Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Local individuals and groups that have made a positive, active contribution to the Mandurah community have been recognised at a special Australia Day ceremony on the Eastern Foreshore.

The Citizen of the Year Awards foster, recognise and celebrate significant contributions to community life and active citizenship in all local government areas of Western Australia.

Mayor Rhys Williams said it's a great honour to acknowledge extraordinary local people who have given so much of their personal and professional lives to help others.

“Mandurah is such a special place, made greater by our incredible people,” he said.

“We're not just WA's largest regional city… we're a connected community that is full of passionate and motivated people.

“Too often these champions go about making their contribution without being recognised but Australia Day is a fantastic day to celebrate their important role in our community.”

The winners (below) were presented with a medallion and certificate in recognition of their community pride and spirit.

Community Citizen of the Year Award: Allison Dixon

A passionate environmental supporter, Allison fights to protect Mandurah's fauna and flora by actively working with others to help raise awareness about environmental issues and animal protection.

Allison is a fauna handler and is in high demand, being called out to residents (for free) that need an unwanted or injured animal to be removed or relocated.

Allison has also helped initiate projects within the City of Mandurah that protect and conserve native Mandurah wildlife including the installation of the osprey nesting poles, installation of ringtail possum dreys, and installing nesting hollows. Allison is also very willing and passionate about sharing her knowledge and skills with others.

Community Citizen of the Year Award (Youth) under 25 years: Ayesha Patterson

Ayesha is passionate about using her knowledge and personal experience to increase accessibility throughout the local community. Ayesha acts as a consultant for access and inclusion plans, and advocacy networks across the Peel Region. She also organises the Dining in the Dark fundraising event to raise money for Guide Dogs WA in Mandurah, and has done so since 2014. This is a candlelit event that provides people the opportunity to see what it's like to have a vision impairment in a fun and social environment that includes a three course meal and meeting a guide dog.

Community Citizen of the Year Award (Senior) over 65 years: Margaret Rogers

Since retiring from teaching, Margaret has spent her time volunteering within the community.

Passionate about her community, for over 12 years Margaret has been contributed to the Mandurah Sustainable Home, the Peel Community Kitchen and Men of the Trees (Peel).

She has also participated with environmental research in Yalgorup National Park and studying migratory birds. Margaret leads by example by growing much of her own fruit and vegetables, and strives for a sustainable lifestyle.

Award for Active Citizenship (Group or Event): Zonta Club of Peel Inc Mandurah

The Zonta Club of Peel Inc Mandurah support, and advocate other clubs' projects, that increase active citizenship for residents of the local community. Examples of their work include:

  • The Club's 'young woman in Peel award' that recognises a local woman in an attempt to encourage leadership in the local community.
  • They provide scholarships to assist with further tertiary studies for local women who are in financial difficulty and to assist migrant women improve their English at TAFE.
  • Members make and distribute cushions to women who have undergone breast surgery plus support and donate to the Women's Refuge.
  • In conjunction with the City of Mandurah, the Club set up the Missing Person's Memorial and hold an annual service for bereaved families.
  • The Club strives to enhance the local knowledge and inclusion of migrant women. Activities include venue provision for migrant women to conduct weekly English conversation sessions and provide assistance to help integrate into the community.
  • The Club advocates to stop domestic violence by participating in the local silent march.