Kingborough Council hosted the annual Kingborough Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 9, to recognise and celebrate residents who have made an outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of the Kingborough community.
Dignitaries and members of the public gathered at the Kingborough Community Hub where Kingborough Council presented two Citizen of the Year awards, a Young Citizen of the Year award, a Community Group of the Year award and two Certificates of Appreciation.
Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Dean Winter acknowledged the exceptional people from the municipality being acknowledged on the day.
“These awards recognise outstanding members of our community who devote themselves to supporting others and who make Kingborough such a great community to live in,” Mayor Winter stated.
The Citizen of the Year award was presented to two outstanding Kingborough residents this year: Else Phillips and David Vickery.
Ms Philips has been recognised for her commitment to the Kingborough community and her ongoing dedication to a range of community events and activities.
For 18 years Ms Philips has volunteered for Loui’s Van and she is a highly valued volunteer with Kingborough Helping Hands (KHH).
Also a very active member of Rotary, Ms Philips has been a key organiser and fundraiser for A Day on the Beach and the Rotary Mega Market.
Ms Philips is also a key figure in coordinating the Kingston Beach Fun Run, which is the Kingston club’s major fundraiser and attracts several hundred people along to enjoy healthy activity in Kingborough’s premier beachside destination.
Other local programs Ms Phillips support include the Rotary Driver Awareness Program; a road safety initiative for young people with the aim of making the students better drivers and the Youth Program of Enrichment, which aims to broaden the horizons and lift the aspirations of young people.
A Citizen of the Year award was also present to David Vickery, for his leadership and contribution to the Kingborough community and advocacy for disability access and inclusion.
Since emigrating from the UK in 1979 with his wife and two children, Mr Vickery has tried to make a positive difference to the community around him, whether it be through creating meaningful social connections, fighting for improved student conditions or advocating for disability access and inclusion.
Mr Vickery began his contribution to community life in Kingborough by bringing his enthusiasm for theatre and creating opportunities for amateur dramatics in Kingston.
Many local people jumped at the opportunity to join in the camaraderie and plain good fun of creating shows on a shoestring.
An active member of the Parents and Friends Associations at Kingston Primary and Kingston High Schools, Mr Vickery showed his drive for improving conditions, including securing an above ground pool for the students at Kingston Primary in the 1980’s.
Although the pool is no longer there, it was an important way to improve swimming safety for students when there was no local other facility in the immediate area.
Mr Vickery fought for the rights of students and provided a positive example of how to peacefully stand up for your beliefs when he led a local protest against cuts to education funding.
Mr Vickery went on to become an active member of the Kingston High School Association where he has been bestowed the rare honour of Life Membership in 2011.
A long-time advocate and activist for disability access, Mr Vickery became a member of the Kingborough Access Advisory Committee about 10 years ago.
Mr Vickery has consistently provided thoughtful and sound advice on many issues and has contributed invaluably to reports, educational brochures and research documents which aim to improve disability access and inclusion.
Bella Oakley was recognised as Kingborough’s Young Citizen of the Year for her commitment, empathy and enthusiasm as a volunteer and for supporting people in need in Kingborough.
“I am inspired by people such as Edna Pennicott, who I have known from a young age and I love helping people” Bella said
Kingborough Council commended Bella, at 13, for having a social conscience that would impress many people double her age, accompanied by a rare commitment and dedication to supporting her local community and a genuine enjoyment of helping others.
For the past six years, Bella has worked extensively with KHH, meaning she started working with the charity when she was seven.
Bella has taken part in all the aspects of the charity work from cooking for fundraising, collecting and sorting donations to selling raffle tickets or helping at the Sharing Tree after school or on weekends, and importantly being one of the last people standing after a major event to help with cleaning and packing up.
During 2020 Bella displayed versatility, flexibility and perseverance in her service to the community, supporting people who were elderly or immune compromised by walking dogs, baking, sending cards and delivering groceries.
Bella is also an active member of her school community, being involved with the school charity group the Mini-Vinnies, who help those experiencing hardship and can be relied upon to welcome new families visiting the school and providing support to new students.
The Taroona Community Association were presented with Community Group of the Year award for their outstanding contribution to the Taroona community and their dedication to creating new initiatives and supporting people in need.
The group of residents is interested in all issues, small and large, in Taroona from the placement of signage to bushfire preparedness, and members are passionate about their neighbourhood.
Many members of the Taroona community put their minds to how best support each other throughout the pandemic, reaching out though social media and other various ways to help each other and the association recognised the groundswell of concern and harnessed it to create a tangible, supportive and positive network throughout the community.
The group set about contacting local people they knew over a number of days identified ‘street coordinators’ for
every street in Taroona.
Help was provided to all those in need, including shopping and social support for older members of the community.
The success of the project means the initiative can be used for other emergency situations and the group is working closely with the Taroona Volunteer Fire Brigade to prepare for the summer bushfire season.
Certificates of Appreciation were also presented at the awards ceremony to recognise other significant contributors to the community.
Kingborough Community Missions and husband and wife Jill and Phil Long were both awarded the certificates.
Phil’s award was posthumously presented to his wife Jill as the pair were recognised for their outstanding
social and environmental contributions to the Kingborough community and for their community building activities in Margate.
Together they arranged annual neighbourhood gatherings, providing warm welcomes for all new community members and the pair also created the Margate Hills Community Group.
The group has become a representative voice for many Margate residents and Phil was responsible for developing positive relationships with Council members.
Jill has been a great support to the community by organising a local bushwalking group and has opened her home to free yoga and exercise classes, which are as much about being fit as they are about getting people together.
Importantly Jill and Phil have sought out community members in poor health and made sure they were given the help they needed.
They have demonstrated a positive, can-do attitude and continued to think outside the box during the pandemic, to make sure people were staying connected and not feeling isolated during the unpredictable times.
Patricia and Peter Harvey are the founders and Coordinators of Kingborough Community Missions (KCM).
The group was set up approximately four years ago in response to the rising statistics around homelessness and disadvantage, after Patricia and Peter recognised a need in their community and decided they had to do
something to help.
Thousands of meals have been prepared and shared with disadvantaged families and people experiencing homelessness thanks to fresh food donations and financial support from generous businesses and individuals.
Coordinating food donations, monetary donations, volunteers, developing partnerships and promoting the group is a six day a week job for Patricia and Peter.
They are tireless in their efforts to deliver practical and compassionate support which makes a real difference in
Kingborough Council expressed gratitude to all the volunteers at KCM for their dedication and hard work when presenting Patricia and Peter with the award.
Pictured: The Kingborough Awards were presented on Saturday, January 9, during a ceremony held at the Kingborough Community Hub. Community Group of the Year representative Jill Hickey from the Taroona Community Association, Young Citizen of the Year Bella Oakley, Citizen of the Year Else Phillips, Certificate of Appreciation recipient Jill Long, Citizen of the Year David Vickery (seated) and Certificate of Appreciation recipients Peter and Patricia Harvey of Kingborough Community Missions gathered with Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Dean Winter after the presentations. (PS)