2022 Citizen of the Year Simon Taylor is a great example of what it means to “love where you live”.
Simon has been a champion for the Southern Barossa for over 30 years, working tirelessly across many organisations to improve community health and wellbeing and create opportunities for community connection and outreach.
With a practical approach to meeting community needs, Simon has played a pivotal role in supporting emergency food relief, Barossa Wildlife Rescue and Barossa Cares, a project connecting people in need with local services.
According to his nomination, Simon’s pride and passion have made the Southern Barossa a better place.
2022 Young Citizen of the Year
Advocating for positive change is close to the heart of 2022 Young Citizen of the Year Katie Koch.
The 19-year-old from Lyndoch has shown maturity beyond her years, contributing to causes both locally and internationally to create long-lasting community change.
Katie has travelled to Cambodia as part of RAW Impact, a not-for-profit organisation that delivers education and sustainability initiatives to communities living in poverty.
She has been active in service closer to home too, volunteering at Tanunda Lutheran Home, organising a local food drive and contributing to environmental initiatives such as the Blue Gums rejuvenation project at Nuriootpa High School.
As a member of the SRC and House Captain, Katie was recognised for personal attributes such as leadership, independence and resilience, with teachers commending Katie’s “excellent personal conduct and behaviour, and service to community affairs and projects”.
2022 Award for Active Citizenship
A lifelong passion for animal welfare has earned Lyndoch wildlife carer Rose Brooks the 2022 Award for Active Citizenship.
As a child Rose was “forever” bringing home injured or orphaned animals, and 50 years on, her caring instincts and talents are put to use each day at Barossa Wildlife Rescue.
Founder of the not-for-profit organisation, Rose and her team of volunteers average 485 rescues or callouts each year, including possums, echidnas, kangaroos, koalas and birds. Most are nursed back to health and released back into the wild where possible, or rehomed.
Rose is also committed to sharing her knowledge and expertise, training and mentoring wildlife carers with the aim of providing a 24-7 rescue service. Two dozen volunteers also play a pivotal role feeding and transporting injured animals and volunteering to help at local community events.
Relying on community sponsorship and support to remain sustainable, Rose believes every animal with a heartbeat deserves “a chance at life” and has made this her life’s work.
2022 Community Event of the Year
Far more than an outdoor adventure race, Community Project of the Year ROAR Barossa showcased the Southern Barossa as a nature adventure destination in its own right.
Described as the first official race of its kind in SA, the triathlon attracted 100 entrants competing in kayaking, mountain biking and running over a range of distances at Mount Crawford Forest and the Warren Reservoir.
A participant survey indicated 90 per cent of entrants had not previously been kayaking on the Warren but 100 per cent wanted to return, creating new opportunities to market and promote the Southern Barossa to a broader South Australian audience.
The success of the event was largely due to volunteer effort and the successful partnership between Southern Barossa Alliance and supporting partners The Barossa Council, SA Water, Forestry SA and the Government of South Australia.
Positioned as an event for both elite and novice competitors, it’s hoped the event will become an annual fixture on the triathlon calendar, in addition to a great spectator and family event for the local community.