SHIRE OF WONGAN-BALLIDU COMMUNITY CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARDS

Let's Reflect, Respect and Celebrate community contribution across our state on Australia Day.  We're all part of the story.

It was a great day for all community members who came together in Wongan Hills and Ballidu to celebrate Australia Day together.  Cr Jon Hasson was in Wongan Hills to conduct the citizenship ceremony for the Shire's latest family who join us as fully fledged Australians.  We welcome Renel, Ryan, Reyveen and Daniel Baay to our community.  Cr Hasson also had the pleasure of announcing our 2021 Citizen awards.  The following recipients are this year's worthy winners:

2021 Citizen of the Year – Karen Box

Acknowledged for her love for our community, Karen is a highly active citizen who gives freely of her time.  She works extensively with our youth running festivals, Lego Clubs and music sessions to name a few and with her gentle yet strong leadership skills, she encourages many adolescents to face their challenges with confidence.  In conjunction with the Anglican Church, Karen runs the parish pantry for people in need and also runs cooking classes to encourage healthy eating on a budget.  Over the years, Karen has been an active member of an award winning therapy group and worked to support the Wongan Hills District High School P&C committee and always gives freely of her time to fundraising, charities and street stalls supporting various groups within the Shire.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Karen receiving her award from Shire President Cr. Jon Hasson

2021 Young Citizen of the Year – Elyssa Giedraitis

Elyssa is an outstanding young person who at the tender age of 17 started a mental health blog and continues to advocate for the understanding of mental health through her own example.  Not only does she promote understanding and acceptance of mental health, through her blog she continues to assist others, educate the community and help overcome negative stereotypes based on misconceptions.  Born and raised in Wongan Hills, Elyssa uses her strong marketing and business skills to promote local business through her website "Beyond the Business" which showcases small rural businesses, particularly within the Shire of Wongan-Ballidu.

2021Community Group of the YearWongan Hills Volunteer Fire Brigade

The brave men and women of the Wongan Hills Volunteer Fire Brigade are recognised for their selfless dedication to protecting our Shire through dangerous situations.  Not only do the heroic members of the Fire Brigade show up when we most need them to protect our properties and our lives, they give freely of their time and energy to attend meetings and receive training and develop their professional skills.  Operating on a volunteer basis, members of the fire brigade often have to abandon family and social events to answer the call of duty.

2021Community Event of the Year – Ballidu Heritage Centre’s 1st Anniversary Celebration  

In a relatively short time, the Ballidu Heritage Centre has established an outstanding centre to protect and display an incredible collection of photographs, books, equipment, furniture and much more giving an historic account of a small rural community from 1909 to present.   The Heritage Centre is recognised for the event celebrating the anniversary of its opening, a remarkable, COVID safe event planned in particular by two passionate community members and their support team.  Not only was the event a resounding success, the preparation work to restore both the old Ballidu Hall and the collection on display is an achievement in itself.  The Heritage Centre has added another tourist attraction for the Shire and created a highly relevant purpose for the old building.  By giving the hall a new lease on life, it is once again a viable setting for community celebrations and a source of social and emotional connection for the residents of Ballidu.      

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