Kiama Council has announced Graeme Packer as the Australia Day Citizen of the Year for 2019.
As the face of the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal in Kiama, Graeme has seen his town recognised as the most supported Red Shield Appeal zone nationally. Graeme ensures that 95 per cent of homes are doorknocked in May, and the many thousands of dollars generously given by the people of Kiama remain in the Illawarra supporting the more marginalised of our community.
Graeme works tirelessly for six months each year on the appeal, recruiting collectors, speaking with business and community groups, speaking at school assemblies and generally ensuring that people are aware that the appeal takes place.
Graeme is also a bandmaster of the Salvation Army Senior Band who regularly give their time freely to provide concerts at church groups, seniors groups and nursing homes in Kiama.
Council has also announced Tony Mitchell as Senior Citizen of the Year and Troy Bartrim as Young Citizen of the Year.
Born and bred in Kiama, Tony’s involvement in the community started from a young age with the Kiama Scout Troop as a scout and later as a leader. Since then he has gone on to volunteer with an enormous range of clubs in Kiama and Wollongong.
Tony is passionate about responsible dog ownership. He founded the Kiama Dog Training Club in the early 90s, was a founding member on Kiama Council’s Dog Committee, and is a life member and one of the founders of the Wollongong Dog Sports Club. Children’s Medical Research Institute Gerringong is the Community Group of the Year.
Troy joined the 1st Kiama Scouts in 2007 and in the decade since has wasted no time racking up achievement after achievement, receiving his Queen’s Scout Award in 2016 from the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
During his HSC year at Kiama High School he found time to complete an intensive two-week Permaculture Design Course. This enabled him to help run workshops on Hot Composting and No-Dig Garden Bed Building. He has also been managing a project to upgrade the irrigation system in the nursery area at the community garden.
Troy’s work with Hillside Landcare includes building, installing, maintain and monitoring habitat boxes and structures for native microbats, Rosellas, native bees and other insects.
He has also worked on other Landcare sites such as Bombo Headland.
The recipients will be presented with their awards at Council’s Australia Day celebrations on Saturday 26 January.
Council is hosting it’s Australia Day activities in Gerringong this year, following Jamberoo in 2018.
The celebrations include the Australia Day Awards presentations as well as the traditional citizenship ceremony in Gerringong Town Hall.
Council is also a hosting a range of Australia Day activities for the whole community outside the Hall in Old School Park.
The activities include a bacon and egg breakfast, live music, jumping castle, face painting, come and try drumming workshops and novelty games, including giant versions of jenga and dominoes.
While Council is hosting it’s Australia Day celebrations in Gerringong, there will still be plenty happening in Jamberoo, Kiama Downs and Kiama itself.
A full list of Australia Day activities is available online: www.kiama.nsw.gov.au