A hairdresser who may be one of the most prolific providers of free hair cuts in the world took out the major honor at the City of Salisbury Australia Day Awards in Adelaide’s north today.
Marcela Lastra, of Mawson Lakes, created an Australian-record in 2018 when the charity she founded – Hair Aid Community Cuts – provided more than 230 free haircuts in less than five hours. Those were just some of the free cuts she provided through her prolific charity work during 2018.
Marcela also donated her time at homeless shelters for men and women in the Adelaide CBD on a weekly basis through the St Vincent De Paul Society. Marcela still found time to volunteer at Royal Adelaide Hospital and spent time in the Philippines doing mission work.
This included work with people from some of the poorest communities in the world, training people in hair-dressing, to help families establish an income stream.
Marcela’s generosity is only match by her business skills. She operates a successful salon, Longko Salon, in Mawson Lakes. The business has given opportunities to trainees and refugees and has continued to grow and thrive after starting out as a home-based operation.
“I want to inspire other immigrant mothers in the community to chase their dreams,” said Marcela, who was born in Chile.
Ray Hall took out the Slaisbury Senior Citizen of the Year Award. Aged 72, the Salisbury North resident has chalked up more than 50 years in chairman and presidents roles at community organisations including the Penfield Sports Association, Penfield Model Engineers Society, and Salisbury RSL.
Andrew McDonald-Masters, aged 20, took our Salisbury’s Young Citizen of the Year Award. Andrew was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age seven, and overcame the social and learning challenges this presented to graduate from Parafield Gardens High School with his SACE certificate in 2015.
He went on to gain qualifications in warehousing and forklift operation and has worked as a mechanical assistant at Golden Grove-based Boating Scene for the past two years. He continues to mentor students at his former school and also helps young people going through the Duke of Edinburgh programs, among other volunteer work.
2019 CITY OF SALISBURY AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS WINNERS
Citizen of the Year: Marcela Lastra, aged 36, of Mawson Lakes
Senior Citizen of the Year: Ray Hall, 72, of Salisbury North
Young Citizen of the Year: Andrew McDonald-Masters, 20, of Parafield Gardens
Event of the Year: Bowls SA Super League