Australia Day Award Winners Announced

Young citizen Kori Davis with Cr Phil Owen

The Brighton Council Australia Day award winners were recently announced after being postponed in January due to COVID. The awards recognise the hard work of members of the community. Here is a snapshot of why each deserving winner was chosen.

Young Citizen of the Year

Kori Davis organised a walking train to school, leading younger children from the school to ensure they all got to school safely. Kori has participated in the Pride March alongside Under One Rainbow. Kori is a proud Aboriginal community member who often presents Welcome To Country in palawa kani. Kori is a student leader and strives to be a leader for the younger children in the community.

Volunteers of the Year

Phil Dodge has been involved with the Brighton Football Club in many roles and at times holding several key positions in the same year. He has an immense appetite for hours of volunteering, which we’re told hasn’t been seen in the past at any club level and exemplifies what it means to be a volunteer. The Brighton Football Club has come back from having just a reserve and senior women’s team to having a full complement of teams from Auskick to senior level. Together with the Executive of the Club and Committee members and volunteers, Phil has been one of the major contributors to the revitalisation of the Brighton Football Club.

Damian Godfrey has been involved in both cricket and football in the local community for some time and his hard work is paying dividends with the growth of the Brighton Cricket Club. It has been revitalised by Damian and his team – working on ensuring the club is financially stable and the participation levels of the club grow year on year. The club hopes to eventually field a First Grade team in the TCA competition and his efforts, together with his committee and other volunteers, in moving towards this coming to fruition are well underway.

Volunteers of the Year Damian Godfrey (L), Cr Tennille Murtagh (C) and Phil Dodge (R)


Event of the Year

katulanya Winter Fest provided the community an opportunity to get together as a whole and celebrate what it means to be a community member in the katulanya area. The event was 100% free for all community to attend with a wide range of activities and food options available. One community member shared she had never attended an event in the community before and she felt welcomed and supported to attend and felt she would be safe to attend any further events held by the katulanya Collective. This event was a wonderful example of service providers and organisations working together to make a fantastic event for the community to participate in.

Citizen of the Year

Miranda Van Gellekom was nominated for this award because through her actions she shines in this community. Coming from her homeland in America she has embraced this community as hers. Miranda gives time to this community by being an active Lion with Brighton Lions Club, putting her hand up for markets, cooking and other events. Miranda also volunteers at Jordan River Services Bridgewater Community House four days a week cooking, teaching art and crafts and organising the youth group and other events. This year Miranda participated in the Spring Food Festival, showing her cooking talents. Her art and cooking talents are deep rooted in her American family history. On Tuesdays she does craft in the mornings, where they have been making fairy houses and the group has grown. Miranda can take nothing and turn it into amazing! Wednesdays is a community lunch. It’s common to see tables full. Miranda considers the community house her safe haven as the people who come are always friendly. When the centre manager introduces someone new to Miranda, he announces her as “Artist, Nutritionist, Cook, Mentor, Youth Worker Extraordinaire!”.

Citizen of the Year Miranda Van Gellekom (L) with Mayor Leigh Gray