Shining lights of service, compassion win Citizen of the Year awards


Left: Dee Freitag, Helen Kuipers, Kath Palmer and Karyn Hooper. Above: Nikki Wise.
Picture: Matt Jelonek |www.communitypix.com.au   d464641
Shining lights of service, compassion win Citizen of the Year awards
Left: Dee Freitag, Helen Kuipers, Kath Palmer and Karyn Hooper. Above: Nikki Wise. Picture: Matt Jelonek |www.communitypix.com.au d464641

SERVICE to the homeless and those in need were recognised at the Mandurah Citizen of the Year Awards on Australia Day.

Joint winners of the Mandurah Citizen of the Year Award were Mark Patterson and the late Nikki Wise.

Ms Wise’s award was posthumous, as she died in a motorcycle accident last year.

She ran the Reach-Out Drop-In Centre and provided support to the community by supplying meals to the homeless and those in need.

She never sought recognition and was a quiet achiever who identified a gap in services that she took upon herself to fill.

As well as her charity work, she was the loving mother of two teens.

Mr Patterson showed a great work ethic and compassion for others less fortunate.

He has his own plumbing business and often lends his time free to those in need.

He has been a volunteer skipper for Mandurah Water Rescue for eight years.

He often gives up family time to help keep local waterways safe during community events, as well as the recovery of vessels and missing persons.

As a passionate registered bee keeper, he works with local pest control businesses, real estate agents and the City of Mandurah to preserve the native bee population.

Youth Citizen of the Year was Jake Webb, who has been a Mandurah Surf Life Saving Club member since he was six.

He started lifesaving at 13 and has provided volunteer water safety services for many sports and community events.

Most patrols are at weekends, involving a significant contribution of his own time.

Now 19, he is the youngest member of the Peel Operations Emergency Squad that tackles critical beach and ocean incidents.

Senior Citizen of the Year was Kath Palmer, who aids the homeless and those in need by supplying food boxes, helping them seek employment and contributing to fundraising events. She also attends the funerals of homeless people.

She has a Facebook page called Halo, which supports those in need by helping people find housing, furnishing |their homes and guiding them to independence.

The Active Citizenship group or event award went to HALO, which runs an op shop providing food, clothing and furniture to those in need.

The group has a transitional home, which houses up to 10 homeless people at a time, providing them with shelter, meals and support to transition to their own home and employment.

Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone said the “hidden gems” went about making their contribution without recognition but Australia Day was a great day to celebrate their importance in the community.