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The Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards Winners 2018

Citizen of the Year

Elaine FigalloCITIZEN OF THE YEAR - Elaine Figallo 1.jpg

In the world of sports the on-field heroics of athletes and teams are praised and celebrated across the nation. Local clubs, teams and players hold a special place in people’s hearts and extraordinary achievements become community folklore.

Elaine Figallo, of Paralowie, has been a respected stalwart northern suburbs cricket for more than 30 years.

Prior to stepping down from the Para Districts Cricket Association during the AGM in August, Elaine had served 26 years on the Executive Committee including the past eight seasons as President. Throughout this time Elaine has been instrumental in the development of cricket, particularly for juniors and women.

Elaine played a key role in the development of the Para Districts Cricket Association’s junior program some 30 years ago. Initially offering Under 14s and Under 16s, the Under 12 competition was later added to allow children of all ages to play cricket. Throughout this time, Elaine helped her local Paralowie Cricket Club to field seven teams in the Association, which grew from 40 to 60 teams.

Elaine was instrumental in the foundation of the Association’s women’s competition, which will celebrate its 20th year this season. This has been widely recognised as one of the first community cricket competitions for women in Australia, with other associations only now beginning to establish similar programs. This highlights Elaine’s vision and leadership.

As Association President, Elaine always made decisions considering the interests of the affiliated clubs and their members. Through her leadership, there are now more programs available than ever before for juniors, seniors and women to participate in cricket in the northern suburbs, allowing members of the community to emulate their heroes regardless of their ability or stage of development.

Young Citizen of the Year

Qasem Bahmanzadah

Qasem Bahmanzadah - Young Citizen 1.jpg

The Award is for people under 24 years who demonstrate commitment to advocacy for a multicultural Australia, a high degree of competence in more than one language and culture, outstanding qualities including leadership, and the ability to operate across cultures.

At just 19 years of age Qasem has already completed his final year of a Bachelor of Aviation. This would be remarkable under any circumstances, but Qasem’s story is even more impressive. He lost both his parents at age seven, before coming to Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan with no possessions and no grasp of English. Since then, Qasem has shown he’s a dedicated student, and given back to help others who have experienced similar hardship. He continues to be an Ambassador for the Australian Refugees Association and has spoken in a large range of forums to raise awareness of the challenges faced by refugees and raised money to support them.

With the City of Salisbury recently becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone, Qasem hopes a message of inclusion and understanding continues to spread throughout the community. “I believe language and culture are the two biggest barriers that often make it hard for people to settle in,” he said. “It takes time. Physical-wise it might not take that long, but in terms of emotions it can take years to settle in. When you see someone, put yourself in their shoes and image how you would feel. If everyone did that I think it would make a real difference.”

“I believe the Council and also other organisations are really doing a lot for the community – especially the new arrivals,” Qasem added. “The programs that have been put in place by Council and many other agencies to help the new settlers are making it easier for them, and I think Council is doing a good job.”

Senior Citizen of the Year

Alun HughesSenior Citizen of the Year.png

For 26 years Alun Hughes was a member of the Salisbury High School Governing Council, 16 of which were served as Chair during the time that his eleven children attended that school- and for which the Minister of Education awarded Alun a Certificate of Appreciation  for  25 year service. In past years Alun served as leader, Branch Governor and District Commissioner in the Anglican Boys Society for a total of 21 years. Locally Alun is a Justice of the Peace and serves in this capacity in the Len Beadell Library 2 or 3 times each week and has done so for many years. This is a community service of the highest order as it done as a volunteer seeking no other reward other than the satisfaction  of  serving others.

Alun has been a member of local Rotary Clubs since 1989, initially with Elizabeth and now for some years with the Salisbury Rotary Club. In the Rotary year 2010-11, he served in the highest position available in our Rotary District 9500, that of District Governor with responsibility and leadership for about SO Rotary Clubs. A District Governor holds office for one year but is a 3 year commitment before, during and after the year of office. In addition to  his role of District Governor  Alun has significantly  served Rotary in SA in other leadership roles, particularly in the role of Committee Chair of RYPEN/RYLA, two programs directed towards the development and personal growth of young people in the 15-17 year old group for RYPEN and 18-25 year olds for RVLA.

Currently Alun is the regional chair of the SA two district's ROMAC (Rotary Oceanic Medical Aid for Children) program which brings disadvantaged children from near Pacific Island regions for surgery in Adelaide hospitals to reconstruct horrific genetic deformities. Following the surgery Rotary provides post-operative care and home­ hosting of the patient, usually with another family member, in iocal homes until they are ready to return home. He is a regular volunteer worker for our Salisbury Rotary Club Op-shop at Parafield and has trained to be a Tag and Tester for all electrical goods sold within our shop. His commitment to Rotary is without doubt extremely significant and outstanding.

Alun Hughes is a dedicated citizen of Salisbury who has demonstrated his willingness to  help others, support organisations, devote his time, energy and skills as an involved  member  of his community.

Community Event of the Year

Aussie Era Car Show - Salisbury Business Assoc. Inc.

COMMUNITY EVENT OF THE YEAR - SBA 1.png The Salisbury Aussie Era Car Show was intended to be a one-off event to both celebrate and acknowledge almost 70 years of car manufacturing in Australia.

The brainchild of the Salisbury Business Association, the Car Show was held on the weekend of GM Holden’s Elizabeth plant closure with motoring enthusiasts invited to come along and showcase their favourite Aussie-built machine.

The event exceeded all expectations attracting about 4,500 people and hundreds of vehicles into Salisbury City Centre. It was a true family day featuring a community barbecue, kids playing on the bouncy castle and getting their faces painted alongside northern Adelaide’s largest outdoor vehicle showroom.

The event also brought the local business community together with organiser the Salisbury Business Association securing support from Parabanks Shopping Centre, EP Performance, Rebel Ford, Perfection Automotive Detailing, Peter Page Holden and Signarama Salisbury.

Thanks to its overwhelming success, the Association has announced the Aussie Era Car Show will now be an annual event returning on Sunday 21 October.