; City of Wanneroo welcomes new citizens - City of Wanneroo

City of Wanneroo welcomes new citizens

Published Friday, 27th January 2023

The City of Wanneroo held a special citizenship event on Thursday 26 January 2023, where four residents were also recognised with Australia Day Awards for their contributions to the local community.

Citizenship ceremony

Historically, the City of Wanneroo has held one of the largest council-led ceremonies in the country. 

Once again this year, the City conferred citizenship on the most people in Western Australia on one day, with Judith Birchall, the Deputy Chair of Ni Kadadjiny Koort, the City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Reference Group, delivering the Acknowledgement to Country, and the One Big Voice Choir providing entertainment. 

Wanneroo Mayor Linda Aitken officiated the event at Kingsway Christian College in Darch, welcoming over 300 new citizens from 52 countries, and congratulating the Australia Day Award recipients. 

“The City of Wanneroo is incredibly proud of its diverse mix of cultures and heritage,” she said. 

“Our community of 219,000 people is growing by approximately 7,000 each year, and more than 40 per cent of our residents were born overseas, contributing to a rich tapestry of traditions and customs in the City. 

“Today’s celebration is an opportunity to acknowledge and respect the contributions made by our citizens and community members to the life of our City, this region and this country, and I am delighted that the new citizens have decided to make the City of Wanneroo their home.

“I would also like to acknowledge our incredible Australia Day Award recipients, who were recognised today for their outstanding commitment to their local community.”

Alkimos resident Craig Savoury said he was honoured to become an Australian citizen, joined by wife Joanne and children Oliver (15) and Lola (12).

“We emigrated from England eight years ago and just love the Australian lifestyle – we are excited to be Australian citizens,” he said.

“We love the diverse community in the City of Wanneroo and living so close to the beach.

“We’ll be celebrating with a lunch by the beach followed by a barbecue with friends at home.”

Since the first citizenship event in 2001, more than 9,500 new citizens have been conferred at the City’s Australia Day ceremonies, in addition to regular ceremonies held by the City throughout the year.

Australia Day Awards recipients

The Australia Day Awards recognise and thank people who have made a significant contribution to the City of Wanneroo community.

Student Citizenship Award – Kyeden Heir

Kyeden received the Student Citizenship Award for his contribution to the local community and the leadership qualities he demonstrated as co-president of the student council and Clontarf Foundation representative at Girrawheen High School.

In his time at Girrawheen High School Kyeden acted as a positive role model to younger students, encouraging and motivating all students to achieve success and be proud of their culture.

Kyeden has volunteered in soup kitchens, was a student ambassador and peer mentor for local primary school students, supported cultural sporting events such as NAIDOC carnivals, school competitions and coached basketball with younger students. 

Australia Day Award – Janine Gaskell

Carramar resident Janine was awarded for 28 years of volunteering at her local football club.

Janine was the driving force to launch the JETS Joondalup Kinross Junior Football Club’s All Abilities program Starkick in 2016. 

The program welcomes boys and girls between the ages of five and 12 years with all physical and cognitive abilities. 

Thanks to Janine, who has been the coach, recruiter and coordinator of the program for the past seven years, simple things many take for granted, such as having a post-game sausage sizzle with club mates, wearing your club shirt or cheering on your team are now a reality for local children with disabilities. 

Australia Day Community Group or Event Award – The Pantry WA

Wangara-based The Pantry WA was awarded the Community Group Award for outstanding community service.

As the need for food support grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation continued to provide food hampers to those who were going through a difficult time. 

In order to meet the growing need, the group moved into new bigger premises and provided a drive-through system.

The Pantry WA also developed a new business plan to create several new income streams to continue to support their work. 

Australia Day Senior Award – Marcia Dinnie

Wanneroo resident Marcia was presented the Senior Award for her advocacy on behalf of seniors within Wanneroo and the wider community.

Marcia has been a member of the Wanneroo Senior Citizens Club for nearly 30 years, and club president for more than two decades.

The club is a vital hub in the community, offering social connection, lifelong learning and a range of engaging activities such as bingo, tai chi, dancing, arts and crafts.

Community stalwart Marcia adapted the club’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure members remained socially connected and mentally well.

She allocated all involved seniors to a committee member who would act as a buddy responsible for maintaining connection with that person.

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