29 January 2019
The Kwinana Citizen of the Year for 2019 has been awarded to Chris Artemis, a lieutenant of the Kwinana South Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, at the City of Kwinana's annual Australia Day event on Saturday, 26 January 2018.
Chris was presented his award by 2018 Citizen of the Year, Abram Ziegelaar in front of a crowd of more than 500 people, beneath the tree canopy at the Kwinana Adventure Park.
The event, which treated the community to a free BBQ breakfast cooked by Kwinana Rotary, water slides and live music from the Southern Cross Bush Band, also saw 51 people from 18 countries worldwide become new Australian citizens at a special 70th anniversary citizenship ceremony also held at the event.
Each year on Australia Day, Local Governments across Western Australia present the Community Citizen of the Year Awards to recognise individuals and organisations making a notable contribution in their communities.
"Chris Artemis is the one of the most active members of the Kwinana South Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade and he unreservedly gives his time to serve the Brigade and community as a whole," said Mayor Carol Adams.
"Citizen of the Year is a prestigious award and just a small way we can thank someone like Chris who risks his own life for the safety of our community as a whole," she said.
"To be nominated in the Citizen of the Year Awards is an achievement in itself, and winners and nominees should be equally proud. We are fortunate to have so many outstanding citizens giving back to the Kwinana community," Mayor Adams added.
Youth Citizen of the Year 2019 Michellie Jones was also the recipient of a Lyrik (Leadership, Youth, Respect in Kwinana) 2018 Young Person of the Year award for her dedicated work with in the Kwinana community.
"Michellie has demonstrated a commitment and contribution to the young people of Kwinana through her work as a youth leader," Mayor Adams said.
Senior Citizen of the Year 2019, Mike Metcalf, is a hardworking and dedicated member of the local Kwinana Rotary Club. As well as being the proprietor of a local small business, Mike volunteers for senior roles within the club.
Citizen of the Year
Nominees: Tanya Halliday; Yvonne Harty; Chris Artemis
Winner: Chris Artemis
Tanya Halliday works hard to ensure local Aboriginal children and young people have a support network that understands and values their culture. Tanya always makes herself available and offers local families support, counselling, emergency relief and a listening ear.
Yvonne Harty works tirelessly with local service provider Ngala, supporting young children within Kwinana, as well as their parents. Yvonne is a great role model for parents and is always willing to provide a welcoming and open space for parents to seek advice and grow.
Chris Artemis is the one of the most active members of the Kwinana South Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade. Chris meets with members of the community at their properties, in his own time, to discuss fire safety and mitigation techniques. This is beyond any requirement of his position as lieutenant within the Brigade.
In addition to his commitment to the Bush Fire Brigade, Chris has also sacrificed considerable amounts of his time to the Kwinana Knights Junior Football team over the years. Despite a current break in service to the club, to allow him to focus more on his duties with the Fire Brigade, Chris's hard work and dedication to the club is still worth acknowledgement.
Citizen of the Year – Senior
Nominees: Steve Sturgeon; Mike Metcalf
Winner: Mike Metcalf
Steve Sturgeon has spearheaded the ongoing fight for the wellbeing of Wellard residents and the local environment. Steve works fulltime, on a volunteer basis, as the president of the Wellard Progress Association and is leading the fight against the proposed sand mine in rural Wellard.
Mike Metcalf is a hardworking and dedicated member of the local Kwinana Rotary Club. As well as being the proprietor of a local small business, Mike volunteers for senior roles within the club – including:
- Community Services Project Manager,
- Coordinator of community breakfasts for Australia Day and Anzac Day,
- Coordinator of the Kwinana Breakfast Club at 4 local primary schools,
- Project Manager for Christmas Lolly Run event,
- Chairperson for the Classic Car Show, and
- Raising funds for Children's Leukemia Foundation.
Mike was also a committee member for the establishment of the Kwinana Bendigo Bank.
Citizen of the Year – Youth
Michellie Jones has demonstrated a commitment and contribution to the young people of Kwinana through her involvement with the Salvation Army Junior Youth group as a Youth Leader. She regularly attends youth camps to improve her skills in providing pastoral care, as well as running her own leadership camps to foster skills in fellow teens. She was a student Councillor at Gilmore College, an international youth representative of the Interact Club (Rotary) and a crew trainer at McDonalds Kwinana. Michellie was also the recipient of a Lyrik (Leadership, Youth, Respect in Kwinana) 2018 Young Person of the Year award for her dedicated work with in the Kwinana community.
Active Citizenship of the Year – Group or Event
Laughing Horse Productions are a local not-for-profit theatre group based in the Kwinana area. They produce at least one major show per year, giving local actors - both young and old - the opportunity to stand on stage and experience the spotlight.
Many of the local participants, and their parents, have spoken highly of the opportunity and the changes in confidence some of the younger members have experienced. Undertaking a full-scale production is no small feat, and there are many faces behind the curtains that work tirelessly to ensure costumes, sets, scripts, rehearsals, ticketing and actors are all seamlessly combined to culminate in the fantastic performances that our community is lucky to experience.