On Australia Day 2021, Robert Cappello, GPSO Board President was awarded the Citizen of the Year. Robert has worked tirelessly to improve the livelihood of people with disabilities across the Riverina.
It is a journey which has seen him touch the hearts of hundreds across Griffith.
He has endeavoured to create jobs and better opportunities for people living with disabilities, led the construction of a “second to none” disability centre, and now he is working to provide state of the art accommodation, to help those with disabilities live independent lives.
Speaking to The Area News, Robert said it was a great honour to receive the recognition from the town in which he was born and raised.
“It is just such a shock that I got recognised,” he said. “Especially because I don’t do it for that, I do it all because I love it … it’s a passion.”
Robert was full of praise for Griffith as a whole when acknowledging his prize, describing the community as “unique” and praising their ability to regularly come together and support community projects.
“When you’re in need, Griffith stands up,” he said.
General Manager at GPSO, Roy Catanzariti has worked with Robert for over a decade. He said he couldn’t think of a more deserving winner.
“He’s just a great community person, he’s very passionate and naturally loving … he just wants to help people,” Roy said.
“He’s always been a mentor for me. He definitely deserves it … he gives his 100 per cent to GPSO all the time.”
Ropbert beat out stiff competition to pick up the top prize, with some iconic Griffith residents also nominated.