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Citizen of the Year - Australia Day Awards

2019 Australia Day Award Nominations are now open! 

Nominate someone who you feel makes a difference in our community.

Embrace your community and nominate someone who you believe makes the City of Charles Sturt a better place to live, either through an ongoing contribution or and outstanding effort during 2018.

The inspiring person who you feel makes a difference may be well known or a quiet achiever.

 Nominations close at 5.00pm on Friday, 23 November 2018.


  • Citizen of the Year Award - To be eligible, the person must be an Australian Citizen.
  • Young Citizen of the Year Award - To be eligible, the person must be an Australian Citizen under 30 years of age on January 26, 2019.
  • Community Event of the Year Award - This is presented to the person / group who has staged the most outstanding community event during the past year.

Click here to submit a nomination.

This Years Winners

The Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony was held on Friday, 26 January 2018 at the Woodville Town Hall.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Australia Day Awards for the City of Charles Sturt:

2018 Citizen of the Year: Maria MarinosMaria Marinos

Maria Marinos is a woman who is proud to have a lifetime of community service.

Maria came to Australia as a 19 year old Cyprian woman and has worked in the community supporting those who are vulnerable for more than 65 years.

Maria began her work in the community through her casual cleaning role at the Royal Adelaide Hospital for two weeks, where she saw the need for doctors and nurses to have someone interpret to their Greek patients. Going above and beyond her call of duty, she volunteered herself in this way. It was through this that she became known in the hospital and was offered a nursing position which she worked in for 12 years.

When she eventually had to stop her work as a nurse due to health issues, Maria began to tirelessly work to raise funds for the hospital. She did this through her famous baking and cooking stalls, she also sold her knitting and crocheting projects. Furthermore, Maria arranged afternoon and morning teas to help raise funds for the Council.

As well as this, Maria has been a volunteer for the Hutt St Centre, a homeless shelter in SA for many years and is still volunteering to date. Her work at the Hutt street centre includes the donations of food and clothing to homeless people(s).

Maria is still an active member of the community at Ridleyton Greek Home for the Aged, where she knits and crochets items for staff and their families to take home. She can be regularly found serving the nurses at the home by folding towels or setting up table decorations for residents luncheons.  Maria is always overing a helping hand to those in need and is always open to a chat. 

Congratulations Maria and thank you for your contributions to our community.

2018 Young Citizen of the Year: Wathnak Vy

Wathnak immigrated to Australia from Cambodia five years ago and after studying for a short time at the Adelaide Secondary School of English, he was enrolled at Woodville High School.

Wathnak’s abilities were recognised early on when he was asked to be a mentor at Woodville High School for new groups of students coming from Adelaide Secondary School of English.  His warm welcome and support proved significant to the wellbeing of Woodville High School students.

Wathnak was awarded SACE Stage 2 Dux of the year at the School of Languages and was the first Khmer Dux ever to receive the SACE Commendation from His Excellency The Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, the Governor of South Australia.

Listed below are just a few of his contributions to the community and stand-out achievements:

  • He volunteers at Headspace at Woodville in the Youth Reference Group, working closely with young people from diverse cultural backgrounds providing meaningful opportunities for them to have a voice on youth issues and affairs.
  • He is currently a member of City of Adelaide Youth Planning Committee 2040, where he gives advice and ideas from a youth perspective for city plans for 2040.
  • He is a member of the Youth Steering Committee for Relationships Australia of SA, where he works closely with facilitators to advise on young people’s relationship issues.
  • He has participated in the SA Youth Parliament where he represented youth issues in the parliamentary process. His team developed a bill on “Youth Mental Health”, this bill was regarded by the organisers as the most highly supported in the history of Youth Parliament.
  • He is a member of UN Youth SA where he learned about the UN model. As a member he aims to educate young people locally and in UN Youth SA. He also aims to educate and empower at a national level young Australians on global issues.
  • He is a member of Young Humanitarians Leadership Team at Australian Red Cross.
  • He was an active member of Youth Advisory Committee for the City of Charles Sturt, where he advised the Council on youth-related issues.
  • After graduating from Woodville High School – he was accepted to enrol to The University of Adelaide, studying triple degrees in a Bachelor of International Studies; Bachelor of Social Science and Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in Management).
  • He hosted a Youth Speak Out Forum in 2015 with The Department of Education and Child Development (DECD) where young people from diverse backgrounds had their voices heard.
  • He was awarded through the SA Branch of the Order of Australia Association a “2015 Order of Australia Student Citizenship Award”.
  • His Excellency The Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, the Governor of South Australia awarded him the 2015 South Australia Multicultural Youth Award.
  • In August 2017, the Governor of South Australia appointed him as the youngest Cambodian Justice of the Peace (JP) and the 4th person in Cambodian community in South Australia to receive this appointment.
  • Lastly at the end of 2017, one of his most recent achievements – he was appointed by The Hon. Zoe Bettison MP, Minister for Youth the 2018 SA Young Member part of SA Youth Week 2018.  This role will allow him to travel across regional and metro areas of South Australia from APY Lands to Yalata to Renmark; from Town of Gawler to City of Onkaparinga where he will be spreading the idea of multicultural communities; be a mentor and inspire other young people in diverse cultures regardless of their gender; family status; religious but to be ‘Your Future, Your Ways’.

Wathnak’s positive commitment to many areas of our community, locally and nationally is a credit to him and a valuable contribution to youth and the Australian society.

(Awarded accepted by 2018 Australia Day Ambassador, Cr Edgar Agius OAM JP on behalf of Wathnak Vy)

Wathnak Vy

2018 Community Event of the Year: Sharon Moss Ukulele LessonsSharon Moss

Sharon started teaching Ukulele to seniors at the Glenelg Community Centre a couple of years ago and in 2014 starting holding classes at the West Lakes Community Centre.

She has dedicated her life to teaching this instrument to members of the community, promoting friendship and health to hundreds of local citizens in the western region of Adelaide.

Through Sharon's efforts hundreds of senior citizens now enjoy this happy activity in off shoot groups in West Lakes, Seaton, Port Adelaide, Clarence Park, and Prospect. 

Sharon has spent almost every day of the week for the last couple of years writing music and taking learner classes all over Western Adelaide at very little cost to the hundreds of recipients.

There would not be the amazing ukulele movement in the west of Adelaide if it weren't for Sharon Moss instigating, teaching and facilitating it.  Many of the City of Charles Sturt residents have and will continue to benefit from her amazing work. 

Her contribution has not been publicly acknowledged - but there are so many people who are very grateful for her initiative and dedication.

Congratulations Sharon and thank you for your contributions to our community.

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