Perth’s community spirit was on show today as the City of Perth welcomed 43 new Australian citizens from 23 different countries.
City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said it was an honour to greet Perth’s newest citizens at this morning’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at the Perth Town Hall.
“It is wonderful to see such a diverse range of people becoming new Aussie citizens. We’re excited to officially welcome you with open arms into the City of Perth community,” Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said.
“We’re grateful and proud that so many people have chosen to make Perth their home.”
An additional 29 new Aussies were invited to attend the Australia Day reception in lieu of their online ceremonies which took place during COVID-19 last year.
Three Community Citizen of the Year awards were also presented, recognising those who positively and selflessly contribute to the Perth community.
Donating more than 20 hours of his spare time per week, Mark Piggott was recognised as the City of Perth’s Citizen of the Year for his invaluable work at St Bart’s – a not-for-profit assisting Western Australians experiencing homelessness, trauma and hardship.
Over the past two years, he has displayed an unwavering commitment to helping some of the most marginalised members of the community – those experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
Without Mark’s drive and selfless commitment, St Bart’s would be unable to provide the many activities and events it does to improve the lives of residents and clients.
Zal Kanga-Parabia was also announced City of Perth’s Youth Citizen of the Year for his work in supporting local artists, youth and non-profits.
Currently working as an Advocacy Development Officer at Propel Youth Arts WA, Zal’s unwavering passion for reconciliation, diversity and inclusion is clear.
Zal supports, helps and guides young people, especially those of marginalised backgrounds, while advocating for policy change.
West Perth Local received the City of Perth’s Active Citizenship (group or event) award for its multi-faceted role in supporting West Perth residents and businesses.
Advocating for activation, events, resources and community connection, Chairperson Steve Wellard works with a range of volunteers to actively promote the area.
Giving up hours of their spare time, the group strives to make West Perth a better place to live, work and play, while helping struggling businesses get by.
“It is important people who give back to the Perth community are recognised for their selfless contribution. We wouldn’t be where we are without passionate citizens such as Mark and Zal and the invaluable work of neighbourhood community groups such as West Perth Local,” Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said.
In conjunction with Local Government organisations across WA, Auspire – the Australia Day Council of WA has run the local Citizen Awards Program since 2003.