Citizens of the Year Winners 2024

“They, like many, are quiet achievers, but our community benefits so much from their efforts and dedication.”

The words of Mayor Phyllis Miller OAM ring true as Forbes celebrates our 2024 Citizens of the Year, who were announced at the Australia Day Gala dinner held on the evening of Thursday 25 January.

Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Jessica Ashcroft who is a role model for her peers and very young for the outstanding accomplishments she has achieved.

Jessica has volunteered for many sports and community organisations, including Forbes SES during the floods, Forbes Magpies Club and Council's Forbes Youth Action Team.

Her accomplishments include receiving the Community Recognition Award from Phil Donato MP, the Women in League award in 2022, Gold Certificate for her contribution to the Forbes North Learning Community, the Central West Credit Union Monthly Achiever award and the Andrew Peet Memorial Club Achiever Award, among others.

Jessica was also a Forbes Rotary Youth Exchange Student Ambassador in Belgium for 12 months and completed a 45km walk in the 'Cargo to Grenfell' fundraiser walk to raise awareness for mental health.

Deirdre Quirk was named Senior Citizen of the Year. Deirdre is a quiet achiever who volunteers with a number of organisations within the Forbes community.

Deirdre is currently the President of the Forbes Handicraft Centre and has devoted her time volunteering there to keep the Centre operating for the benefit of its members and the Forbes Community. She has dedicated 51 years to the Centre and has held many positions in that time.

Deirdre has also served as a volunteer St John Ambulance First Aid Officer, attending many local events to provide care for the community.

She has also worked as a volunteer First Aid Instructor and spent time as an Honorary Ambulance Officer with the NSW Ambulance Service, working with local ambulance officers when they needed an extra pair of hands.

Rex and Cheryl Barton were named Citizens of the Year for their contributions to the community, helping and guiding others through representing and supporting Can Assist, Forbes Family History and the Forbes Museum.

Cheryl is a cancer survivor and she and Rex are at the forefront of Can Assist and its fundraising and support for our community.

They are both recognised as go-to people regarding family and Forbes History, with Cheryl editing the popular Family History Magazine.

Rex has volunteered in, and assisted on several major projects for, the Museum, he was a driving force in the clean-up of the Museum after it was extensively damaged in the floods.

“I hope you all draw inspiration from the contributions these citizens make to our community,” Mayor Miller said. “With outstanding citizens such as these, our community is in excellent hands”.