Through our annual Australia Day Awards, the City of Port Adelaide Enfield recognises the service, commitment, effort and achievements of people that have enhanced the quality of life in the Port Adelaide Enfield Council area. Nominations are invited under the Australia Day Awards, which are conducted in conjunction with the Australia Day Council of South Australia.
Each year, the City of PAE, in association with the National Australia Day Council, seek nominations for our Australia Day Awards. These awards are in recognition of residents who have made an outstanding contribution to the community.
The major awards are as follows:
Australia Day Citizen of the Year
Nominee must have made a significant contribution to the community during the current year and/or given outstanding service to the community over a number of years.
Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year
Nominee must be 30 years of age or younger and have made a significant contribution to the community during the current year and/or given outstanding service to the community over a number of years.
Community Event of the Year
Recognises a person or group presenting an outstanding or beneficial community event during the year which has provided opportunities for participation and attendance by the community.
Emerging Event/Community Group
This award is presented to a person or group in recognition of an emerging community group or event established in the last 12 months, which addresses emerging issues or identified opportunities for change in the Port Adelaide Enfield community and promotes community inclusion, participation and well-being.
Council, at its discretion, may recognise other individuals, groups or organisations for outstanding achievement, contribution to the community, or other endeavour.
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. Alexandra has been instrumental in the growth of the Semaphore Greek Festival. 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 5 years she has head 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 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. Nothing is ever too difficult for Alexandra.
Young Citizen of the Year - Matakey Mersha
** Above photo shows Award being accepted by Matakey’s brother
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.
Co mmunity 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 Cafe
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 were also presented to:
Benito (Ben) Carbone
Sister Mary Symonds
The Opportunity Games
Congratulations to all of our Winners. Service to the Community Winners and Nominees!
If you have any questions regarding the Awards please contact the Community Development team on (08) 8405 6798