A credit to the south
12 April 2019

A credit to the south

Mayor Erin Thompson addressed an audience of 6000 at the annual Bush Fair on 26 January 2019, saying: “Tonight we celebrate the achievements and contributions of some pretty great South Australians through the City of Onkaparinga Australia Day awards.”

Before announcing the award winners, Mayor Thompson commended all nominees for their exemplary service to the local community and for being role models to everyone.

“They have made an outstanding contribution in the areas of fundraising, charitable and voluntary work, all of which contribute to the enrichment and to the wellbeing of our community,” she said.

“The dedicated efforts of the Australia Day award nominees are a fine example of the drive and motivation our community has come to offer. They are all truly a credit to the south.”

And the winners are …

Patricia Whiting, 2019 Citizen of the Year

Patricia has been an active member of the Moana Surf Life Saving Club for over 40 years, enthusiastically serving the community and has volunteered 500 hours this season alone. In addition to weekly patrols from October to April, Patricia is passionate about working with young people, training them in beach awareness, first aid and surf sports.

“Patricia mentors young members to become future leaders in our community,” Mayor Thompson said. “She upholds the value of surf lifesaving and helps make Moana SLSC an inclusive, tolerant and kind community to be a part of.”

Receiving the 2019 Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award, Patricia said: “It is rewarding to find yourself in a position where you can make a difference and give back to the community – and have fun at the same time.

“Surf lifesaving is an emergency service that also includes training, education and support.

“All tasks – and there are a lot of them to run a surf lifesaving club – are done by volunteers. The City of Onkaparinga has always been very supportive of the five lifesaving clubs within its boundaries and I would like to thank council for its continued support.

“We have made many life-long friends through life saving and it has been my pleasure to be a part of the Moana family.

“Australia day. What is it?

“What is more Australian than being on the beach and helping others?”

Tammy Maria, 2019 Young Citizen of the Year

Mayor Thompson commended Tammy for her great commitment to the community and for being an inspirational role model.

“Volunteering her time, Tammy runs the local St John’s cadet unit, managing 25 to 40 cadets and helping develop the city’s youth as future leaders for our community, building their self-esteem, resilience, confidence, and lifesaving skills,” Mayor Thompson said.

“Tammy’s involvement has been instrumental bringing St John Ambulance Australia cadet camp to South Australia as well as national first aid competitions where South Australia achieved great results.

“Tammy’s generous giving and approachable nature has meant that other divisions call on her for assistance. She encourages her peers and cadets to be involved in assisting their community and to be the best that they can at all times.”

Tammy’s acceptance speech acknowledged the wide breadth of support she receives and she particularly thanked the cadets in her division.

“They make it so easy for me to love doing what I do. Watching them go out to events and put their skills into practice and watching their confidence grow makes me feel so privileged that I get to share their St John’s journey.”

Abbie Walsh, 2019 Little Hero of the Year

At just 12 years of age, Mount Compass Area School student Abbie Walsh has taken an agricultural project to a higher level to raise more than $7800 for drought-stricken SA farmers. With the support of residents, she also funded a semi-trailer load of hay to be distributed to properties in the mid north.

Mayor Thompson said Abbie’s incredibly generous spirit makes her a commendable recipient of the new award.

“Driving the impressive fundraising marketing campaign, Abbie spread awareness of the SA drought, showing her community and her peers that social media can be used as a positive platform.”

“I am extremely honoured to be chosen for this award,” Abbie said. “The save our farmers passion project would not have been successful without the help and generous support of many South Australian businesses, communities and individuals.

“I would like to give a big thanks to my teacher Kiera Edwards who is extremely modest about her part in this project but without her inspiration none of this would have been possible.

“#saveourfarmers campaign gave people the opportunity to come together in a small way that had a big impact. From little things big things grow… so please continue to help the drought affected communities. On behalf of SA farmers, I wish you a happy Australia Day.”

Cinemallunga, 2019 Community Event of the Year

Thanks to co-founders Sebastian Nicholas, Brian Dempsey and Andrew Bentley, as well as a band of dedicated volunteers, the Willunga Show Hall has been reinvigorated through themed film nights, music, meals and shenanigans. They have not only raised considerable dollars (about $43,000) for local charities and community groups but have served as a catalyst for the successful Willunga Ukuleles Band, visual arts and a community choir, to name a few.

Commending the volunteer run events, Mayor Thompson said: “For over six years Cinemallunga has delighted and entertained the community with film nights that are matched with humorous activities and competitions, bringing various groups of all ages together through dance, comedy, art and film.”

Andrew Bentley accepted the award on behalf of the committee and volunteers, explaining that the film nights attract a lot of throwing.

“At Muriel’s Wedding we threw bouquets, at Flying High we threw airport luggage. We’ve thrown cribbage at Harry Potter, we’ve thrown our dance partners around in Strictly Ballroom. Amidst all this throwing we found amazing magic happens. People walk in the door, but smiles, connection and community walk out the door.”


Winners of the 2019 City of Onkaparinga Australia Day Awards were announced at the Bush Fair on 26 January. Pictured are Patricia Whiting receiving the Citizen of the Year Award from Mayor Erin Thompson; Patricia on patrol at the Moana Surf Life Saving Club; St John Ambulance volunteer, Tammy Maria, Young Citizen of the Year; Abbie Walsh, Little Hero of the Year; and the Community Event of the Year was awarded to Cinemallunga [photograph of the Bollywood-theme night, featuring the Mudra Dance Academy].

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