye has volunteered at Meals on Wheels, the Cool Climate Wine Show, and the Bathurst Eisteddfod.

Dean Oxley
Dean is a quiet achiever who is a highly respected member of our Bathurst community. He worked at Stannies for 24 years as Head of Sport, Head of Boarding and PDHPE coordinator prior to becoming a psychologist in the Bathurst Community. A move that allowed Dean to contribute more to the general community of Bathurst. He started working as a psychologist in 2010 and opened his private practice in in 2017 with 3 other psychologists.

The COVID years placed a large portion of the local community at risk and had a major effect on the prevalence of anxiety and depression. Dean supports and encourages community engagement across the many clubs and organisations in Bathurst as a positive therapeutic approach for his patients that builds connection and fosters wellbeing and belonging.

Dean has been involved with Bathurst Bulldogs Rugby Union club for many years. He was awarded life membership in 2023 for his commitment to the club. He is the current Bulldogs first grade coach and the NSW Country Cockatoos (Opens Men's rugby team) coach.

Janet Page OAM
Jan is a Bathurst-born, retired educator with a love of her hometown and a passion for its heritage. She shares stories about Bathurst's heritage through talks, tours and writing. She has researched and conducted tours during the Annual Autumn Colours Heritage Festival around the Bathurst Community including many stories behind the headstones in Bathurst Cemetery during Cemetery Wanders with Bathurst Family History Group where she is President. She has been heavily involved in the completion of Bathurst War Memorial Carillon and she was part of the Carillon Group from 2017- 2021. She is a founding

member and the President of the Friends of Bathurst War Memorial Carillon. She has developed and coordinated several exhibitions highlighting the history of the Carillon including the 2018 exhibition in Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, the permanent display in Bathurst District Historical Society Museum, a 90th Anniversary display in Bathurst Library, and the Honouring Our Digggers in the Walshaw Hall. In 2008 she coordinated the 75th Anniversary celebrations. She has written resources for schools, 50 weekly items for Bathurst City Life in 2018 and a series of six articles printed in Bathurst Chimes (the journal of Bathurst Family History Group). She has given six public talks including two Musters for the Bathurst District Historical Society and also tours of the Carillon. Jan is involved in her local community, Napoleon Reef, where she has shared aspects of the areas history through three displays in 2017 - 2019. She is a founding member and President of the Napoleon Reef, Walang & Glanmire Residents Association.

Vanessa Pringle
Vanessa is a small business owner who has been operating her business in Bathurst since 2011.

Over the last 12 years, she has grown the business and has supported hundreds of Bathurst community groups, schools, not-for-profit organisations including sporting clubs with donations and contributions. Vanessa restored the historic building that she operates from to its 1880 glory and received a Certificate of Merit from a Bathurst Heritage Group. Vanessa provides flower transport for 15 florists covering areas as far as Lithgow, Orange, Mudgee, Dubbo and beyond. Vanessa has held multiple fundraising events, in 2023 Vanessa raised $11,090 and $12,000 in 2022 for Daffodil Day and held a flower making workshop in 2022 raising $6,000 for Lifeline Central West. Vanessa has won seven Bathurst Business Awards including Business Leader and the prestigious award of Business of the Year. She has also most recently been titled Australian Small Business Champion and Florist of the Year 2023 for the Fresh Awards. These are some of the highest levels of achievement in the floral industry nationwide. Vanessa’s contribution to the Bathurst community, her position as a strong female business leader, and her passion for ‘keeping it local’ are all clear to be seen by all who meet her. Bathurst is lucky to have a person of her calibre and drive working to make it a great place.

More information: Therese Ryan Manager Corporate Communications
P: 02 6333 6202 M: 0437 958 478 E:





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