Citizen of the Year Awards 2023

Published: January 20, 2023


Nominations for 2025 Awards will close on 15 November 2024.

Each year, South Australia celebrates the achievements and contributions of outstanding members of their communities through the Citizen of the Year Awards. These individuals demonstrate extraordinary service every day within our communities so often invisible to most of us. This contribution builds the social and cultural fabric of our society, making a significant difference to the people of our state. The Citizen of the Year Awards program is proudly conducted by the Australia Day Council of South Australia in partnership with 68 Councils across our state. The Citizen of the Year Awards provide everyone with the opportunity to recognise any community member who makes them proud.

The Citizen of the Year Awards, Young Citizen of the Year Award, Community Event of the Year Award and Award for Active Citizenship are presented annually to local citizens and community organisations who have made outstanding contributions to the South Australian community. The Awards are provided by the Australia Day Council of South Australia (ADCSA) and are administered by Local Government Authorities throughout the State on behalf of the Council.


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South Australia Citizen of the Year 2024 Recipients


Citizen of the Year 2024

Gill Golding of the City of Onkaparinga

Gill embodies inspirational leadership in Hackham West, a disadvantaged area ranking nationally in the top 3 percentile. She combines high-level advocacy with hands-on community engagement, addressing socio-economic challenges head-on. As Chairperson of the Hackham West Community Centre, Gill oversaw the delivery of 22 programs annually to over 10,000 individuals, navigating the centre through turbulent times. Her influence extends to various councils and governing bodies, including the Hackham West Children’s Centre Governing Council and People Matters Hackham West (PMHW), where she has a profound impact. Gill’s leadership promotes unity and equity, inspiring others to contribute positively to their community.

Citizen of the Year (Commendation) 2024

Denis and Maria Pellizzari of the Adelaide Plains Council

Denis and Maria are exemplary community stalwarts from the Adelaide Plains Council. For 57 years, they have dedicated themselves to being of service to the Two Wells community, exemplifying unwavering commitment and selflessness. Denis, a former Bank Manager, has left an indelible mark through his multifaceted involvement, from sports clubs to community centres and parish councils. Maria, equally devoted, has been the backbone of various community endeavours, from fundraising to advocacy for children with disabilities. Together, they epitomise the spirit of service, enriching the lives of countless individuals in Two Wells.

Young Citizen of the Year 2024

Alexandra Seal of the City of Salisbury

Alexandra advocates for social justice, community service, and environmental sustainability. She actively enhances community life through various platforms within and outside her school. Alexandra volunteers extensively at Loreto School, leading initiatives such as the Peace and Justice Group and the Environment Committee. She fundraises for the Hutt Street Centre and participates in tree planting efforts. Alexandra also champions environmental causes within her school, implementing solar panels and recycling programs. Through her business, Six Spaces, she donates profits to charities. Alexandra’s commitment extends to advocacy for girls’ rights through creative projects like the Mind the Gap movement. Additionally, she engages with elderly residents through the Governor’s Leadership Foundation and participates in initiatives like the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Despite her numerous awards, Alexandra remains focused on serving others and the environment.

Young Citizen of the Year 2024

Kylan Beech of the City of Charles Sturt

Kylan Beech, from the City of Charles Sturt, has shown extraordinary dedication to community service and fundraising. After losing his mother to cancer at 14, Kylan embarked on a mission to raise funds for cancer detection, organising events like the ‘220 for Tammy’ bike ride and a 2,200-kilometer journey with his brothers. His efforts have raised over $100,000 for the Cancer Council before his 21st birthday. Beyond fundraising, Kylan works as a Disability Support Worker, volunteers with the St Vincent de Paul Society, mentors youth, and contributes to his family business. His commitment to helping others is unwavering, making him deserving of this prestigious award.

Community Event of the Year 2024

National Sheering and Wool Handling Competition of the Northern Areas Council

The National Shearing and Wool Handling Competition in Jamestown on October 21 and 22, 2023, was honoured as the Community Event of the Year at the Citizen of the Year Awards. Chaired by Matt Scharkie and supported by Steph Lunn and Jenni-Lee Case, the event attracted over 600 attendees from Australia and New Zealand, including competitors, spectators, sponsors, and volunteers. Highlights featured a formal dinner, the Jamestown Show Shear and Wool Handling competition, a Trans-Tasman showdown, and live entertainment. The event provided significant economic and social benefits, boosting local businesses and community fundraising.


Award for Active Citizenship 2024

Jade Brook of the District Council of Mount Barker

Jade Brook of the District Council of Mount Barker receives the Award for Active Citizenship for her impactful contributions. Founder of Love out Loud, a program aiding vulnerable families, Jade fosters community well-being through various initiatives. Advocating for people experiencing homelessness, facilitating Aboriginal networking groups, and promoting reconciliation, she builds bridges and supports inclusivity. Jade’s sustainable lifestyle extends to sharing garden produce and forging partnerships with corporations like Woolworths and SAPOL, benefiting community projects. Love out Loud has distributed 1600+ free food bags in two years. Jade demonstrates dedication by engaging in Aboriginal networks, reconciliation efforts, and leadership courses. She influences policy discussions, ensuring culturally safe environments like the new local hospital’s emergency ward. Jade’s efforts span environmental sustainability, cultural awareness, and social advocacy, showcasing her commitment to positive change in Mount Barker.

Award for Active Citizenship (Commendation) 2024

Jody Moate of the City of Mitcham

Jody Moate of the City of Mitcham embodies active citizenship through leadership, enthusiasm, and extensive community involvement. Over years of volunteering, she has spearheaded various initiatives, including the Pasadena and St Mary’s Action Group, community events, and management of local projects like the Little Library and community gardens. Jody’s contributions extend to social media administration, education, and advocacy, such as her involvement in the Recycled Plastic Sheeting Project. She is known for supporting community development, evidenced by her role in establishing events like Multicultural Language Day and initiatives like the Pasadena Community Centre. Jody’s understanding of local governance ensures effective advocacy for community concerns. Her enduring commitment and impact on neighbours and the community illustrate her inspirational dedication to making a difference in Mitcham.