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Celebrating our Australia Day award winners
The mission of one person to ensure disadvantaged members of the community have access to healthy food at little or no cost has led to an Australia Day award.
Cheryle Pinkess was announced as Holdfast Bay’s Citizen of the Year at today’s Australia Day ceremony on the Glenelg Foreshore and received her award from Mayor Amanda Wilson.
As a member of the Brighton Church of Christ, Cheryle has been the driving force behind Grocer with a Heart - a local shop where people can get healthy food at little or no cost.
Using connections with supermarkets, farmers, and bakeries, Grocer with a Heart distributes fruit, vegetables, and grocery items to people experiencing food insecurity. Many of their customers are ineligible for other charitable programs and are at risk of falling through the cracks.
"It’s very humbling (to receive this award)… so many people do so much for the community and with volunteers, it's a better place to live,” said Cheryle after receiving the award, adding that it will be on display in the Grocer with a Heart shop.
Another local organisation - the Rotary Club of Holdfast Bay - which has also had a focus on supporting members of the community in need of food - received the Award for Active Citizenship, which is one of the Community Recognition Awards.
Since 2019, the club has run twice-yearly food drives in local shopping centres. In that time, it’s estimated that more than $90,000 worth of food and household items has been distributed to people in need.
“In May 2022 the club held its most successful drive to date at the Bayside Village Glenelg where an astounding $29,000 worth of goods (including $3,000 in vouchers and cash) was personally collected by Rotarians over a three-day period at a stall outside Woolworths,” Mayor Wilson said.
“These goods were delivered to local churches to fill their community pantries and to create care packages for those experiencing homelessness or struggling with the cost of feeding their families.”
Rotary Club representative Kim Harvey accepted the award.
Teenage surf life saver, Hayley Hosking, was named Young Citizen of the Year for being a role model for young and female surf life savers.
Joining the Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club when she was a child, the 19-year-old has progressed to become vice-captain of patrols and volunteered more than 400 hours on patrol in the 2021/22 summer season.
In 2022, she was named Youth Life Saver of the Year at the Surf Life Saving Australia National Awards of Excellence.
“A champion for inclusion, Hayley is a key member of Seacliff’s ‘Beach for All’ subcommittee that assists members of the public, who may have physical or mental conditions, gain access to the beach on a beach mat or water wheelchairs,” Mayor Wilson said before Hayley received her award.
Bronwyn Watt was named the recipient of the Local Hero award after she put together the Sister Love 27-hour Spin FightMND Challenge fundraiser.
The challenge was held at the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club to raise funds to support research into a cure for Motor Neurone Disease after her sister was diagnosed with MND in 2021.
More than 500 riders participated and Bronwyn raised $80,000 for the cause.
The award for Community Event of the Year was presented to Phil and Kathy Holdgate from the Somerton Park Rotary Club, which instigated the Youth Photographic Exhibition held at the Bay Discovery Centre last year.
Local schools and young people were encouraged to get involved and use photography as a way to explore their creativity around the themes of nature and the environment.
The two-week exhibition showcased more than 100 photos, taken by 67 primary school students from Holdfast Bay, and attracted more than 1,700 visitors to the Bay Discovery Centre.
In addition to the community awards, 70 people from 22 countries took their citizenship pledge this morning to become Australian citizens.