AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS AND CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARDS

Published on Monday, 31 January 2022 at 3:41:26 PM

During January, the Shire of York and the National Australia Day Council sponsored three well attended events that celebrated our inclusive Australian culture.

The Australia Day Breakfast & Presentations on 26 January started with the traditional free Community BBQ Breakfast contributed by the IGA and a bouncy castle for the kids.   The formalities commenced at 9am with the Flag Raising and Presentation of Community Awards.  The Shire of York recently received a letter from Senator Dorinda Cox, Senator for Western Australia and Senator Lidia Thorpe, Senator for Victoria, requesting that the Aboriginal flag be flown at half-mast on Australia Day. 

The letter was tabled at a recent Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group meeting where there was unanimous support for this symbolic lowering of the Aboriginal flag to half-mast. The Shire Administration building Aboriginal flag and the Australia Day ceremony Aboriginal flag were both flown at half-mast on 26 January 2022.

Congratulations to the 2021 award winners:

  • Community Citizen of the Year – Jenny Garroun
  • Community Citizen of the Year, Senior (65 or over) – Pat & Bruce McGregor
  • Active Citizenship award – Greenhills Progress Association
  • Senior Sports Star of the Year - Jacqui McNamara
  • Junior Sports Star of the Year – Tyson Jones

Community Citizen of the Year – Jenny Garroun 

Jenny was nominated for the contribution made by her in promoting the town of York and the time and money she has invested towards events such as the York Arts Festival for the betterment of York. Jenny has worked tirelessly for the past 5 years to build the support and success of the York Arts Festival. Nurtured and curated, mostly by Jenny over the years, often at a considerable personal and financial cost, Jenny has built The York Festival up to have a renewed and positive recognition for the town of York and for bringing the area back into focus for the many visitors from Perth and surrounds during this long period of COVID.

Community Citizen of the Year, Senior (65 or over) – Pat & Bruce McGregor 

Pat and Bruce contribute many hours and their own resources to the maintenance of the Seed Orchard on Spencers Brook Road, on the edge of town. This is land belonging to the Shire that was set aside for a seed orchard in the late 1990s, but by 2013 the area had become neglected. The newly formed wildflower group assumed responsibility and Bruce and Pat became the principal volunteers carrying out weeding, spraying, planting and pruning, using their own machinery and donating many hours of their time. Without Pat and Bruce's contribution, the area would be under utilised .

Community Group or Event (Active Citizenship) 

A huge effort from a small community to bring the past back to life for current and future generations saw the Greenhills Progress Association nominated for this award.  The Greenhills community who researched the town’s history realised the history gathered needed to be preserved for the present and future generations. All the hard work came to fruition with the official opening of the precious Historical Walk Trail in September 2020. 

Senior Sports Star of the Year - Jacqui McNamara

Jacqui was nominated by the York Swimming Club for her involvement with the Club which spans more than 20 years beginning when her two children started swimming with the club. In the years of involvement with the York Swimming Club Jacqui has chased her dream of being selected for the Olympics. She succeeded in that aim by going to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as one of only two Australian Officials on pool deck at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Jacqui spent many hours on pool deck while in Tokyo and was lucky enough to be the lane official for both the Australian women’s relay events where they won gold. 

Junior Sports Star of the Year – Tyson Jones 
Tyson was nominated by the York Hockey Club and is a talented athlete who continues to display his skills and leadership in the sport of hockey. Not only does he focus on developing his own game and skills, but he is actively involved in junior development, assisting younger players in the club to develop their skills and confidence.

Finally, the Shire would like to acknowledge and thank our Australia Day Ambassador Holly-Ann Martin - WA Local Hero finalist 2020 and Child Protection Advocate who gave a great presentation on Safe4Kids.

Australia Day Celebrations then continued at the York Memorial Pool. Thanks to the sponsorship secured from the National Australia Day Council, it was an epic day! With free entry all day, waterslides, water volleyball/basketball, free sausage sizzle, roving street performers, magic shows, face painting, aqua challenge run, free family movie at sundown ‘ODD BALL’ and free family picnic hampers.

On Saturday 29 January Peace Park hosted the first Ballardong Boodja Day. The event was organised by our local Aboriginal Elders and residents in conjunction with the Shire of York to recognise and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples’ histories and cultures.   Attendees enjoyed bush tucker tastings, Mooditj Koolalingas Choir, tool making, Indigi face painting, arts & craft, music and dance.

All three events were open to everyone; all residents, friends and family. The Shire is delighted to be able to support events that celebrate all the things we love about Australia: land, sense of fair go, lifestyle, democracy, the freedoms we enjoy but particularly our people.

CHRIS LINNELL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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