DESCRIBED as the “heart and soul” of Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club, Murray Geneff was named the City of Joondalup’s citizen of the year on Saturday.
For more than two decades, the Duncraig resident has been the go-to man at the club, which has more than 1900 members, contributing to surf lifesaving at all levels.
“He is involved in the logistics of all carnivals and events, makes sure all club equipment is maintained and ready for use, sits on the competition committee and looks after the welfare of boat arena competitors,” Mayor Albert Jacob said.
“He is a fantastic leader and is a credit to both the club and the City.”
The 2019 Community Citizen of the Year Awards were announced at the City’s Australia Day citizenship ceremony, which also included an under-25 youth award given to Hillarys resident Marcel Masque Salgado.
The Greenwood College student created a free app called BreakItUp to help students manage their study routine and avoid social media distractions.
He has also worked on an app that makes it easy for young people to communicate their ideas and concerns to local Members of Parliament, and initiated the Greenwood College debating team.
The team, which he also mentored younger students in, won the 2017 WA Debating League novice grand final and was a grand finalist in the UK British Parliamentary debating competition in 2017 and 2018.
Mr Salgado just scored 99.8 in ATAR and received the subject exhibition (top student in the state) for English as an additional language/dialect.
“Marcel is at the cutting edge of innovation and displays wisdom beyond his years,” Mr Jacob said.
The Senior Citizen of the Year award for an individual aged over 65 went to Duncraig resident Carmel Ward for her work as a volunteer mentor at Greenwood College, particularly with some of the school’s most vulnerable students.
“Carmel has a natural ability to relate to and support students of different ages and backgrounds,” Mr Jacob said.
“Through her dedication, Carmel’s students have demonstrated greater confidence in their approach to their studies, a happier disposition and improved communication skills.”
Ms Ward has also had a long association with the Lions Club – both in Victoria and WA – as well as various other charities, such as PlusLife, which help people in need and improve the quality of other people’s lives.
The Active Citizenship award for a community group of event went to the Connolly Residents’ Association, which provides a “crucial link between residents, the City’s administration and the elected body as a means to share information, improve neighbourhoods and make our City as liveable as possible”.
The association has developed over the past 13 years and is an active group that liaises closely with the City and its membership to ensure Connolly is a well maintained, attractive and safe suburb.
As well as hosting monthly meetings, it holds an annual community fete and Christmas social evening and several members take part in charity work – much of which is undertaken locally, directly benefitting Connolly residents.
It also produces the Connolly Links magazine, which keeps residents informed about what is happening in their suburb and across the City.
About 300 people became citizens at the City’s Australia Day ceremony in Central Park.