Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards
South Australia's Citizen of the Year 2021
Craig Scott (City of Unley)
Craig is a well-known driving force behind the Goodwood Saints Football Club. Currently in his fifth year as president, his vision and guidance has seen the development of a female football program, as well as the SANFL Inclusive League, which ensures players with integration difficulties – including mental and physical disabilities – are entirely integrated into the club.
Craig’s strong advocacy for social justice issues is reflected by work undertaken at the club. He’s implemented opportunities for the homeless from the Hutt Street Centre, and supported causes like the Red Shield Appeal, breast cancer and Mental Health education. Outside the football club community and since 1994, Craig has been involved in Operation Flinders, a program aimed at supporting at-risk youth. His empowering nature and leadership abilities have enabled him to create a strong, healthy and more resilient community in the City of Unley.
Commendation Award for South Australia's Citizen of the Year 2021
Julie-Ann Bennett (Campbelltown City Council)
In July 2018, Julie-Ann Bennett pioneered LOVE Campbelltown to promote positive interaction between community members and to help influence decision making and policy. Her vision is for residents to connect, learn and work together. LOVE Campbelltown has become an inclusive online community space creating remarkable impacts on various service clubs, community groups and local businesses. It celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Campbelltown and its people, and encourages active local citizenship and participation.
Julie-Ann embodies the LOVE Campbelltown ethos with a desire to encourage and build up others by creating an environment where people can connect and truly feel part of the community. Julie-Ann’s passion and dedication to the community is further highlighted by her own volunteering commitments at the Salvation Army Do Unto Others program, and supporting the work of Compassion Australia, Christian Blind Mission and Fred Hollows Foundation for over 25 years.
South Australia's Young Citizen of the Year 2021
Layan Mohammed (City of Charles Sturt)
A passionate and forward-thinking community leader who has already made a significant difference to our community, Layan arrived in Australia only seven years ago and has fully immersed herself into Australian culture. Layan’s personal vision is to establish a facility to support her local Arabic community and provide them with an opportunity to practise their faith and feel connected.
With a significant presence at the Henley Surf Life Saving Club, becoming the youngest Vice Club Captain in the club’s 95-year history and being nationally recognised by the AFL, Layan demonstrates strong community compassion, drive and leadership. She models active citizenship by immersing herself into volunteer programs such as Glimmer of Hope, being involved in the Henley High School Student Executive team and in the running for prefect for 2021. Layan is a leader who inspires citizens to build a more diverse, connected and intercultural community.
South Australia's Community Event of the Year 2021
Recycled Runway (City of Mount Gambier)
Since its inception eight years ago, Recycled Runway has grown to become not only the social event of the year for the Mount Gambier community but highlighting the important issue of textile waste, one of the largest contributors to landfill. This event continues to grow in its reach and at the same time educate the broader community on the importance of sustainability. Recycled Runway is an opportunity for those in the fashion industry to showcase their talent and demonstrate how this can be achieved by using recycled items whilst also generously raising funds for AC Care and the Uplift Project. This event has embedded itself into the Mount Gambier calendar and assists the broader community to discover ways to breathe new life into used items. Initiatives such as these contribute to making Mount Gambier a more sustainable city and inspires the wider community to implement similar enterprises.
Commendation Award for South Australia's Community Event of the Year 2021
Marilyn Jetty Swim (City of Holdfast Bay)
Since her mother’s diagnosis, Sarah Tinney pledged to raise awareness and money to cure cancer in her mother’s honour. The Marilyn Jetty Swim is a bold, empowering, and vibrant community event that is held in the City of Holdfast Bay. It is comprised of Marilyn’s with a common drive – to make a difference in the lives of people living with cancer. Sarah’s commitment and tireless efforts are showcased through the growth of this embraced event. In it’s first year 2014, the event attracted 50 participants and raised over $25,000. In 2021 there are over 200 participants who collectively raise over $100,000. Sarah’s passion has unified people from all walks of life with a purpose to raise funds for vital cancer research, prevention and support programs. She is an unsung hero who has empowered the community to transform their grief into action that will support many.
South Australia's Award for Active Citizenship 2021
Adam Weinert (Adelaide Hills Council)
During some of the most devastating bush fires Australia has encountered, Adam was a key leader in driving the Adelaide Hills Community to safety during the Cudlee Creek Fires.
Adam was instrumental in the creation of the Lobethal Bushfire Recovery Centre which provided relief and recovery operations to the community and surrounding districts – his liaison with Local, State and Commonwealth Government resulted in securing vital support to the community in times of disaster and emergency services. He mobilised 250 volunteers to ensure bushfire impacted residents receive immediate emergency accommodation, first aid and water provisioning. Adam placed other’s needs before his own despite enduring substantial personal loss through these fires. His ability to step up and demonstrate courage, compassion and selflessness in supporting so many within the local community is inspired leadership to the people of Lobethal. Adam’s kindness and determination to help others recover through tragedy is felt through the entire local community and this demonstration of active citizenship ultimately improves everyone’s lives.
South Australia's Award for Active Citizenship 2021
Gurjinder Singh (City of West Torrens)
An owner of an authentic Indian restaurant and compassionate community leader that generously gives back to the South Australian community. Gurjinder’s passion for supporting the most vulnerable within our community is demonstrative through a range of initiatives such as distributing meals on Christmas Day and providing breakfasts to those that are experiencing homelessness at Light Square and Hurtle Square in the City.
Gurjinder and his Chahut restaurant is a kindness heartbeat of the West Torrens community and beyond as the team donated and distributed 5,000 food boxes to citizens connected with medi-hotels, international students and emergency department staff of the Lyell McEwen hospital, in response to COVID-19. Gurjinder is an exemplary role model and community leader that demonstrates compassion and community spirit.
Do you know an inspiring community leader who has made a significant difference in your community? Head to citizenoftheyear.com.au and nominate now!