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Community heroes honoured as Shire celebrates Australia Day

Five residents from the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, including a local couple...

8 February 2018
Senior Citizen of the Year Australia Day Award Medal

Five residents from the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, including a local couple who have fostered over 300 WA children, were among those recognised at the Australia Day WA Community Citizen of the Year Awards recently.

Held at the Serpentine Jarrahdale Community Recreation Centre and supported by Lotterywest, the awards honour individuals and organisations who’ve made a notable and/or longstanding contribution to their community. The day also saw 41 residents become Australian citizens.

The prestigious Australia Day WA Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Susan and Torin Johnstone who, over 16 years, have provided temporary or long-term care to approximately 300 WA foster children. The couple are actively involved with local schools and sporting clubs, and also foster and help rehome older dogs.

Graham Sampson was recognised for his contribution to the lives of local youths with the Citizen of the Year (Seniors) award. A founding member of the Serpentine Jarrahdale Youth Activity group, Mr Sampson serves as a role model for young people, teaching them new skills and encouraging them to become involved in the community. It is the second second time he has been recognised on Australia Day, having also been awarded Citizen of Year in 2002.

The Clem Kentish Community Service Award, for outstanding contribution for at least 20 years, was presented to Sue Mead. Ms Mead is an active member of several community organisations, including the Hopeland Community Association where she has volunteered for many years.

Colin Wilson was presented with the Rotary Service Above Self Award, while a further 25 local volunteers received Emergency Services Volunteer medals for either 15, 25, 35 and 45 years’ service.

“These people are residents, neighbours and friends, and embody exactly what is meant by the term community spirit,” said Shire President Cr Michelle Rich.

“They don’t seek accolades or awards, but their contribution is immense and it’s incredibly important that, as a community, we recognise their service.

“We would also like to thank Lotterywest for their continued support of this fantastic community event and make special mention of the 41 residents who became new Australian citizens on the day.”

More than 1000 people gathered at the Serpentine Jarrahdale Community Recreation Centre for the Shire’s free annual Australia Day celebration. The day included activities, entertainment, and breakfast cooked by over 170 local volunteers.