All the top honours from Australia Day 2019

PROUD AUSSIES: Victor Citizen of the Year Bob Hall and executive director of ParkRun Shane Porteous, which was Community Event of the Year.
PROUD AUSSIES: Victor Citizen of the Year Bob Hall and executive director of ParkRun Shane Porteous, which was Community Event of the Year.

On Saturday a wide variety of special community members received awards around the region as part of Australia Day celebrations.

The Times was in Victor Harbor, Goolwa, Strathalbyn and Yankalilla to catch all the action. See a full list of awards and recipients below.

City of Victor Harbor

Winner of City of Victor Harbor’s 2019 Citizen of the Year Award was Bob Hall and the Community Event of the Year ​was the Victor Harbor Parkrun.

Bob Hall has spent a lifetime committed to the betterment of Victor Harbor and South Coast community. He has filled various volunteer roles including 13 years as a member of the South Coast District Hospital Board, 10 years with APEX and over 30 years as a member of the Rotary Club of Encounter Bay, during which time he received the club’s highest honour, a Paul Harris Fellowship (sapphire).

Victor Harbor Parkrun, is held on Saturday from 8am at Kent Reserve. The five kilometre event is for people of all fitness standards and is an opportunity to enjoy Victor Harbor’s foreshore at the same time as being active. Victor Harbor Parkrun commenced in 2014 and executive director Shane Porteous said the award honoured all volunteers, who over the past few years, contributed to the running of the free event. “We have seen incredible growth at this event, as this summer we broke all attendance records,” Shane said.

Alexandrina Council

Alexandrina Council’s 2019 Citizen of the Year awards were presented to Sharon Pankhurst of Goolwa, and Sue Eckert of Strathalbyn.

Sharon has been a volunteer at the Signal Point Gallery and South Coast Regional Arts Centre in Goolwa since 2010, where she coordinates volunteer rosters and supervises exhibitions, together with providing support for community arts events. 

Sue Eckert has made an exceptional and significant contribution to the Strathalbyn community over the last 40 years, which has included being the Christian Book Shop volunteer and coordinator; the coordinator of Christmas Hampers to Disadvantaged Families in the district (160 delivered in 2018); Chair of the Christmas Where the Angas Flows Committee; a volunteer and board member of Strathalbyn Neighbour Aid; a volunteer music teacher at Langhorne Creek Primary School and member of the school’s Welfare Club; and has played the organ at the Strathalbyn Church for over 40 years. 

The Young Citizen of the Year Award recipients were Carter Banks of Goolwa, and Hannah Arnold of Strathalbyn.

Carter has been a member of the Southern Fleurieu Youth Advisory Committee for over five years, volunteering at local youth forums on mental health, as well as forums run by the Youth Affairs Council of SA. 

Hannah  led a team organising the ‘A Day Out of the Blue’ community event in November, a fundraising event to raise awareness of those who have suffered and continue to suffer from anxiety and depression. 

The Community Service of the Year Awards were awarded to Jules Wagner of Goolwa, and Paquita Wise of Strathalbyn.

Jules has kept residents of the South Coast informed for over nine years, through her administration of the ‘Goolwa South Coast Facebooker’s group.’

Paquita has been the coordinator of Country Life Compassion Inc.’s Pantry Club for over six years. The Pantry Club is a Strathalbyn based program that helps many people in the community and wider region by providing food and financial, emergency and crisis support to those in need.

The Community Event of the Year Award recipients were the Lions Family and Children’s Christmas Eve Party in Goolwa, and the Kenny Blake Festival of Motorcycling in Strathalbyn.

The Lions Family and Children’s Christmas Eve Party is a wonderful community event, supported by a number of community groups and organisations. Every year, around 500 people attend to enjoy picnics, rides, raffles and Christmas cheer.

The inaugural Kenny Blake Festival of Motorcycling was a community initiative organised by a small group of volunteers, who were supported by the community, local businesses, and the motorcycle industry. The event took place in Strathalbyn in October 2018, when motorcycle enthusiasts from Alexandrina and beyond came together to celebrate the life and achievements of racing’s ‘gentleman racer’, Kenny Blake, who grew up in Strathalbyn. The festival was lauded an outstanding success and is set to become a biennial event.

District Council of Yankalilla

Citizen of the Year was awarded to Sue Miers for her work with people affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. She founded the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (NOFASD) and supports thousands of people struggling to understand and manage the disorder. She still volunteers a huge amount of time to support the organisation, parents and carers, and she was just awarded the national Hestia award for Health Unsung Hero.

Young Citizen of the Year was presented to Daniel Oliver, who is active among the community in a number of ways. He finished year 12 in 2018 and has volunteered with the CFS since 2015. He teaches young students aviation at the Australian Air League in Port Adelaide, has been involved with the Leo Club since 2013, and was a student representative on the Yankalilla Area School Governing Council.

Heritage Fleurieu Coast Festival was named Community Event of the Year as a whole of district came together to create the event. During the planning of events, new connections were formed particularly with the smaller communities in the district, leading to better communication and recognition of heritage aspects. The festival has engendered a new and enduring respect for the community’s heritage.

The new Heritage Hero award was presented to Bob Fairchild. The award recognises people who restore, maintain, care and utilise local heritage buildings and spaces within the district. Bob is a long-time resident of the district; the foundation chairman of Yankalilla District Historical Museum; a member of the Yankalilla Historical Society; and a prime mover o the establishment of the Yankalilla Museum.

The Mayor’s Award was given to 16-year-old John Fretwell for his musical endeavours both locally and nationally.

The council also handed out $32,500 worth of funding through its community grants scheme.