Australia Day honours

Read about our local heroes awarded as part of the country's biggest celebration.

This article appears in City Limits magazine - Issue 54 - March 2017.   City Limits 54 front cover photo

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A volunteer who teaches English to refugees and a woman who co-founded a charity to help homeless women have joined Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers as the City of Marion’s Australia Day Award winners.

Marion Mayor Kris Hanna presented the awards at a special Australia Day ceremony in front of more than 100 family and friends at Marion RSL on Thursday, 26 January.

The winners are:

  • Citizen of the Year – Robyn Richards
  • Young Citizen of the Year – Amy Rust
  • Community Event of the Year–Maker Faire 2016
  • Sportsperson/team of the Year – Kyle Chalmers

Mr Hanna said Clovelly Park resident Robyn Richards, 60, was an inspirational volunteer.

"Robyn has valiantly refused to let a near fatal brain aneurism slow her down. She welcomes new arrivals to our community by teaching them English," Mr Hanna said.

"Robyn has become an integral part of Mitchell Park Neighbourhood Centre where she also organises outings for the elderly."

In 2009, Mrs Richards suffered a brain aneurism that left her "broken, anxious and emotional."

Her response was to join the ‘Wacky Wednesday’ social group at Mitchell Park Neighbourhood Centre and begin teaching English to new arrivals.

"Volunteering has helped me regain my confidence and feel the satisfaction of givingsomething back to people," Mrs Richards said."I was thrilled to be named Citizen of the Year at such an amazing event.

"I also volunteered for the Special Olympics Basketball program as a book keeper and support the ‘Share the Dignity’ project which donates toiletries to women in need… I don’t have any plans to stop."

Young Citizen Amy Rust, 29, lives in Seaview Downs and co-founded the charity Essentials for Women SA.

Mr Hanna said she was changing the lives of our most vulnerable.

"Amy has taken the initiative to support homeless women, refugees, and women fleeingdomestic violence by collecting and distributing more than 220,000 packs of toiletries," Mr Hanna said.

"She has forged relationships with business and secured a van to expand the operation."

Ms Rust was a State Finalist in the Young Australian of the Year awards.

Sportsperson of the Year is Olympic gold medalist Kyle Chalmers, who was also presented with the Key to the City of Marion in October.

"Kyle is a role model for every sportsperson. His self-discipline and his maturity brought him gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics," Mr Hanna said.

November’s Maker Faire - organised by volunteers - was a unique event that drew more than 5000 people to Tonsley to explore technology, science, arts, engineering and food sustainability.

Mr Hanna thanked all 18 nominees for their outstanding service to the community.

The Australia Day awards included a citizenship ceremony for 51 new Australians. Earlier in the day, 20 new citizens were welcomed at Hallett Cove Foreshore at an event jointly run by the local Lions and Rotary clubs.

City Limits Magazine

The City Limits Magazine is a community publication that keeps Marion residents in touch with what is happening in their community. It includes information about major projects, council initiatives and events, as well as profiles of community members.

It is published three times a year and distributed to 40,000 residents and businesses in the Marion Council area.