Congratulations to 2019 Australia Day Award winners
The winners of the 2019 City of Port Adelaide Enfield Australia Day Awards were announced tonight at a ceremony at Parks Library.
These prestigious Awards celebrate the exceptional people and groups who have made an outstanding contribution in their community. The event is part of the City of PAE's two day Australia Day celebration.
Mayor Claire Boan presented the Awards, congratulating all the nominees and winners and acknowledging their contribution to making our community a better place to be. "We know there are many great leaders in our community, people who consciously work towards building connections, providing support and creating opportunities for other people. We thank you for your involvement in developing our City".
2019 City of Port Adelaide Enfield Australia Day Award Winners
Citizen of the Year – Alexandra Vakitsidis
For 40 years Alexandra has consistently contributed to the Port Adelaide community through her volunteering, fundraising and leadership roles in multiple committees. Alexandra is able to motivate not only other volunteers but also the general public to rally, help and support good causes. She works tirelessly weekly to look after the aged and vulnerable through home visits, fundraising and weekly luncheons. Alexandra is also involved in the wider Greek community organizing fundraising events, visiting nursing homes to entertain and look into the welfare of community members. For the last five years Alexandra has headed the Port Adelaide Philanthropic Society where she has raised monies to donate to hospitals for research. She has been responsible for the last several years in putting on a multicultural Christmas Show. Alexandra is regarded as a selfless, highly energetic, caring person, who volunteers on a daily basis at her own expense. She does not seek recognition and derives satisfaction as a result of the deeds achieved by her and others.
Young Citizen of the Year – Matakey Mersha
Matakey was nominated in recognition of his significant contribution to supporting young people in the local Ethiopian & Eritrean Communities. For years Matakey has been organizing boys’ soccer teams and this year he helped establish the Horn of Africa girls’ soccer team. Matakey does this out of kindness and is always there for the younger community. He helped organise the first ever Eritrean & Ethiopian youth celebration in 2018. The event has significantly helped bring together the two communities. He has gone above and beyond for the girls & boys soccer teams. He has taught the teams how to be confident and try new things. He has created a place where people feel like they belong.
Community Event of the Year – Semaphore Greek Festival
The Semaphore Greek Festival attracts people from all cultures and age groups. The event attracts over forty thousand visitors over a two day weekend. It includes over three hundred volunteers from the community. The festival offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the full cultural aspect by way of food, beverages, sweets, music, dancing and entertainment. It is a family friendly event with free entry. The festival will be celebrating its 40th consecutive event at the foreshore. From its humble beginnings of seven hundred patrons to now tens of thousands swarming the foreshore, the festival is known for its reputation for high quality food and sweets. The volunteers, who range in age from ten years old to ninety years, are excited and willingly motivated to attend every year to make the event a success and support its growth.
Emerging Event/Community Group of the year – The Experience Café
The Experience Café began operating at Kilburn Community Centre one year ago. It has become a hub of community, offering people not just economical meals and great coffee but a place to meet and a welcoming space for people looking for social connections. Experience Café trains volunteers and allows them to gain experience working in a café environment, providing pathways to employment and mentoring for members of the community. A number of local residents who were previously isolated feel comfortable to come to the café for support and a place to be. Experience Café partners with local services to provide community education programs including Barista Skills course and Creative Art classes. On Saturdays the Cafe becomes a space for a community lunch, with a long table for the community to sit around and share a meal. The Café is also committed to being environmentally responsible, using paper straws and recycling. The Experience Café has made a significant impact on Kilburn Community Centre. Diners at the Café feel they are part of the family.
Service to the Community Awards
Steve Smart, Rose Darling, Sister Mary Symonds, Joyce McNab, Kym Miller, Terry Brokate, Benito (Ben) Carbone, Jeffrey Coley, Ross Wait, The Opportunity Games
For interviews with Australia Day Award winners please contact the City of Port Adelaide Enfield.