City awards citizens on Australia Day image

26 January 2018

Dedicated volunteer fire fighter Heather Bell is Albany’s Citizen of the Year in recognition of her efforts raising funds for WA fire relief appeals and purchasing vital equipment for local bush fire brigades.

Ms Bell was among 21 individuals and organisations nominated across four categories in the Australia Day Community Citizen of the Year Awards for outstanding contributions to the community.

This year’s nominees featured volunteers and community members from the philanthropic, arts, sports, youth, events and secular community, illustrating the diversity within Albany.

Ms Bell worked tirelessly during the 2016 Yarloop and Esperance fire tragedies, organising and assisting in raising funds for appeals to help the victims and communities survive and rebuild. She was also the driving force behind raising funds to purchase a new Forward Control Vehicle for Albany’s volunteer bushfire brigades, securing more than $70,000 for the project, and has been a St John Ambulance volunteer for 17 years.

Winner of the Young Citizen of the Year Award was Stephanie Mitchell, who was instrumental in raising over $10,000 for Albany Roller Derby League. Her passion for the development of young people in sports and social justice is evident through her participation in White Ribbon Day, Light the Night and Pride Rally.

Don Perfrement was the recipient of the Senior Citizen of the Year Award following his recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary, in addition to his fundraising for various charities including Royal Flying Doctors and Albany Hospice. 

Soroptimist International Albany received this year’s Australia Day Active Citizenship Award for a community group or event. The Soroptomist International Albany group have formed partnerships with organisations such as Albany Women’s Centre, Albany Girl Guides, Hawthorn House and Foodbank to raise awareness of issues affecting young girls and women within our region.

Mayor Dennis Wellington congratulated the winners and encouraged the nominees to continue their incredible work within our community.

“There are many, many people in our community who do wonderful work and make our city the fantastic community that we enjoy. To everyone who nominated someone for these awards, thank you

“To everyone who nominated someone for these prestigious awards, thank you for helping us recognise their invaluable work,” Mayor Wellington said.