Get to know our 2023 Citizen of the Year Award winners

Published on Friday, 27 January 2023 at 10:38:08 AM

Several of our outstanding community champions and local volunteer groups were celebrated at the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s Community Citizen of the Year Awards on 26 January 2023.

Get to know our 2023 Community Citizen of the Year Award winners below.

Clem Kentish Community Service Award – Vicky Kerfoot

Vicky Kerfoot arrived in Jarrahdale from Kenya in the late 1970s and has been an active member of our community ever since.

She began serving as secretary of the Jarrahdale Community and Recreation Council in 1981 and has since played a key role in helping to shape the town’s future while working to preserve its historic past.

Vicky was the inaugural secretary of the Jarrahdale Heritage Society in 1988, remaining a stalwart of the group to this day.

In her time as one of SJ’s most active community members, Vicky’s work has consisted of driving trails development, writing the Jarrahdale Heritage Park concept and leading a variety of local committees.

Some of the committees she has served on include:

  • Jarrahdale Community and Recreation Council
  • Jarrahdale Primary School
  • The Axemen’s Club
  • Jarrahdale Tennis Club
  • Jarrahdale Heritage Society
  • Jarrahdale Forest Protectors

The Clem Kentish Community Service Award aims to recognise long-standing contributors to the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale community, making Vicky Kerfoot a well-deserved recipient of this prestigious award.

Community Citizen of the Year – Julie Richards

Julie Richards was awarded the Community Citizen of the Year in recognition of her efforts to promote food sustainability and a connected community through the Byford Glades Community Garden.

A member with the group since 2017 and their secretary since 2020, Julie has been a key driver in educating our community to be able to grow their own food and live more sustainably.

Her work with the Garden has included providing fruit and vegetables to the Byford Baptist Church for their weekly free food giveaways, as well as fostering a relationship with Beyond Blue to raise awareness for mental health at open garden events.

Recently Julie and her husband Gary spearheaded the Garden’s Urban Agriculture Education Program, a free series of hands-on workshops teaching SJ locals the best ways to grow their own food.

Julie’s drive to help create a healthier SJ makes her a fitting winner of the Community Citizen of the Year award.

Senior Community Citizen of the Year – Judy Curtis

Judy Curtis was named Senior Community Citizen of the Year for the variety of volunteer roles she has held across SJ, including with the Jarrahdale Heritage Society and Byford Progress Association.

Judy’s drive to assist with guided walks and trail maintenance sessions has seen her make a significant impact in Jarrahdale.

She has also been involved in the Byford Progress Association and was active in coordinating the exhibition celebrating the Centenary of the Naming of Byford.

Her passion for the community also extends to the environment, having assisted with Byford Envirolink working in Shire reserves and volunteering with Byford Roadside rubbish collection.

Judy served in the Byford Volunteer Bushfire Brigade for 13 years and is a member of the Bushfire Ready Team giving talks to school children and attending markets and other community events to raise awareness on bushfire preparedness.

Judy can be found in the community at most events volunteering, assisting or participating and is always ready to help out someone in need.

Youth Community Citizen of the Year – Reece Jerrett

Reece Jerrett received the Shire’s Youth Community Citizen of the Year Award for his extensive work in the nature and agriculture fields.

His volunteering days began at the age of just nine years old with the Perth Royal Show, and Reece has since continued his work with several different organisations.

Among his many roles, Reece is currently President of the SJ Food and Farm Alliance, working tirelessly to raise awareness of the value of local food and farming in our community.

His efforts to raise the profile of our local producers has helped shine the light on agriculture in Serpentine Jarrahdale.

Reece has also worked closely with Landcare SJ to help deliver R U OK? Day events, promoting positive mental health.

His contribution to the community is vast. Reece is always the first to put his hand up to volunteer and get involved in all kinds of local, state, and national events and organisations.

Active Citizenship Award (Group Category) – SJ Food and Farm Alliance

The SJ Food and Farm Alliance has championed the local agricultural industry for several years now, raising awareness for issues such as food security, benefiting community health and increasing local economies.

They have achieved great results for the community through educational workshops including their Master Class series and healthy cooking workshops, while their work to spearhead the weekly SJ Farmers Market has delivered one of the most popular weekend activities in SJ.

The Alliance also leads the way in delivering the SJ Food and Farm Fest, one of the community’s most popular annual events showcasing our local producers to visitors from all over the Perth and Peel regions.

The Food and Farm Fest is now associated with the Royal Agricultural Society of WA allowing competitors to earn points for their animals, produce and judging skills to assist them in qualifying to attend the Perth Royal Show.

The Alliance continues to drive one of our Shire’s largest industries into the future while providing vital support to hard-working locals.

Certificate of Appreciation – Graceford Volunteer Group

This year’s Active Citizenship Award also saw a certificate of appreciation awarded to the Graceford Volunteer Group.

This group of 12 dedicated volunteers enrich the lives of 68 aged and infirm residents at the Graceford Baptistcare Nursing Home where extended and high-level care is provided to residents of the Shire.

The volunteers work alongside staff and engage with residents who are physically disabled or suffering varying levels of dementia, providing support through a wide range of activities.

The group total an average of 250 volunteer hours per month performing amazing work for some of our more vulnerable residents.

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