City celebrates Australia Day

Community heroes throughout the City of Karratha were celebrated for their hard work and community contribution at the annual Australia Day Awards this morning.

More than 45 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, supported by Rio Tinto, Horizon Power, Woodside Energy Limited and the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project.

Joanne Waterstrom-Muller was named the 2017 Citizen of the Year for her long history of contributing to the community including voluntary work with SES, Pilbara Wildlife Carers and the Baynton West Canteen.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the Australia Day Awards provides an opportunity to recognise those people who, through their leadership and generosity, make the community a better place to live.

“Australia Day is a chance for our community to come together and celebrate our country, it is a chance to appreciate those people who make it such an incredible place to live, and it is an opportunity remind ourselves how lucky we are to call Australia home,” Cr Long said.

“Today, we join with the rest of the nation to recognise those grass-root heroes of our community. Those people who are the first to raise their hands, who give up their weekends, who spend hours organising and contributing, not because they have to, but because they love being part of our community,” he said.

Australia Day was celebrated widely across the City with community festivities held in Karratha and Wickham. The celebration was extra special for 36 new citizens who officially became Australian citizens at a special ceremony at the Karratha Leisureplex.

- Rio Tinto general manager Ports Dampier, Jess Farrell

“Congratulations to all the nominees and winners in this year’s Australia Day Awards, who play an important role in making the region a wonderful, healthy and vibrant place to live. I’d like to congratulate all of the nominees for their hard work, long hours and commitment to making their respective pursuits successful in the region.”

- Horizon Power Manager Pilbara Retail & Generation, Evette Smeathers

“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 2017 Citizen of the Year, Jo has been a dedicated volunteer within our region for over 25 years now.  She has selflessly given much of her time to multiple community groups and is a true inspiration to those who are lucky enough to know her.”

- Woodside’s Acting Asset Manager at the Karratha Gas Plant, Breyden Lonnie

“Woodside and the North West Shelf Project participants congratulate the recipients of the City of Karratha’s Australia Day Awards. We are proud to have supported these annual awards since 2012, acknowledging those who have made a significant contribution to the community.”


The 2017 Australia Day Awards winners are:

> Citizen of the Year – Joanne Waterstrom-Muller
Presented by Horizon Power

For her long history of contributing to the community including voluntary work with SES, Pilbara Wildlife Carers and the Baynton West Canteen.

> Young Citizen of the Year – Ayden Saylor
Presented by Woodside Energy Limited

For being a positive role model to peers and his contribution to the community through sport.

> Event/Activity of the Year – Karratha Dampier Lions Club for FeNaCLNG 2016
Presented by Rio Tinto

For the 2016 FeNaCLNG festival that provides free entertainment to the citizens of Karratha and surrounding areas while raising funds for various causes.

> Community Service Award – Sue Hedley and Saving Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE)
Presented by Rio Tinto

For her outstanding work supporting people and animals in the community through SAFE.

> Community Spirit Award – Stuart Otto
Presented by Rio Tinto

For his outstanding commitment to the community through his leadership and voluntary work with several local groups.

> Environmental Award – Dory Blackney
Presented by the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project

For his outstanding commitment to protecting the Pilbara coastline and wildlife through the removal of harmful rubbish.