Local volunteers who go above and beyond in their contribution to the community were celebrated at the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s annual Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony on Friday.
Awards presented on the day honoured the inspiring individuals who have given long-term service to the community.
Lorraine Bowtell was named the Community Citizen of the Year in recognition of her volunteer efforts, while Liesl Bailey’s outstanding contribution to the Jarrahdale Community Collective was honoured with the Community Citizen of the Year – Youth award.
Karin Natalotto was presented the Community Citizen of the Year – Senior award, acknowledging her work to help support women in the SJ community, while the Mundijong Arts & Crafts group was awarded the Active Citizenship Award for supporting crisis care and families in need.
The Clem Kentish Community Service Award aims to recognise long standing contributors to the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale community. Nominees must have served the community for no less than 20 years, and have been active on several committees that have benefited the community during that time. Tireless community advocate Sandra Hawkins was presented with this year’s Clem Kentish Community Service Award, most notably for being a driving force in the SJ Lions Log Chop and Community Fair.
Shire president Rob Coales congratulated all award winners and thanked them for their outstanding service to the community.
“It’s an honour to be able to shine the light on these dedicated individuals and community groups,” he said.
“It takes a special type of person to work so tirelessly, often without thanks, for the betterment of their community, and it’s important we recognise and give our thanks to these people whenever possible.
“These awards are a small token of our gratitude for their unwavering support in making SJ the great place we know and love.”
The Shire also welcomed 23 new citizens at a special citizenship ceremony on the day.
This included new citizens from nine different countries of origin, including India, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
The ceremony was also an opportunity to recognise the volunteers of the shire’s emergency services sector through the awarding of National Medals.
Tod Bergersen and Brian Vine received medals for giving 15 years of service, and Les Harris received his National Medal 3rd Clasp for 45 years of service.
“The brave men and women on our frontlines go to astonishing lengths to ensure our community is kept safe,” President Coales said.
“These medals are a symbol of all the blood, sweat and tears they’ve poured into their service over the years, and I personally thank all of our emergency services volunteers for their remarkable work.”
Celebrations on the day also included a traditional community breakfast, with locals enjoying a meal served up by dedicated community group volunteers.
“It was great to see the true Aussie spirit on display at our Community Breakfast, and to see SJ locals enjoying our national day with family and friends” President Coales said.