Tireless Highland Bikes 4 Life volunteer and cycle repairman Hans Radowitz has been named Wingecarribee Shire’s 2019 Australia Day Citizen of the Year.
Since 2010 Hans and his team have collected and repaired over 2,700 bicycles for disadvantaged communities in developing countries.
Hans initially began collecting and restoring bicycles through the Bundanoon Men’s Shed before connecting with the Sydney chapter of Bicycles for Humanity and moving to the Moss Vale Resource Recovery Centre.
With the assistance of a small team of volunteers Hans has since filled six shipping containers packed with bicycles, wheelchairs and walkers which have been donated to the less fortunate. On arrival at their destination these bikes are distributed to school children and health care workers to help cover distances normally travelled by foot.
As a result of the team’s efforts the amount of bicycles donated to the Southern Highlands branch of Bikes 4 Life is amongst the highest in the country.
Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Darcy Howard.
In 2018 the Chevalier College Vice Captain penned a poem highlighting the plight and mental health issues associated with drought and farming. ‘Little Buster’ went on to receive national media coverage.
Wingecarribee Shire Mayor, Councillor Duncan Gair congratulated both recipients saying they were fabulous examples of the Southern Highlands community spirit.
“We’re very fortunate to have such dedicated, hardworking and compassionate people in our Shire and the Highlands is without doubt a better place as a result of their selfless contributions.
“Choosing just two recipients from such a wonderful selection of worthy nominees was a truly difficult task.”
“These awards provide an opportunity for Council and the broader community to recognise those residents who continue to work for the betterment of our community,” the Mayor added.
Both recipients will be presented with their awards during Wingecarribee Shire’s Australia Day celebrations at Berrima on Saturday 26 January starting from 9.30am.