The Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards Winners 2020
Citizen of the Year
The recipient of this year’s Citizen of the Year Award has been described as never giving up on a challenge and possessing the ultimate “can-do” attitude.
Jim Zissopoulos is a key figure at the Valley View Tennis Club, and is credited as being the driving force behind saving the club from potential closure 10 years ago.
Jim’s determination to ensure the Club not only remained open, but expanded and thrived, can be seen today in the junior tennis program which he established a decade ago and still coordinates today.
In any given week, more than 100 children and adults are coached through the Club to develop their tennis skills and up to 70 children participating in regular Friday night and Saturday morning competitions.
Jim has developed a 12-stage coaching program for all junior players and encourages young players to continue on to the senior competition and also become tennis coaches. As a result, about 10 junior players who started with the Club at 8-10 years old have gone on to become coaches for the Club and also developing their skills for future employment.
As well as coaching, Jim also manages background tasks such as coordinating fees, sending weekly update emails, driving a volunteer culture and successfully applying for grants for upgrade works to the Club.
Young Citizen of the Year
This year’s Young Citizen of the Year is 19-year-old Salisbury resident Monu Chamlagai.
Monu is an inspiring member of the Salisbury community who generously and actively advocates for youth, refugees, women and girls and mental health awareness.
Having arrived in Salisbury with her family as an 11-year-old on a humanitarian visa after being born and raised in a Nepalese refugee camp, Monu has always had a desire to give back to the community she says has given her much more than just shelter.
Now as a young leader, having overcome a host of barriers that many young people do not face, Monu is a passionate volunteer for the City of Salisbury. She holds positions as Deputy Chair of the Youth Council and Deputy Chair of the Salisbury Intercultural Community Alliance.
While balancing her demanding volunteer roles, Monu studies a Bachelor of Psychology full time and works part time in hospitality.
Despite her busy schedule, Monu still finds time to further develop her skills by taking on board new opportunities, presenting at conferences and applying for further advisory positions.
As a young woman in the Bhutanese community, Monu inspires other Bhutanese people to have the confidence and belief that they can play an important role in the wider community.
Monu is an exceptional young woman and a truly well-deserved recipient of this award.
Senior Citizen of the Year
This year’s Senior Citizen Award is awarded to Parafield Gardens resident Bunchhong Mann. Since relocating from Cambodia with his wife and six young children as refugees in 1980, Mr Mann has worked tirelessly in dedicating his time to the local Khmer community and giving many families the opportunity for a better life.
Mr Mann played a key role in the establishment of the Cambodian Association of South Australia, of which he was the inaugural president.
Through the Association, Mr Mann worked alongside the State Government to assist refugees, and established an ethnic school in partnership with women, youth, dancing and music groups. He has taught in Salisbury both within the Khmer Ethnic School and also mainstream schools.
He also organised numerous Khmer events and encouraged his team to contribute their culture to the wider community and was a member of the Lutheran Refugee Support Community that has helped people from Cambodia, Lao and Thailand resettle in Adelaide.
Bunchhong Mann personifies what makes Salisbury a fabulous place to live and it is an honour to formally recognise him today. Congratulations.
Community Event of the Year
Northern Community Family Fun Day
The Northern Community Family Fun Day, hosted by the Lions Club of Paralowie, is the City of Salisbury’s Community Event of the year.
The annual event is important in bringing together community members and instilling a sense of community pride. In the three years since it was launched, the event has also contributed to making Salisbury a great place to live, offered a safe and fun place to meet and provided an opportunity for dozens of stallholders to operate locally.
The small team of Lions Club members have effectively worked with limited resources to ensure the event not only is a success, but has grown with each year.
The Northern Community Family Fun Day is a high standard event and a fixture on Salisbury’s calendar. Congratulations to everyone involved.