Our citizens celebrated
by Brighton Council
On Wednesday 22 February Brighton Council, alongside the community, celebrated this year’s local Citizens of the Year. This annual event is usually held on 26 January as part of the Australia Day Ceremony which combines a Citizenship Ceremony and our Australia Day Awards. For 2023, Brighton Council made the decision to change the date for our Citizen of the Year celebrations, a decision that the community has endorsed and celebrated alongside Council. For the awards, our elected Councillors selected winners based on nominations that highlighted people’s leadership and outstanding contributions to our community. There were four winners on the day and some additional finalists for the categories of Young Citizen of the Year, Community Event of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Citizen of the Year.
This year’s winners included:
Elizabeth Ims: Young Citizen of the Year – Elizabeth is a resident of Old Beach and a high school student at St Michael’s Collegiate. She is an active volunteer with some of her most recent achievements including fund raising over $1000 which she anonymously donated to a variety of local and international causes and organising clean up sessions along the Jetty Road walking track in Old Beach. Elizabeth also has a passion for sustainability which has led to her leading a ‘bottle top artwork’ project at the YMCA in Glenorchy, inspiring the Glenorchy City Council to move away from single use plastics.
Brighton Community Food Hub Inc: Volunteer of the Year – The Brighton Food Hub Inc was established in 2022 after the community identified the impact of rising cost of living on people’s food budgets and an increasing reliance on emergency relief programs. The volunteer run organisation offers people in the community a fortnightly service where they can purchase a $20 food hamper and other discounted items as well a sense of community and support. The service supports over 100 people every fortnight.
Centacare Evolve Housing, Block Party: Community Event of the Year – Centacare Evolve Housing in collaboration with the community hosts the Block Party, an annual event that invites more than 1700 people to celebrate Christmas cheer in Bridgewater through food, art and fun family activities. The event highlights what can be achieved when organisations and community collaborate and codesign events from the ground up.
Alex Weekes: Citizen of the Year – Alex Weekes lives and works in Bridgewater as a high school teacher at Jordan River Learning Federation Senior School. Alex has two degrees, a wealth of life experiences and an unwavering passion to inspire young people at Jordan River Learning Federation to be the best versions of themselves. In addition to working fulltime as a teacher, Alex also volunteers with the Smith Family delivering programs in schools. She is a positive role model for high school students and demonstrates unwavering passion and dedication to their work and values.
If you know of someone you think should be recognised for their contributions to the Brighton municipality, consider nominating them for an award for 2024. Nominations will open in October 2023.