A collage image featuring Urban Cakes' Jeremy Allan holding his award, alongside another image of Coromandel Valley's award-winning pecan tree.

Published on 07 May 2024

Award-winning Onkaparinga

An Oscar winner for cakes, a glut of wine honours and what might be the world’s biggest pecan tree are among Onkaparinga’s latest award-winners.

Welcome to the latest instalment of Award-winning Onkaparinga – our bi-monthly column honouring Onkaparinga businesses, organisations, groups and individuals (and, erm, trees) that have won state, national or international awards in their chosen field (see our most recent column here).

The world’s biggest pecan tree?

One of the City of Onkaparinga’s most beloved trees – a stunning pecan in Sandow Crescent reserve, Coromandel Valley – has been named 2024 South Australian Tree of the Year by 20 Metre Trees.

Voted on by the public, the competition showcases some of the state’s most amazing trees to raise awareness of the important role trees play in our local environment.

It’s believed the 17-metre-tall pecan was planted by George Summers in his orchard between 1899 and 1900 and it’s one of the oldest pecan trees in Adelaide and – according to 20 Metre Trees’ Tom Morrison – could be the largest pecan tree in the world.

And it’s not the first time the tree has won an award – it was named Tree of the Month in October 2023 by Sustainable Onkaparinga.

The tree also wasn’t the only nature-place in Onkaparinga to earn a gong these past couple of months, with Aldinga Beach (second) and Maslin Beach (third) appearing in a list of SA’s top five beaches as voted by the public in a RAA poll.

Our own Oscar winner

Onkaparinga has its very own Oscar winner – for cakes that is. Jeremy Allan from Noarlunga’s Urban Desserts was last month named Australia’s best pastry chef at the Australian Cake Artists and Decorators Association Cake Oscar Awards.

The former steel worker decided to follow his passion for making cakes in the 2010s, starring on TV’s The Great Australian Bake Off in 2016 before opening his first store in Morphett Vale. Onya, Jeremy!

Masters of wine

Onkaparinga’s world-class wineries and vineyards are running out of room in their trophy cabinets, such is their penchant for winning awards, and these past two months were no different.

Hickinbotham Wines’ Chris Carpenter was honoured internationally in February by taking out the prestigious Master Winemaker of the Year 2024 in Paris.

The annual award, bestowed by the drinks business (which compiles a Master Winemaker 100 list), is awarded after a year-long series of blind tastings judged by Masters of Wine, and Carpenter took out the award thanks to his work on the Hickinbotham Trueman Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale. Gemtree Wines’s Mike Brown was also honoured on the Master Winemaker 100 list.

Meanwhile, a pair of other McLaren Vale wineries won international awards at the MUNDUS VINI Grand International Wine Awards in Germany – Penneys Hill and Angove both taking out gold medals.

Citizen of the Year

Finally, in case you missed it – not long after our previous column, Gill Golding – who was named Citizen of the Year in the City of Onkaparinga’s 2024 Australia Day Awards – went one step further and claimed the South Australian Citizen of the Year Award.

Each year the Australia Day Council of South Australia celebrates the achievements and contributions of outstanding members of their communities through their Citizen of the Year Awards.

Gill Golding is an inspiring leader in Hackham West, an area of significant socio-economic disadvantage, and through her advocacy and community engagement, Gill addresses socio-economic challenges with determination and compassion.

As Chairperson of the Hackham West Community Centre, she oversees 22 programs serving over 10,000 people annually; helping to guide those who need it through tough times.

Gill’s influence spans councils and organisations like the Hackham West Children's Centre Governing Council and People Matters Hackham West (PMHW), where she fosters unity and equity, inspiring positive community contributions. Congrats, Gill!


Urban Cakes' Oscar-winning Jeremy Allan and Coromandel Valley's award-winning pecan tree.