Volunteers recognised with Australia Day awards

Volunteers who have demonstrated great care and compassion for disadvantaged community members have been recognised and celebrated with Australia Day awards.

The St Jude’s Community Meal project was awarded the Community Event of the Year honour, with Virginia Summers accepting the award. Virginia also received an Active Citizenship award, with Holdfast Bay Mayor Amanda Wilson describing her energy and dedication to her community as inspiring.

“Virginia gives most of her free time to local charitable causes. Each year she hosts a breast cancer fundraiser, she volunteers at Brighton Jetty Sculptures and after many years of advocacy, she was able to get Scouts SA included in the State Government’s sports voucher program,” Mayor Wilson said.

The St Jude’s Community Meal event started in August 2022 and the parish volunteers have provided free, nutritious three-course meals, week in and week out.

The volunteers also provide an extra meal with lots of cheer on Christmas Day, when others are busy with their families.

Two other Active Citizenship awards went to local sailing legend Malcom “Pip” Pearson and Greg and Richelle Patrick who created the Patawalonga Park Run.

Pip competed in the 505 Yacht Class at national and international level from the 1960s until 2012, and has a long association with the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club. He also volunteers at the Brighton Rugby Club and the Over 50’s Club in Brighton.

Greg and Richelle Patrick created the Patawalonga Park Run in August 2021 and it now boasts more than 90 regular participants and 200 volunteers who support the weekly event.

Two volunteers from the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club also received honours – namely Peter Tidswell and Josh Warne.

Peter was named Holdfast Bay’s Citizen of the Year for his pivotal role in the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club’s growth, professionalism and profile in the community.

He has also been instrumental in the achievements of the under 23 female crew, the Grenades, who have represented Australia and achieved high-level success in the past year.

In recognition of his dedication and leadership, Peter was awarded the Coach of the Year award in the 2023 Surf Life Saving South Australia Awards of Excellence.

Surf club volunteer Josh Warne received the Young Citizen of the Year award.

Last summer, he spent 360 hours on patrol and in emergency operations. He was part of Surf Life Saving South Australia’s response to the Murray River floods and also volunteered on New Year’s Eve keeping party goers at Glenelg safe around the water.

Each year, South Australia celebrates the achievements and contributions of outstanding members of their local communities through these Citizen of the Year Awards which are promoted by the Australia Day Council of South Australia.

In addition to the community awards, 67 people from 26 countries took their citizenship pledge this morning to become Australian citizens.

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