Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards 2021 Winners Announced

Published on 26 January 2021

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Shoalhaven City Council celebrated their annual Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards this year with a video ceremony, and held a Citizenship Ceremony on Tuesday 26 January as part the Rotary Club of Berry’s Australia Day Breakfast event.  

The video ceremony featured Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley as master of ceremonies to announce the Award winners. The video also featured Award winners giving an acceptance speech and a message from Australia Day Ambassadors for the Shoalhaven City Ralph and Kathy Kelly. 

The Awards acknowledged the contributions of unsung community heroes across five categories including the arts, environment and contributing to building an inclusive Shoalhaven. 

Shoalhaven City Council, Mayor Amanda Findley said she was proud to see so many dedicated community-minded people being acknowledged and celebrated. 

“I am thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of local people doing remarkable things in our community across a range of fields”, Clr Findley said. 

“Whilst it wasn’t possible for us to hold a ceremony in person due to COVID-19, I am pleased we can still acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of this year's winners through an online ceremony format”  

“The Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards give the community cause to reflect and celebrate those in the community who go above and beyond” 

“I would like to acknowledge the very deserving award winners and the nominees in each category. You should be so proud of your efforts which have made a positive impact in our City and I thank those who took the time to nominate deserving citizens for the awards.” Mayor Findley said. 

Council wishes to congratulate the winners of the Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards: 

Citizen of the Year – Shoalhaven Medal Recipient Peter Jirgens  

Peter has been an outstanding volunteer in the Shoalhaven for over twenty five years, in a number of community based organisations.  

This nomination covers his activities with the Cambewarra Rate Payers Association, Tapitalee Creek Landcare, Shoalhaven Riverwatch and the Shoalhaven Landcare Fox Control Program. 

Peter has been an active volunteer throughout the Cambewarra Village area over many years with planting of many trees, providing engineering advice and assistance with the construction of walking tracks, bridges and playground equipment.  

As a life-long resident in the region, Peter brings a deep commitment and understanding to the environmental impact of development and how to implement sustainability practices. 

He has shown exceptional leadership in both his work as an engineer, establishing Jirgens Civil and his time in volunteer-based roles. 

Young Citizen of the Year: Violet Venn 

At fifteen years of age, Violet has already achieved so much.  

Violet is an active member of the community, as the Vice-President of Youth4Change and volunteers her time as both a drama teacher and community radio host. In the past year she has organised climate change strikes and petitioned Shoalhaven City Councilors to do more for the environment.  

She has shown great skills in leadership, community engagement and academia. She is a wonderful role model for youth in the community and has shown great potential in her endeavors.   

Outstanding Contribution to an Inclusive Shoalhaven: Peter Dover  

Peter is a salt of the earth type of person who is motivated to give people dignity and to assist those who are hungry and homeless. 

For more than 8 years, Peter and his team at Salt Ministries based in Bomaderry have assisted hundreds of families in the Shoalhaven, providing food, accommodation, clothing, prayer and support. 

As well as assisting families with weekly food hampers, Peter runs Safe Shelter Shoalhaven, Salt Store and Salt Assisted Housing. 

Outstanding Contribution to Innovating Arts and Culture: Alison Stewart 

Alison is a selfless, thoughtful and passionate Visual Arts teacher at Nowra Christian School. She is deeply committed to nurturing her students; passion for art and has been a teacher for six years. She also holds the position of Year Advisor, as well as the Indigenous Education Coordinator. 

Outside of the school environment, Alison is a Drama teacher with Nowra Players Theatre Group and also the President of the Shoalhaven Arts Society, a volunteer position to which she has generously given a great deal of her personal time to help keep the Arts alive within the Shoalhaven region. 

She has also volunteered her time as an Artistic Director supporting local productions and contributing to successful community events. 

Outstanding Contribution to the Environment: Robyn Hannan 

Robyn is  recognised for her tireless work in supporting the Callala Community Garden. She has been a passionate member of the team who has been inspirational in her drive to secure significant federal government grants, to expand the Community Garden.  

For the past three years’ Robyn has shown herself to be an inspirational leader who has always gone above and beyond. Her contributions to the Community Garden have helped to shape it into an inclusive group that helps to grow produce sustainably.  

To watch the video ceremony visit Council's YouTube channel. To find more information on the Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards 2021 visit Council’s website.