Denis and Maria Pellizzari

South Australia's Citizen of the Year 2024 Commendation

Together Denis and Maria have significantly contributed to the community of Two Wells for the past 57 years.  Following their marriage in 1956, Denis and Maria had three children, one of them with an intellectual disability, inspiring their work to enable their daughter to integrate into the community.

Working as a Bank Manager, over a period of 35 years Denis became involved in the community through playing football then becoming club President, Secretary and Treasurer and finally auditor. He was instrumental in establishing and ensuring the ongoing funding of both a kindergarten and Community Centre in Two Wells, becoming President then Treasurer for many years.  Involved in the Cricket and Bowling Clubs for years, Denis still audits the books for both as well as for a range of other clubs, all on a voluntary basis.

From 1983 he was involved in the Two Wells Melodrama, performing in and supporting productions, as well as auditing their books. A strong supporter of the Two Wells Catholic Church for 58 years, Denis was President of the Parish Council for 30 years, contributing to the establishment of Thomas Moore and Xavier Colleges. He was also the local JP for 43 years.

Maria was also heavily involved in the football club, working in the canteen, washing team guernseys and providing players’ meals. She hosted many cabarets and dinners to fundraise for the kindergarten, was on the Community Centre committee for many years and was chief organiser of meals for the Melodrama for over 20 years, producing more than 1000 meals per year.  This essentially paid the debenture loan obtained from the Council for the centre.

Maria was a St Johns volunteer for over 20 years, advocated for children with disabilities, organising a bus to collect children with special needs to take them to Elizabeth Special School. Involved in the Catholic Women’s League, Maria organised church functions and catering, as well as fundraising and visiting sick members of the parish.  She undertook all of this while raising three children, later caring for her parents until their deaths.

The Two Wells community owes much to Denis and Maria.