Shoalhaven City Council held their annual Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony on Thursday, 24 January in the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre.
The annual Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards acknowledged 11 unsung community heroes’ from around the region in eight categories including Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Sportsperson of the Year and Young Sportsperson of the Year.
The Shoalhaven City Council Hall of Sporting Fame celebrates the outstanding achievements of the region’s home-grown elite athletes once every four years in three categories. This year eight successful nominations were acknowledged, and their citations will be displayed in the foyer of Council’s Administration Building.
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley said she was incredibly proud of all residents who have been recognized at the celebrations.
“The Shoalhaven Australia Day Awards allow the Community to nominate individuals in their community who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of others.
“With so many categories to choose from now, from our young sportsperson, our sportsperson and those that make a wonderful contribution to arts, the environment or help improve inclusive activities in the Shoalhaven.
“The latest inductees have all performed at the highest level. They have risen above the odds to carve out sporting careers that are inspirational.”
Special guest at the evening was multi-award-winning broadcaster Peter ‘Wilko” Wilkins who was the Shoalhaven Australia Day Ambassador.
2019 Shoalhaven Australia Day Award Winners
Citizen Award/ Shoalhaven Medal Winner – Jennifer Robertson has been ceaseless in her support for Arts and Culture in the Shoalhaven for more than 20 years. As a founding member of the SeeChange Winter Arts Festival and long serving President of Jervis Bay and Basin Arts Inc she has been connecting, collaborating and inspiring residents and visitors alike to partake in their community.
As a former Nowra High student Jennifer has a Bachelor of Education in Visual Arts and has been sharing her love for the arts throughout her teaching career and inspiring others to create at the highest level.
Young Citizen Award – Lachlan Page Has been described as an outstanding citizen and shining beacon to our community. A natural born leader Lachlan has been actively involved in NSW Scouts for many years and in 2015 achieved the Australian Scouts Medallion, the highest award in Scouting.
A young person with profound love and pride for his community, 18-year-old Lachlan is also a volunteer member for NSW Rural Fire Service.
Young Citizen Highly Commended- Takesa Frank An incredible contributor to the Ulladulla High School community who is a passionate advocate for the environment and student mental health. As an indigenous school leader and school captain Takesa brings creativity to every task she undertakes.
Involved in countless programs and projects in her school community including; Nude Food Week, Removal of Plastic Bottles, UHS NAIDOC debating team, Environment Day and the establishment of the UHS Markets.
Sports Person Award – Victoria Davies An inspirational dressage rider who at 34 years old, has won every major Australian FEI Para Equestrian title.
Victoria has been acknowledged for her dedication to her sport and representing the Shoalhaven at an elite level. Victoria is an inspiration to all those around her and in her sport.
Junior Sports Person Award – Jasmine Greenwood Outstanding dedication to her sport. She is a determined leader who has worked hard to achieve her sporting goals. As an active student at Shoalhaven High School she is also a school captain at the Bay and Basin Amateur Swim Club, promoting the club and inspiring other young people in the sport. Jasmine was the youngest member of the Australian Dolphin Para Swim team to represent Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Outstanding Contribution to an Inclusive Shoalhaven –Dora Rognvaldsdottir
Recognised for outstanding contribution to the arts and her community. Dora has worked with young people to provide opportunities for them to engage in meaningful artmaking pursuits, which have had significant impacts on developing positive mental health outcomes, inclusive community attitudes and individual creativity. Dora has worked with countless community groups to engage in Inclusive Art programs including: PCYC NSW, Nowra Public School, Youth Community Artist for Shoalhaven City Council, Ulladulla Youth Centre and Sanctuary Point Community Centre, Nowra High School, Bomaderry High School, SeeChange Winter Festival and Nowra Players.
Outstanding Contribution to the Environment –Sandy Aureli an instrumental member of the Milton Ulladulla community, Sandy has been acknowledged for her tireless commitment to building a sustainable Shoalhaven for future generations. Sandy has been actively engaged in community and environmental projects since moving to the region nine years ago. As the secretary of Milton District Branch of the CWA Sandy has reenergized the organisation and is enthusiastically involved in Milton Ulladulla Artfest, Boomerang Bags, Take 3 for the Sea and the MUDsingers.
Outstanding Contribution to Arts & Culture – Alison Tait Acknowledged for her contribution to the Arts. An established Australian non-fiction author, Alison has more than 25 years’ experience in magazines, newspapers and online publishing. Now an established Young Adult author and her adventure seriesThe Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipherare are international best-sellers.
She actively promotes her creative writing by co-hosting the top-rating podcast, So You Want To Be A Writer and regularly speaking at schools and writers festivals around the country including: Sydney Writers’ Festival, Brisbane Writers’, Singapore Writer’s Festival and more.
Outstanding Contribution to Arts & Culture – Highly Commended Maxwell Dingle Is an active, tireless, generous advocate and supporter of the creative and performing arts in the Shoalhaven. Max’s contribution to the cultural life of our region encompasses: being a practising visual artist in a number of disciplines; voluntary work as researcher, curator and writer for the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery (SRG) and the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum (JBMM); fundraising for community arts organisations and festivals such as, Jervis Bay and Basin Arts Inc. and the SeeChange Jervis Bay Arts Festival;
Outstanding Contribution to Arts & Culture – Highly Commended Ona Frazier. For more than 30 years Ona has been enriching the lives of others through the art of classical music. A classical opera singer and a tireless advocate for promoting classical music throughout the region. With students from the age of five to ninety-five, Ona’s great love for music has been inspiring. Ona has been involved in working with and fundraising for many community groups including: Shoalhaven Eisteddfods, Shoalhaven Lydian Singers, Albatross Musical Theatre Company, Noah’s Ark, Royal Institute for the Deaf and Blind and Parkinson’s Support Group.
Outstanding Emerging Artist – Karen Akehurst is the Director of the inaugural Shoalhaven Readers and Writers Festival Karen has dedicated her time and energy to promoting the Shoalhaven arts community.
The festival brought together Shoalhaven readers and writers, so they can connect with each other.
Karen has been acknowledged for promotion of literacy and building awareness of books, reading and writing throughout the Shoalhaven.