Wanneroo citizens recognised on January 27

Deputy mayor James Rowe, Maddie Walker, Derek Young, Stephanie Scott from Yanchep Netball Club, Sally Allen and Mayor Linda Aitken.

THE City of Wanneroo recognised four dedicated residents for their contributions to the community at a citizenship event on Saturday, January 27.

Wanneroo Mayor Linda Aitken, who officiated the event at Peter Moyes Anglican Community School in Mindarie, said the Charles Searson Australia Day youth award went to Maddie Walker for her contribution to the Yanchep Surf Live Saving Club and the Yanchep community.

A dedicated surf lifesaving competitor and club member, she has been going above and beyond to help the club since she was 15, training other young club members and managing the club’s nippers program, all while balancing her university studies and work commitments.

Now aged 21, she is an inspiration to patrolling members, kids in the Woodside nippers program and the youth cadets of the Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club.

The Australia Day award recognised Derek Young for his invaluable contributions to the Two Rocks Bush Fire Brigade and the Two Rocks Youth in Emergency Services (YES) cadet program and for his commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of others.

A devoted bushfire brigade volunteer, he launched the YES cadet program in January 2022 to provide young people with valuable emergency services skills and knowledge.

The program aims to foster the cadets’ personal development and instil a sense of responsibility and community service.

The program now has a strong member base and is recognised for its capacity to build resilience and create a more educated and prepared community in the event of an emergency.

Yanchep Netball Club was awarded the Australia Day community group award for its commitment to having a positive impact on the local community and providing the opportunity for anyone to learn new skills, stay fit and socialise in an inclusive environment, regardless of ability.

Run by a group of committed volunteers, the club has grown to more than 170 members, with 17 teams playing each week.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Yanchep Netball Club prides itself on being supportive, welcoming and providing a sense of community to anyone who wants to give netball a try.

Sally Allen received the Australia Day senior award for her work with the Northern Suburbs Stroke Group.

The group helps stroke survivors and their carers cope with life after a stroke, motivating them to get the most out of life by connecting them to available services, peer support and providing respite activities.

She has led the group for 23 years, helping to provide vital assistance and practical advice to stroke survivors in Perth’s northern suburbs.

She has dedicated decades of her life to helping others, volunteering her time as a Justice of the Peace and working with St John Ambulance, Red Cross and surf lifesaving.

Mrs Aitken congratulated the Australia Day award recipients.

“These annual awards acknowledge the efforts and celebrate the achievements of community members who have made a genuine contribution to the city,” she said.

“This year’s recipients have demonstrated their commitment to our community by volunteering their time and skills in service of their fellow residents, and it was wonderful to be able to show our appreciation for all that they do.’’

Mrs Aitken also welcomed more than 400 new citizens from more than 50 countries.

She said she was proud to help the city’s newest citizens take their pledge and to welcome them as Australian citizens for the first time.

“I am delighted they have decided to join our tightknit City of Wanneroo community that values diversity and inclusivity by embracing and celebrating our many cultures and traditions.”

The citizenship event featured performances by the One Big Voice choir and a welcome to country delivered by Whadjuk man and cultural educator Vaughn McGuire.

Since the first citizenship event in 2001, nearly 10,000 new citizens have been conferred at the city’s Australia Day ceremonies, in addition to regular ceremonies held throughout the year.