Community Citizen Award Winners Named

Published on Thursday, 27 January 2022 at 9:21:00 AM

The 2021 Citizen of the Year Awards were announced at Wednesday’s Australia Day Twilight Concert at Berridge Park.

The 2021 Citizen of the Year is Karen Andersson, a tireless community volunteer and leader of plastic reduction efforts in our community. Karen was recognised for her soft approach to gently encourage change, starting with a plan to reduce the use of single-use shopping bags in our community which lead to the formation of the Plastic Reduction Denmark group in December 2015.

Starting with monthly bag making busy-bees, Karen and the ‘Bag Ladies’ have cut and up-cycled curtains, doonas, men’s ties and more into over 7000 shopping bags and over 6000 net veggie bags that have been donated to the public in an effort to reduce the use of plastic bags in our town. This creative effort has been extended to festive bunting, made out of repurposed materials. The bunting is replacing plastic decorations during the festive season and is available for hire by the community.

Karen is also the inspiration behind the volunteer-run Plastic Reduction Denmark wash station which aims to reduce the use of single-use items at public events such as the Denmark Arts Markets and our Australia Day event. Karen’s motto is ‘Choose to Make a Difference’ and she has certainly done that in our community.

The 2021 Citizen of the Year – Senior award was presented to Gary Schwabb.

Gary has made an enormous volunteer contribution to our community over the past 28 years.

He was a founding member of the William Bay National Park Association, a board member for South Coast Natural Resource Management and has made volunteer contributions to the Denmark Community Windfarm Inc, Demark Environment Centre, Green Skills and over a dozen other community organisations including the Primary and High School P&C.

His advice, encouragement and volunteer time have been valued and appreciated by many groups in our community.

The 2021 Active Citizenship award (event or group) was presented to Kwoorabup Community Markets.

The markets have become an important weekly event, an outlet for small businesses, fundraising, buskers and a regular social event for years. The markets have grown organically and slowly but have recently benefitted from the efforts of the coordinator Sumit Dutta. The markets have been growing every year, attracting new stallholders and have become a tourist attraction for our town. The Kwoorabup Community Markets have contributed to the vibrancy of our community and are treasured by many.

The 2021 Junior Sportsperson of the Year (under 18 years of age) award was presented to Isabella Campbell and the 2021 Service to Sport Award was presented to Ashleigh Crock.

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