The Shire of Manjimup's official Citizen of the Year Awards Ceremony took place in conjunction with Walpole Community Resource Centre's annual "Av' a G'day" on Australia Day.
Celebrations in Pioneer Park commenced at 8.30am with an exciting range of activities with the official ceremony held at noon.
The ceremony included an Acknowledgement of Country, Australia Day address from Shire President Paul Omodei, entertainment by talented Walpole local Rob Vermeulen as well as bush poet Peter Blythe and guest speaker Gary Muir of WOW Wilderness Eco Cruises, followed by the presentation of the Citizen of the Year Awards.
“All nominations for the Citizenship of the Year Awards received this year would be worthy winners. We have many individuals and groups in our community who are dedicated to the liveability of our region, who give freely of their time and effort for our safety and enjoyment,” Shire president Paul Omodei said.
Citizen of the Year
Nominees: Linda Beard, Mark Hudson, Julian Sharp, Kaye and Dennis Hall.
Winner: Mark Hudson
Mr Hudson was one of the key driving forces in the creation of the iconic Pemberton Mountain Bike Park, a wonderful community asset for use by locals and visiting mountain bike riders.
He has developed strong connections within the mountain bike community, which assists the many mountain biking events he organises at the bike park.
He also maintains the 30klm of trails which lie within the park. He is constantly thinking of ideas and ways to improve the region, for the benefit of the local community as well as visitors.
Mr Hudson was the previous president of the Pemberton Visitor Centre board for several years, volunteering an immense amount of hours.
He also gives back to his community through Pemberton St John Ambulance where he is an active volunteer officer and is regularly on call.
Citizen of the Year – Youth (Under 25 years)
Nominees: Elsie Edmonds, Khiara Holdsworth
Winner: Khiara Holdsworth
Ms Holdsworth is a kind, caring and giving young person which is demonstrated by her activity in the community.
In 2017, she was a student counsellor at Northcliffe High School, as well as vice sports captain where she was involved in the creation of a number of activities for fellow students and well as fundraising activities for the school P and C.
Ms Holdsworth assisted the student council at Northcliffe in helping the Seniors Housing Village in the painting of garden gnomes.
She participates in local sporting groups such as soccer, netball development squad and basketball.
She has strong leadership qualities, which shine through at Northcliffe Youth Group.
She is always first to volunteer, encourages others and shows initiative.
Citizen of the Year – Senior (Over 65 years)
Nominees: Andre Foulon, Nancy Jennings, Ian Payton, Carol Samsa, Christine Trappitt, Francis Hull, Klaus Mueller, Harvey Giblett.
Winner: Harvey Giblett
Mr Giblett is a lifetime community supporter for many community groups and events within the Shire of Manjimup.
He kindly donates the grounds and support for the Cherry Harmony Festival Long Table Meal.
He donates fresh produce to many organisations and events including scouts, health promotional programs and schools.
Mr Giblett is involved with the Southern Forest Food Council where he assists in promoting local produce and enhancing innovative agriculture.
He continuously promotes employment opportunities for locals and travellers and fosters opportunities for growth of employees.
He is a huge driving force in increasing water security within the Warren Blackwood.
He attends community events, often volunteering his time to assist before, during and after the event in a range of tasks.
He offers sponsorship and support for local football clubs as well as being an active member in the Rotary Club of Manjimup, Life member of the Deanmill Football Club and Patron of the Warren District Agricultural Society. Harvey is a devoted community and family member.
Nominees: Manjimup Lawn Bowls Association – Corporate Bowls, Walpole Yacht Club, St John Ambulance Walpole Nornalup, Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival.
Winner: Walpole Yacht Club
In 2011, the Walpole Yacht Club was nearly condemned through severe storm damage.
With low membership and no active sailing program, a decision needed to be made with the community to save the club.
Since then, the club has been greatly reinvigorated with membership, weekly sailing and reestablishment of the Walpole in the Trees Regatta.
This was made possible by the members and volunteers within the Walpole community. The Regatta brings over 500 people to the region and is continuously growing.
It is the largest regional sailing regatta in WA. The Walpole Yacht Club has seen a large increase in memberships and a renewed interest across all age groups and demographics in active sailing, water and other club activities.
The Walpole Yacht club forms part of the Walpole Sport Alliance which aims for clubs in Walpole to support each other and events.