The Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards Winners 2017
Citizen of the Year
Christopher Moore is someone that leads by example, volunteering his time to the community day or night, and is a very worthy recipient of the City of Salisbury Citizen of the Year award.
In his working life, Christopher is a financial expert who established his own company in 2010 called ‘Optimum LifeFocus Financial Planning’. It is through this company that Christopher provides pro-bono services for less fortunate residents struggling with their finances including through mentoring and personal support. This work saw him recognised by the Financial Planning Association of Australia with the Future2Community Service Award.
More recently, Christopher founded the Salisbury-based Container of Hope program, which sends shipping containers of donated and recycled goods to communities both overseas and in Australia that are in need. The Container of Hope program is now a registered charity with Christopher sometimes spending 20 to 30 hours a week ensuring the venture’s success. To date about 30 container loads of donated goods have been distributed and there are more in the pipeline.
Christopher has also been involved in a wide range of other community groups and organisations as he encourages them to work cohesively to achieve shared goals. He has been involved in school councils, church and local charities, advisory boards, Salisbury’s Sister City delegation to Mobara in Japan, and he is currently the President of the Salisbury Rotary Club.
Young Citizen of the Year
Damien Walker, of Parafield Gardens, is a strong young man who stands up for individuality and is a caring and selfless hard worker. Despite studying full time and holding a part-time job, Damien continues to volunteer at Salisbury’s Twelve25 Youth Enterprise Centre three days a week. He commenced at the Centre in 2014 providing administration support and now helps coordinate youth programs. He assists with special events such as Salisbury Secret Garden, South Australia Living Artists, Rotary Youth Driving Awareness Program, Youth Week and much more.
Damien, 21, is an ambassador for the Salisbury LGBTIQ Community and Suicide Awareness Program and is actively involved in ‘Talk Out Loud’, which aims to empower young people to make positive life choices and become active in their community. He has specifically focused on raising awareness of Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
Damien has been a Salisbury City Rotaract Club member since its establishment. He has held his positions as Secretary, Webmaster and Committee Member for the past three years and assisted the Club in raising money for causes such as Daffodil Day and the Nepal Earthquake Victims. He volunteers with the annual Salisbury Community Christmas Parade, manages Salisbury Catholic Parish’s volunteer program, and helps with the Parafield Gardens Free Christmas Lunch, which is a special luncheon for people with nowhere to go on Christmas Day.
Damien is a committee member, team leader and has received awards for his work with the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment for District 9500, and also received the Rotary Youth Perpetual Award for Thomas More College.
Salisbury’s Young Citizen of the Year Damien Walker went on to be named joint winner of the South Australian Young Citizen of the Year award. The award was presented by the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Hieu Van Le AO during a ceremony at Government House on Monday 23 January.
Senior Citizen of the Year
Former Bridgestone worker William Leslie, of Salisbury Downs, is an active and passionate community member and has been a City of Salisbury volunteer since 2010. He volunteers at the busy Twelve25 Salisbury Youth Enterprise Centre – initially spending 6 to 12 hours a week as a driving mentor helping young people overcome barriers to obtaining their licence. He now helps with non-routine maintenance, community projects, events, and is very active in providing mentoring support and friendship to his fellow volunteers.
William has been a member of Council’s Graffiti Removal Volunteer Team since its establishment. Working alongside Council staff, the team plays an important role in combating graffiti, which costs the State around $20 million a year in clean-up costs. William spends about 15 hours a week in the graffiti team while also reporting graffiti on non-Council assets to ensure the relevant agencies remove it quickly.
In 2015 William was recognised during the ‘Open Minds – Generous Hearts : Celebrating Local inspirations’ portraiture project during Aged to Perfection Month as being a great asset to the community. The City of Salisbury recently joined the popular Adelaide Fringe with the introduction of Salisbury Secret Garden. William was quick to throw his support behind the venture and has voluntarily manufactured props and decked out a shipping container to act as a mini theatre during the event.
Community Event of the Year
Opening Doors to Domestic Violence
The 'Opening Doors to Domestic Violence' exhibition was created to raise awareness around domestic violence and ‘open the door’ to conversations around the issue. The exhibition not only highlighted the importance of community, but also shed light on the ways domestic violence detrimentally impacts on community and families.
The project saw old doors painted and beautified by indigenous women who have been impacted by domestic violence. These were exhibited in John Harvey Gallery in Salisbury for the month of November and concluded with a special function on Friday 26 November. The event attracted more than 100 people and an auction of the artworks on the night raised almost $10,000, which was donated back to Aboriginal communities. The night’s guest speakers were both moving and inspiring and included indigenous Port Adelaide Power Football Club players Brendan Ah Chee and Nathan Krakouer, the South Australian Office for Women Director Fiona Mort, Nunga MiMinar Inc CEO Rosney Snell, and Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge. The evening was catered by Tauondi, which is a community college for indigenous students.
Congratulations to the organiser Nunga Miminar Inc – the Northern Regional Aboriginal Family Violence Service. Nunga Miminar Inc collaborated with Marra Dreaming, Adelaide & Rural Salvage, SA Health and the City of Salisbury on the development of the exhibition, which was also linked with White Ribbon – Australia's campaign to prevent violence against women.