City of Karratha

Community champions recognised on Australia Day

28 Jan 2020

The City of Karratha celebrated the valued contribution of community members through the Australia Day Awards over the long weekend.

More than 35 nominations were received across six award categories, which were presented at a breakfast ceremony hosted by the City of Karratha and supported by Rio Tinto, Woodside and the North West Shelf Project and Horizon Power on Sunday.

Damien Muller was named 2020 Citizen of the Year in recognition of his enthusiastic contribution to several community groups, including 24 years’ service with State Emergency Service and 10 years’ with the Burrup Mountain Bike Club. Damien is involved with Karratha Scout Group, Ovation Dance, Baynton West Primary School P&C and is a wildlife carer and Saving Animals From Euthanasia foster carer.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the awards were an opportunity to formally acknowledge the strong community spirit in Karratha, Dampier, Roebourne, Wickham and Point Samson.

“Congratulations to the award recipients and nominees,” Cr Long said.

“Your admirable commitment to giving back to your community benefits everyone who calls the City of Karratha home and helps enhance the liveability of our region.

“Our Australia Day celebrations are a highlight of our annual events program and bring the community together each year to reflect on what it means to each of us to be Australian.”

Rio Tinto Operations Manager Dampier Salt Emma Murray presented the Community Service, Community Spirit and Event/Activity of the Year awards.

“Our business and employees are committed to supporting local community groups and organisations, which improve the liveability of towns in the Pilbara region,” Ms Murray said.

“It’s a wonderful honour to present these awards, which highlight the passion and enthusiasm of local residents.”

Other awards included Young Citizen of the Year and Environmental Achievement.

Woodside’s Karratha Gas Plant Operations Manager Sean Bruyns said Woodside and its North West Shelf Joint Venture Partners were proud to support the awards, which highlighted the important contribution of volunteers in the community.

“Our congratulations to Karratha Young Citizen of the Year Chanti McHenry, Environmental Achievement award winner Amanda Ridout and all award winners and nominees. Your commitment and passion is what makes our City such a great place to live.”

Horizon Power Retail and Community Manager Michelle South said “It’s easy to see why this is such a vibrant, thriving city, with Damien and so many other outstanding individuals investing their time and energy back into the community.”

In addition to the awards, 61 new citizens were welcomed during a special ceremony. A free community sundowner featuring fireworks, live entertainment and children’s activities, sponsored by Rio Tinto, Nielsen Liquid Waste Services, Kennard’s Hire and Cleanaway drew a large crowd to the new Dampier foreshore redevelopment in the evening.

2020 Australia Day Award recipients:

Citizen of the Year – Damien Muller
Presented by Horizon Power
A long term passionate volunteer, Damien contributes to several community groups including the Burrup Mountain Bike Club, Karratha Scout Group, Ovation Dance, Baynton West Primary School Parents and Citizens Association and Saving Animals from Euthanasia. Damien has dedicated 24 years to the State Emergency Service and travels throughout the Pilbara delivering training to SES branches as WA’s only volunteer cliff rescue trainer and assessor.

Young Citizen of the Year – Chanti McHenry
Presented by Woodside
Chanti is an outstanding young citizen whose volunteer work builds young people’s self-development, social and emotional wellbeing, confidence and leadership skills. Chanti produces fashion shows and delivers workshops and programs, and is a positive role model for young people.

Community Service – Red Dog 4WD Club
Presented by Rio Tinto
The Red Dog 4WD Club has supported a range of local clubs and events for many years. From running bar service at Roebourne Race meets and the Karratha and Districts Returned and Services League on Anzac Day to assisting with Karratha Enduro and Motocross Club meets, the Red Dog 4WD Club donates to local charities including Saving Animals from Euthanasia, Pilbara Princess, Karratha Scout Group and the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association of WA.

Environmental Achievement – Amanda Ridout
Presented by the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Project
Amanda volunteers her time and energy to several community groups and has been the project manager of the Karratha Community Garden for the past five years. The garden promotes care for the environment by producing fresh local fruit and vegetables, increasing composting and delivering community programs such as Junior Green Thumbs and Busy Bees.

Community Spirit – Tanya Sholl
Presented by Rio Tinto
For 25 years, Tanya has been a steadfast member of the Dampier community and has contributed to the Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club, Dampier Divers, Toast Master, Tennis Club, Dampier Junior Soccer Club and Red Dogs. For the past four years, Tanya has been heavily involved with Dampier Primary School volunteering in the classroom and canteen and is an active Dampier Primary School Parents and Citizens Association member.

Event/Activity of the Year – Roebourne Races
Presented by Rio Tinto
The Nor West Jockey Club committee consists of nine volunteers who dedicate their time to build and sustain a thriving thoroughbred race club. The Roebourne Races drew a record crowd to the 2019 race season, which featured four successful community events during June and July. The Roebourne Races brings the community together and contributes to the local economy.