Heroes recognised at Mandurah, Murray, Serpentine Jarrahdale Community Citizen of the Year Awards

Recognised: Mandurah Starfish Nippers owners Tash and Anthony Gollan, and Mandurah Surf Lifesaving Club volunteer Dylan Higgins. Photo: Claire Sadler.
Recognised: Mandurah Starfish Nippers owners Tash and Anthony Gollan, and Mandurah Surf Lifesaving Club volunteer Dylan Higgins. Photo: Claire Sadler.

Paramedic Jeremy Anderberg took out the Mandurah Community Citizen of the Year title for turning a tragedy into a learning opportunity.

Mr Anderberg is the paramedic who attended the scene of a tragic accident where a local school boy lost his life. He turned this tragedy into an opportunity for the community to promote road safety for all children.

He has attended road safety meetings, still wearing his uniform, directly from his night shift and his passion and drive for promoting road safety is unparalleled.

Other individuals and groups that made an outstanding positive contribution to the Mandurah, Murray and Serpentine Jarrahdale community were also awarded during Australia Day ceremonies.

Gary Russell-Brown was the recipient of the Mandurah Senior Community Citizen of the Year for "reaching out to residents with special needs, breaking down barriers and helping to improve their quality of life".

Involved with local organisations Fishability and Sail into Life, Mr Russell-Brown has lent his expertise to helping residents access fishing and sailing opportunities, learning new skills and connecting with their peers.

Youth Community Citizen of the Year Dylan Higgins.

Youth Community Citizen of the Year Dylan Higgins.

Dylan Higgins won the Mandurah Youth Community Citizen of the Year award for his volunteer contributions to the Mandurah Surf Life Saving Club. Having achieved a Cert II in coaching, Dylan volunteers to help with surf sports support and providing swim coaching from Little Nippers through to Masters.

Mandurah Starfish Nippers won the Active Citizenship Award for inclusive, modified lifesaving program.

The program's major aim is to ensure that participants do not feel excluded on the beach or feel like they're in a separate Surf Lifesaving program. The Club achieves this by running the Starfish Nippers program at the same time as Woodside Nippers.

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Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams said this year's winners had shown immense community spirit.

"Our winners have all played outstanding roles within our community, and are very deserving of these accolades," he said.

"I'm continually impressed and proud of how people step up to help others and come together to support this great community."

Mayor Williams also thanked this year's Auspire - Australia Day Ambassador Thea Kurniawan, who is a dual recipient of the Young Community Citizen of the Year Award. In addition to an impressive professional career, Thea is a volunteer with Millennium Kids Inc, and the founder of TEDxUWA.

In the Shire of Murray, Margaret McBride took out the Community Citizen of the Year award, the Senior Citizen of the Year was Patricia Briggs, and the Youth Citizen of the Year was Shenae Allen.

The North Dandalup Community Group won the Murray Active Citizenship award.

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale celebrated its community champions at the annual Australia Day awards and Citizenship Ceremony.

The Shire also awarded its Clem Kentish Community Service award on the day, which honours a community member who has given at least 20 years of service to SJ.

Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale award winners.

Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale award winners.

Jan Booth was the Community Citizen of the Year, Charles Kerfoot took out the Senior title, Luke Newman was the Youth award winner.

Landcare SJ's RUOK? Planting Day and Morning Tea won the Active Citizenship award and Trevor Senior won the Clem Kentish Community Service award.

Shire president Michelle Rich congratulated the award winners and thanked them for their enormous efforts within the community.

"SJ is so much more than just a place to live, and it's the contributions of tireless volunteers like our award winners who make our Shire such a connected and thriving community," she said.

"We are extremely lucky to have such spirited, community-minded individuals helping to drive our local groups and initiatives.

"Well done to everyone who was nominated for an award and congratulations to our winners."

This year the Shire also recognised 13 recipients of the National Medal, an award that recognises 15 years of diligent service by members of the Australian Emergency Services.

These 13 recipients are members of the Shire's local volunteer bushfire brigades.

"It was an honour to incorporate these awards in our Australia Day celebrations, and to acknowledge all Emergency Services staff and volunteers throughout the Shire," Cr Rich said.