Butler teen one of Wanneroo’s four Australia Day award winners

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Charles Searson Australia Day youth award winner Aiden Campbell (centre) with Wanneroo deputy mayor Frank Cvitan and Mayor Tracey Roberts.

FOUR residents were recognised for their contributions to the community in the Australia Day awards in Wanneroo today.

Aiden Campbell of Butler was the winner of the Charles Searson Australia Day youth award, the Australia Day award was won by Donna Marwick-O’Brien from One Big Voice, the Australia Day community group award went to Wangara-based charity No Limits Perth and senior of the year was awarded to Eleanor Rigby from the Knit and Natter group.

City of Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts congratulated the Australia Day award recipients who had shown so much passion and determination to make a positive difference for the community.

Attendees at the city’s Australia Day ceremony enjoyed a barbecue breakfast provided by the scouts, before a Welcome to Country and didgeridoo performance by Dennis Simmons and presentation of the Australia Day awards.

The Australia Day awards recognise those who have contributed to the City of Wanneroo across a diverse range of activities and initiatives.

Charles Searson Australia Day youth award – Aiden Campbell

Aiden is committed to raising awareness about climate change and pursuing positive actions for a more sustainable future.

As a surf lifesaver, Aiden sees firsthand how climate change affects the oceans and wildlife. In October 2019, as a Year 11 student at Butler College, Aiden petitioned the city to take strong action on climate change.

The council endorsed the petition in March 2020 and became a signatory to the WALGA Climate Change Declaration, strengthening the city’s established commitment to addressing climate change.

Australia Day award – Donna Marwick-O’Brien

Donna is Creative Director of One Big Voice (OBV), coordinating more than 2000 primary school students to sing at various events including city functions, Anzac Day and graduations, culminating in an annual performance at Perth Arena.

Her songs are positive, life affirming and uplifting.

Most are OBV originals written to address issues such as bullying.

In 2020, OBV wrote songs to assist teachers with the mental health and wellbeing of their students during the Covid-19 pandemic.

OBV holds auditions and rehearsals at the Wanneroo Cultural Centre, bringing hundreds of families to the area.

Australia Day community group or event award – No Limits Perth, accepted by chairwoman Janine Wood.

Wangara-based charity, No Limits Perth (NLP), provides essential support services across Perth’s northern suburbs.

NLP provides practical help such as food hampers, toiletries and other basic essentials to vulnerable members of the community, including people experiencing family violence.

Under the guidance of chairwoman Janine Wood NLP has grown substantially over the past five years.

It collaborates with more than 80 government and non-government organisations, community groups and charities.

During the last financial year, NLP distributed around 1500 food hampers, feeding 6000 people.

NLP has assisted more than 300 vulnerable families in moving house, providing much-needed furniture and household items.

Senior of the year award – Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor is the Coordinator of the Knit and Natter group based at Pearsall Hocking Community Centre.

The group has grown from six members in 2011 to more than 110 today.

Knit and Natter meet regularly to knit clothes, blankets and shawls, which are donated to charities including Cancer Care WA, Ronald McDonald House and Youth Futures WA, aged care facilities, hospitals and women’s refuges.

In 2019, the group made and donated more than 12,000 items.

During Covid-19 restrictions, Eleanor checked on members of the group, dropping bags of yarn at their letterboxes so that they could keep busy.

She spends many hours every week organising and distributing yarn to members of Knit and Natter, making the group’s important community work possible.