City of Darwin Australia Day Local Government Award Winners for 2019 Announced

A strong advocate for seniors and vulnerable community members; a youth mentor helping ease the transition for refugees and migrants and a passionate community group bringing Nepalese cultural heritage to the wider community, have taken out the top honours in the City of Darwin Australia Day Awards 2019.

The award nominees and recipients were announced today at a special function at the Civic Centre in Darwin’s CBD, held by Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis.

The Lord Mayor said the Australia Day Local Government Awards are an opportunity to celebrate those who have made a significant contribution to the local community.

“The recipients of this year’s Australia Day Awards deserve to be recognised for their excellence, dedication and tireless efforts to make the Darwin community a better place.”

“I’d like to congratulate all of our nominees. Their efforts are nothing short of outstanding and it’s incredibly humbling to know that we have such proud and passionate people out there, going above and beyond for Darwin,” said the Lord Mayor.

This year’s award winners are:

  • Darwin Citizen of the Year – Sue Shearer
  • Darwin Young Citizen of the Year – Jane Alia
  • Darwin Community Event of the Year – Nepalese Association of NT

The Darwin Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year winners were presented with an official certificate of excellence and an iPad. The Community Event of the Year was presented with an official certificate and $500 to use towards future events.

The winners will join members of the community receiving their citizenship at City of Darwin’s Australia Day Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony. The ceremony will take place at the Darwin Convention Centre on Saturday 26 January from 10.00am. The wider-community is invited to celebrate the award winners and welcome Darwin’s newest Australian citizens.

Information about the winners

Darwin Citizen of the Year

Sue Shearer

Sue has lived and worked in the Northern Territory for over 40 years. She has made a significant contribution in both her career and through volunteering in the Territory community, having been involved in the not-for-profit, sports, business and government sectors.

Sue is a strong advocate for seniors and takes a leading role in influencing decision making and social policy through membership and active participation in committees and advisory groups including:

  • Seniors Concession Scheme Expert Reference Group
  • Point to Point Commercial Passenger Vehicle Committee
  • Ministerial Advisory Council – Senior Territorians and Independent Seniors Round Table (facilitated by COTA NT)
  • Power and Water Consumers Advisory Group
  • City of Darwin Access and Inclusion Committee.

Sue meets with NT Government Ministers, has developed an alliance with NT Primary Health Network, engaged with the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to discuss packages and wait times and the Licensing Commission in regard to Liquor amendments.

This considerable body of work has been accomplished through her dedication and commitment to improving the lives of those who are most vulnerable in the community.

Darwin Young Citizen of the Year

Jane Alia

Born in a refugee camp in Uganda and arriving in Australia as a teenager, Jane has wasted no time in giving back to her community.

In 2012 Jane received the Northern Territory School Based Apprentice of the Year Award for her work as a Dental Assistant. She was a finalist in the Australian Training Awards, and in 2013, received a Layne Beachley Reach for the Stars Foundation Academic Grant. She has since achieved her Certificate III in Aged Care, Certificate IV in Disability and is a Registered Nurse.

Volunteering with the Melaleuca Refugee Centre, Jane mentors refugees and immigrants helping them to establish a life in Australia. Jane has chaired Multicultural Youth Northern Territory, represented Australia at South Africa’s World Youth Conference and is Northern Territory Ambassador for World Refugee Week. She is also Northern Territory’s Youth Ambassador to MYN (Australia) promoting the needs and interests of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

Darwin Community Event of the Year

Nepalese Association of NT

The Nepalese Association of NT (NANT) was founded in 2007, as a result of a combined effort from community members with a desire to serve the Nepalese community. Its founders felt the need for a Nepalese Community Organization that would cater to the needs of new Nepalese immigrants, students and those who were already residing in the Northern Territory. NANT have been represented on the board of Multicultural Council of NT since 2009.

NANT have celebrated Nepalese New Year every year since 2008. In 2018, the Nepal Festival was hosted for the first time in Darwin. The celebration was organised by NANT, in association with Non-Resident Nepali Association Northern Territory State Coordination Committee and coincided with Nepalese New Year 2075 and the 10th year celebration of NANT.

Promoting the rich Nepalese cultural heritage to the wider community, the festival included a cultural show, Nepalese parade with different authentic customs, food Stalls and musical performances by local & guest artists.

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