Media Release
The 2023 Sydney Awards recognise extraordinary city shapers, creative brilliance and change makers
16 August, 2023

Media contact

Matt Levinson

The winners of the third annual Sydney Awards have been announced at a special event this evening at the Hilton in Sydney.

Celebrating those who have helped shape Sydney to be the best it can be, the winners of the prestigious awards include:

Global Sydney Award – William Barton

Over two decades, William has forged a global profile as a performer and composer in the classical musical world, from the Philharmonic Orchestras of London and Berlin to historic events at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day 2019, Anzac Cove and the Beijing Olympics. With his prodigious musicality and the quiet conviction of his Kalkadunga heritage, he has vastly expanded the horizons of the didgeridoo — and the culture and landscape it represents. Proudly supported by ISPT.

City Visionary Award – Dr Sarah Hill and Geoff Roberts AO

Over the past 15 years, Sarah and Geoff have shifted the balance of Sydney to the west, through sophisticated land use, transport and economic planning with the Greater Sydney Commission and Western Parkland City Authority, spurring a transformational wave of infrastructure construction and cultural change. Proudly supported by McDonald Jones Homes.

Western Sydney Champion – Kerry Robinson OAM

Leading the largest council in the state, Kerry serves more than 415,000 residents. Under his leadership, Blacktown is delivering a city shaping program of infrastructure and facility construction, as well as delivering an extraordinarily broad service of high quality. His passion for the area is infectious, he’s a natural choice as Western Sydney Champion. Proudly supported by Endeavour Energy.

Unsung Hero Award – Fiona Campbell

Fiona has been instrumental in transforming Sydney into a proactive cycling city for a broad cross-section of the community, from kids to seniors and people living with disability. Through her championship spanning more than two decades, Fiona has brought together the ideas, people, technical expertise and excitement to get cycling firmly on the agenda in local, state and federal government. Proudly supported by Uber.

Emerging Leader Award – Cheryne El Hawat

Cheryne left a budding career in law to dedicate her efforts to improving the lives of others facing challenges in Australia and abroad. Already she has inspired many with her strategic leadership in the development of sustainable programs that are directly impacting social issues like poverty, malnutrition, access to healthcare and homelessness due to domestic violence in Sydney. Cheryne manages teams in Australia and Cambodia, and coordinates programs in 10+ different countries from an office in Yagoona. Proudly supported by KPMG.

The 2023 judging panel for the Sydney Awards included:

  • The Hon. Morris Iemma, 40th Premier of NSW
  • Tanya Hosch, Executive GM of Social Policy and Inclusion, AFL
  • Professor Eric Knight, Executive Dean, Macquarie Business School
  • Sara Mansour, Co-founder and Artistic Director, Bankstown Poetry Slam, and lawyer
  • Lucy Turnbull AO, Chair of the Sydney Opera House, former Lord Mayor of Sydney

Eamon Waterford, CEO of the Committee for Sydney said: “I’m so inspired by this year’s winners, who remind us that what makes Sydney great is its people. These winners have literally reshaped our city, inspired us with their creative brilliance, and challenged us to dig deep and support others.

“There’s a simple idea at the heart of these awards that what makes Sydney special is not just the physical beauty or the economic power, it’s also the people.”

Professor Eric Knight, Executive Dean of Macquarie Business School, and Sydney Awards judge said: “Macquarie Business School prides itself on educating future business leaders to rethink, reimagine and rewrite the world as we know it.

In a dynamic and often unpredictable world, this means improving the way we do business, making real societal impact and stabilising our economy. Sponsoring the Sydney Awards allows us, in partnership with the Committee for Sydney, to celebrate and elevate the best and brightest of Sydney.”