City celebrates Australia Day winners

Community stalwarts throughout the City of Karratha were celebrated for their hard work and community contribution in the annual Australia Day Awards yesterday morning.

More than 50 individuals and community groups were nominated across the six prestigious award categories with winners announced at a special celebration breakfast hosted by the City of Karratha.

Notable West Australian Karl Langdon presented the awards alongside category sponsors Horizon Power, Woodside Pluto LNG, Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project and Rio Tinto.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the ceremony recognised local community members nominated by their peers for the contributions they had made to the city over the past year and was a fitting way to begin a public holiday focused on celebration.

“It was a real pleasure to attend the Australia Day Awards Ceremony and personally congratulate all of our deserving nominees and winners. Each of them has contributed selflessly to our community and it was fantastic to acknowledge their efforts formerly,” Cr Long said.

“Australia Day provides a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate our people and our nation. Our celebration event at the Karratha Leisureplex was a fantastic day out with plenty of true blue Aussie fun to be had and it was great to see so many people out enjoying themselves,” he said.

“We also celebrated the holiday by welcoming 62 new Australian citizens into the fold as part of our very popular Australia Day Citizenship ceremony, that was particularly special,” he added.

The 2016 Australia Day Awards winners are:

Horizon Power Citizen of the Year – John Lally

John has been giving consistently and tirelessly to the city for the last 25 years. He is an active member of the community and shows tremendous support and dedication to economic empowerment, education and the environment. John is the CEO of Karratha Districts Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Deputy Mayor of the City of Karratha. He is Chair of the Australia China Business Council Pilbara Committee; Chair of Pegs Creek Primary School Board; Deputy Chair of the Governing Council of the Pilbara Institute; Director of the Centre of Whale Research Inc (WA); and Commodore and Life Member of the Hampton Harbour Boat & Sailing Club, Dampier. John gives freely of himself for the betterment of the people around him and he is an inspiration to this community.

“Congratulations to all of the winners from this year’s City of Karratha Australia Day awards.  It is truly inspiring to see the calibre of people here who donate so much of their time to bettering our community.  As the 2016 Citizen of the Year, John has been an outstanding contributor to our community for a number of years. His drive, passion and determination for developing the community can be seen through the list of organisations he supports.”

- Horizon Power Manager Pilbara Retail & Generation, Evette Smeathers

Woodside Pluto LNG Young Citizen of the Year – Jordan Grigson

Jordon’s enthusiasm for sport is infectious and through her voluntary coaching, coordinating and mentoring she has become an inspiring young woman who is admired and looked up to within our community. She has been instrumental in growing her local sports club and her commitment to nurturing younger players goes above and beyond the call of duty time and time again.

North West Shelf Project Environmental Award – Rose Best

Rose works tirelessly to care for injured and orphaned Pilbara wildlife from her home in Dampier, the base for her not-for-profit organisation, Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association. Rose is a stalwart in the community when it comes to caring for our injured wildlife and her compassion is unwavering. She is always on call, responding to reports of sick and injured animals right across the Pilbara and coordinating the extensive network of carers in the region. Alongside this she continues to train community members and organisations in the correct handling of wildlife which drastically improves the successful rehabilitation of injured animals.

“We thank and acknowledge those who have made a significant contribution to the City of Karratha during the past year. The Australia Day award recipients embody the community spirit which makes our city a great place to live. We also come together to celebrate everything that is special about our country and our community.

“Happy Australia Day to everyone in the City of Karratha.”

- Woodside’s Asset Manager at the Karratha Gas Plant, Steve Trench

Rio Tinto Community Spirit Award – Ian McGilvray

Reverend Ian McGilvray is a role model in our community, working diligently over the last 13 years to provide leadership and counsel to local community members and visiting seafarers. Highly valued and respected within the Dampier community Ian gives his time freely and graciously and is committed to helping others.

Rio Tinto Community Service Award – Karratha Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service

The Karratha Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service are invaluable to our community. Serving as first response to structure fires, traffic accidents, HAZMAT incidents, scrub fires and confined space rescues this team is made up of dedicated volunteers who are on call day and night to protect our community. The KVFRS are committed to the city, dedicating countless hours each year to education in schools, the annual door knock appeal, maintaining a presence at a number of community events and organising their very own lolly run each December.

Rio Tinto Community Event/Activity of the Year – Karratha and Districts RSL Sub Branch for the 100 Year Landing of Gallipoli ANZAC Day Commemoration

The 2015 Anzac Day Dawn Service for the 100th year anniversary of the Landing at Gallipoli was attended by over 4000 people. Held on the Dampier foreshore, the Dawn service poignantly commemorated the bravery and sacrifice of our ANZAC diggers a century ago.

“Congratulations to all the nominees and winners in this year’s Australia Day Awards,

“This year’s Awards were inspiring and I’d like to thank again those who dedicate their skills and time to making our community a better, safer and fun place to live.”

- Rio Tinto Rail Operations General Manager, Zara Fisher