THERE won’t be many Lalor Park locals who don’t know Nathan Marshall.
He is the heart and soul behind Common Groundz cafe, a non-profit business that pours more than coffee in to the community.
The cafe has become an institution in Lalor Park over the past three years and is built on principles of social enterprise — using commercial strategies to improve the community.
When Mr Marshall was named as Blacktown’s Citizen of the Year at the city’s Australia Day ceremony, mayor Len Robinson thanked him for his efforts.
‘‘Your commitment to the local community is a great reflection on yourself,’’ Councillor Robinson told him.
The council honoured Mr Marshall for his unsolicited work in Lalor Park.
Mr Marshall’s cafe provides an outreach service to residents and is staffed by volunteers.
He has co-ordinated training courses in conjunction with TAFE so people can learn hospitality skills and offers tutoring for students in the cafe after school.
Thien-Ly Nguyen, 12, was named Blacktown’s Young Citizen of the Year.
She was honoured for her exceptional achievements in music, the mayor said.
Thien-Ly was the youngest person to receive a diploma in pianoforte from the Australian Music Examinations Board last year.
In September 2012, she came first in the Bach category, and second in the restricted category, at the Inner West Eisteddfod at Strathfield.
Thien-Ly was also the 2011 school captain at St Michaels Primary School, Blacktown.
‘‘Thien-Ly’s determination and passion for her music is a great life-long skill and will serve her well in her future,’’ Cr Robinson said.
The Community Event of the Year was awarded to the annual Bidwill Blokes Breakfast.