Australia Day Award winners on the sunny side

THE annual City of Clarence Australia Day Awards has remained a popular Australia Day tradition for many local residents and visitors, with thousands flocking to the Bellerive boardwalk.

The celebrations kicked off with a hearty breakfast and music from the A Cappella Bootcamp Choir and the Clarence City Band.

Later that morning, the official Australia Day ceremony saw 13 people from six countries – England, South Africa, Nepal, India, Bhutan and Canada – become Australian citizens.

The highlight for many was the Australia Day Awards presented by Australia Day Ambassador and SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY founder Mitch McPherson and Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman.

Marie Crick won the 2018 City of Clarence Citizen of the Year award and was described as “a shining light of positivity” who changed the lives of many people in her community.

One of Ms Crick’s achievements was instigating the idea for the ‘Brain Box’ bike helmet program in Clarence Plains after identifying that a number of kids were not wearing helmets in the area due to the cost of purchase.

She approached Mission Australia and Council’s Youth Services team with the issue and the program is now in operation.

Young riders give five-hours of community service for a discounted helmet.

Ms Crick was also a founding member of the Clarence Plains Spring Clean and member of the GROW project steering committee to develop a community garden space and outdoor classroom for students in Clarendon Vale.

Senior Citizen of the Year was awarded to Christopher Smith, an advocate for seniors and men’s health through various roles.

He is a co-founding member of the Howrah Men’s Shed and a long-standing and active member of National Seniors Australia (NSA).

Mr Smith has been described as a pivotal leader of the NSA Rosny branch during its infancy and, in a period of declining membership, his leadership saw the membership base grow.

He also delivers regular presentations at Centrelink seminars on the importance of the socialisation of seniors after retirement.

Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to Demi Smith, a Bayview Secondary College student who is a strong voice on youth issues in Clarence.

She is a member of the Clarence Youth Network Advisory Committee and part of a working group for Youth Homelessness Matters Day in 2016 and 2017.

Demi has also directed a short film, ‘The Off Course Girl’, submitted as part of the Hidden Others film festival and screened as part of Salvos Sleep-Out to increase conversations about youth homelessness.

The Community Event of the Year was awarded to Carols Under the Stars.

Organised by Abundant Life Church, the event was regarded as Hobart’s largest and longest running free carols event.

The family-friendly event is supported by more than 100 volunteers and attracts more than 5000 people each year.

“The City of Clarence is a vibrant place thanks to many people, but especially those in the community who give to others without expecting anything back,” Mayor Chipman said.

“Our four recipients are great examples of just that.”

Caption: Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman with 2018 Australia Day Award winners, from left, Demi Smith (Young Citizen of the Year), Marie Crick (Citizen of the Year), Matt Sharples on behalf of Carols Under the Stars (Event of the Year) and Christopher Smith (Senior Citizen of the Year).