Three hardworking volunteers and a much loved community group have been recognised at the City of Rockingham’s 2019 Community Citizen of the Year Awards.

The Community Citizen of the Year Awards are held by councils throughout Western Australia on Australia Day. The awards recognise individuals and organisations that have made a notable contribution during the current year and/or those who have given outstanding service over a number of years.

Homelessness advocate Owen Farmer was the winner of the prestigious Community Citizen of the Year Award, which Mayor Barry Sammels said was richly deserved.

“Owen helps the community on a daily basis by offering assistance to homeless people,” Mayor Sammels said.

Citizens with Mayor in the Council chambers

“Whether it is a cooked meal or a place to sleep, Owen has opened the doors of his own home to help homeless people for many years. In some instances, he has even given people the jacket off his own back.

“As a passionate advocate for all issues that impact homeless people, he has given so many people a helping hand when they desperately needed it most.”

The Community Citizen of the Year – Senior (65 years and over) award was presented to joint winners Gordon Crane and Joan Fulford.

Both have been volunteers with the Citizens Advice Bureau for more than 40 years combined. During this time the pair have taken on a number of different roles, all in a bid to help their community.

Meanwhile, the Lions Club of Rockingham was recognised as winner of the Active Citizenship – Group or Event award for 2019.

The Lions Club of Rockingham was recognised for their charitable commitment to a number of causes. Its fundraising efforts, particularly from hosting its weekend community fair, were able to raise $50,000 last year which was donated to a number of community groups including the Salvation Army, Serenity Lodge, the Smith Family, SOUL Soup Kitchen and Lucy Saw Women’s Refuge.

“The Community Citizen of the Year Award winners for 2019 have all brought about positive change to the City,” Mayor Sammels said.

“They have demonstrated leadership, initiative and active citizenship, which has significantly contributed to the value of community life in Rockingham.”  

Presentation of the Community Citizen of the Year Awards was held prior to the City’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony, which saw 68 residents officially become Australian Citizens.

Image: City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels (centre) and Baldivis MLA Reece Whitby (left) with the winners of the Community Citizen of the Year Awards. Picture: City of Rockingham. 

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