DESCRIBED as the “heart and soul” of Duncraig Primary School, parent Andrew Blackwell was named this year’s Community Citizen of the Year at the City of Joondalup’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony.
Mr Blackwell was recognised as a “passionate and active member” of the school community who “volunteers countless hours” to the upkeep and improvement of the school grounds including its large oval, several playgrounds, nature play area and kitchen garden.
Held at Central Park today, the awards also recognised 12-year-old Vincent Pettinicchio, of Kallaroo, as the Youth Citizen of the Year.
Five years ago, he established Vincent’s Project for the Homeless and last year the initiative distributed its 4000th pack of comfort items and toiletries to those in need.
Vincent raises awareness about his project and the plight of the homeless at various church parishes, schools, clubs and events, stating: “people are homeless for various reasons and they need to know someone cares”.
Also recognised was Kinross resident Ken Beven with the Senior Citizen of the Year award.
Mr Bevan has been the honorary secretary of the Joondalup City RSL sub branch (formerly Ocean Reef) since 2013.
His achievements during this time include the Ocean Reef War Memorial, organising and running Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services, various fundraising activities and seeing to the needs of all sub-branch members and their families.
The last award, given to an event, went to the Poynter Primary School and its P&C for its annual dawn service.
The service is hosted by the school’s senior students and on average, attracts about 1200 people.
The school has also developed and maintained a partnership with the 109 Signal Squadron, Karrakatta Irwin Barracks, who provide the catafalque every year.
The P&C organise a hot breakfast for attendees and the Anzac Gift is held on the school oval – the equivalent of the Stawell Gift.
As well as the awards, the ceremony also saw more than 300 residents from countries including Brazil, Israel, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, South Africa, the UK and Zambia becoming Australian citizens.
Australia Day ambassador Adam Deans also attended to deliver the keynote address and Shaun Nannup performed a Welcome to Country.