2019 Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year

Citizen of the Year – Helen McKay 

Volunteer swimming coach Helen McKay was nominated for her significant contribution to the community, achieving 50 years as a volunteer swimming coach in 2018. Together they coached children at the Oak Flats Swimming Club for 40 years.

Helen and her late husband Ted were recently recognised by Shellharbour City Council when the 50m Oak Flats Swimming Pool was named in their honour. 

Ted and Helen McKay began teaching learn to swim classes and swimming coaching sessions for the Oak Flats Swimming Club in 1968, three years after the pool opened. While teaching their own children to swim, they saw the need to help others and started a learn to swim program which later turned into the Oak Flats Swimming Club.

Apart from teaching kids how to swim, both coaches encouraged young competitive swimmers to do their best and the results were evident, with success at state and national levels.

Ted and Helen found success with their swimmers in the 50m pool, with the full length allowing them to build their distance, endurance, fitness and confidence. Some of their elite swimmers went on to the Olympic Games and Australian Iron Man series.

Young Citizen of the Year – Jasmine and Sienna Kaschubs (joint winners)

The Young Citizen of the Year winners are sisters Jasmine and Sienna Kaschubs, who were nominated for their commitment to the environment and waste minimisation.

They produced six videos relating to waste education and information and won two Keep Australia Beautiful Awards in October 2018.

The girls embarked on an environmental challenge, producing videos, photos and social media posts which resulted in increased engagement and awareness around waste management and environment issues in Shellharbour City. 

They worked with their local schools to raise awareness around waste and implement schemes such as ‘return and earn’.

Their sustained commitment influenced many residents and has assisted in the reduction of household waste to landfill.