Community spirit on show as local heroes and new citizens celebrated

The City of Perth today welcomed 69 new Australian citizens from 30 different countries, and presented four Australia Day Western Australia Citizen of the Year awards.

Chair Commissioner Andrew Hammond welcomed Perth’s newest citizens at this morning’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony.

“Perth is a fantastically diverse and multicultural city. In fact, more than half of our 27,000 residents within the City of Perth were born overseas,” Chair Commissioner Hammond said.

“We’re grateful and proud that so many people have chosen to make Perth their home.”

Meanwhile, the man behind Fringe World, a 13-year-old social entrepreneur, a community group and a leader in the world of local journalism have all been recognised for their positive contribution to Perth.

Former Artrage CEO Marcus Canning was named City of Perth’s Citizen of the Year. Mr Canning developed the Fringe World Festival, Rooftop Movies, the Bakery live music venue and the Girls School venue, and is now involved in The Rechabite in Northbridge.

“Marcus has been a stalwart in Perth’s arts scene for years, and has been instrumental in putting Perth on the map as a creative, innovative and exciting centre for performing arts and entertainment,” Commissioner Hammond said.

Thirteen-year-old Attadale resident Timothy Kania was announced City of Perth’s Youth Citizen of the Year for his work in supporting St George’s Cathedral in providing food hampers for those in need.

In 2019, Timothy raised $800 from the sale of stick insect eggs and lolly jars and used the proceeds to make 100 food hampers for the Cathedral.

“Timothy’s selfless support of the city’s most vulnerable citizens is heart-warming and inspirational; he is a worthy recipient of the Youth Citizen of the Year award,” Commissioner Hammond said.

“Not only has Timothy committed to proving more hampers to St George’s Cathedral in 2020, he is also actively talking to other young people about what they can do to make a difference. His ongoing influence will have positive flow on effects throughout Perth and surrounds.”

Community television advocate Tibor Meszaros has been named Senior Citizen of the Year in recognition of his 20+ years of volunteer work with Perth station WTV.

“Mr Meszaros has ensured Perth residents have access to a community news service providing relevant current affairs and arts content, while also dedicating hours of his own time to training young journalists and media professionals,” Commissioner Hammond said.

“For the past 20 years Mr Meszaros has trained more than 100 media professionals who have gone on to excel at key media outlets including Seven West, the Community News Group, Noongar Radio and Channels Nine and 10. His humble service to the local media landscape is largely unknown but widely appreciated.”

The East Perth Community Group received the City of Perth’s Active Citizenship (group or event) award for its multi-faceted role in supporting East Perth residents and businesses.

The group aims to boost community spirit and safety within the East Perth area, while also advocating for resources and infrastructure and promoting the area and local initiatives.

The City of Perth also acknowledges the late Eric Lumsden, who was appointed Member of the Order of Australia in today’s Australia Day Honours.

Commissioner Hammond said Eric was highly regarded for the considered planning decisions he made throughout his career and the positive impact they’ve had on people’s lives.

“As a former Chair Commissioner, Eric made a significant contribution to the City of Perth and he will be remembered for his work at the State Government, the Western Australian Planning Commission, the City of Swan and the City of Melville,” Commissioner Hammond said.

“He is a deserving recipient of this incredibly high honour and his legacy and passion for Perth will live on.”

City of Perth Citizen of the Year Winners:

Community Citizen of the Year – Marcus Canning

Senior Citizen of the Year – Tibor Meszaros

Youth Citizen of the Year – Timothy Kania

Active Citizenship Award – East Perth Community Group (accepted by EPCG Committee Anne-Maree Ferguson)

Image caption: Tibor Meszaros receives his award from City of Perth Chair Commissioner Andrew Hammond and the Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia.

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