And the nominees are…
Australia Day is fast approaching, which means it’s almost time to honour the individuals and groups that have made outstanding contributions to our community.
But in the meantime let’s get acquainted with some of the nominees for Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year (Little Hero and Community Event of the Year Awards will also be presented on the day).
City of Onkaparinga Mayor, Erin Thompson, says the nominees’ achievements and passion was a reminder that we can all make a difference in our community.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the Australia Day Awards nominees and the way they’ve supported their communities,” Mayor Thompson says.
“I congratulate them for their efforts and thank them for being positive role models who are leading by example.”
And now (drum roll, please)…
Citizen of the Year
- Moira Were founded Chooks SA in 2017 after becoming dissatisfied with the lack of investment and training for women-led start-ups, entrepreneurs and social enterprises. Today the organisation has a 2000-strong network of women in business and offers advocacy and mentorship opportunities with a goal to “make SA the #1 place in the world for investment in women innovators and entrepreneurs”.
- Neil Thomson and Nick Tucker have been passionately coaching, fundraising and mentoring at the Onkaparinga Canoe Club for 21 years. A parent of one of the club’s junior paddlers estimates the pair have each volunteered at least 8,400 hours to the club in that time, helping improve the health, wellbeing and happiness of the club’s intergenerational members in the process.
- Meg Eusope is a founding member of Asperlutely Autsome Inc. – a not-for-profit organisation that supports children, youth and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Being on the Autism Spectrum herself, Meg has worked tirelessly over the past six years to organise social groups, workshops and events with inclusive “child-focused” activities, and helped to create employment pathways and opportunities for youth and adults on the Autism Spectrum.
- Patricia Whiting has been an active member of Moana Surf Live Saving Club for more than 40 years, serving in a multitude of important roles across the organisation – on and off the sand. Patricia was granted life membership to the SLSC in 2002 and one member, who calls Patricia the club’s “bedrock”, estimates she’s volunteered more than 40,000 hours at the club over the journey!
Young Citizen of the Year
- Liam Marnie has shown enormous determination to come back from a horrific car accident in 2016, which left him with disabilities. Liam, who had to learn to walk and talk again, has since completed the three-kilometre City to Bay walk and an 11-kilometre True Grit Boot Camp – typifying the young man’s grit and will to succeed.
- Amelia Rohrlach always puts up her hand when help is needed, whether for her aging parents, neighbours, sports clubs or volunteer organisations. She’s organised bingo nights, concerts, Christmas community events, ANZAC services and a variety of fundraisers over the years, and has been a CFS member at Kangarilla since 2014.
- Tristan Burns turned his penchant for doing cartwheels and handstands on the school oval at lunchtimes, into choreographing and performing prize-winning dances across a range of styles. Most recently, he won two first-places at the Kids Artistic Avenue State Dance Competition (where he was invited to Hollywood for further training), while he continues to volunteer his lunchtimes to develop routines and mentor younger students for school performances and talent shows.
- Lilly Barker-Robertson has had a huge year on the volunteering front, with the list of roles she’s held enough to fill an entire page! Lilly is not only helping make her school a better place (through roles such as the School ‘Buddies’ Program supporting reception and year one students), she’s helping improve the world through environmentally focused efforts such as Clean Up Australia Day, which she’s participated in for seven years.
City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson with some of the Australia Day Award certificates.