Mayor Tracey Roberts thanked the Pioneers, who have all lived in the area for 50 years, and their families for helping the City develop from a small farming community into one of the fastest growing regions in the country.
‘Each person who is recognised as a City of Wanneroo Pioneer has shown an exceptional commitment and passion for Wanneroo in many different ways ” such dedication will never be forgotten,’ she said.
The council adopted a policy in March that it would stop recognising new pioneers after 2016 because of the region’s population growth in the 1960s.
‘During the 1960s, it can be seen that Wanneroo was gradually ceasing to be a pioneering community ” communications and transport made life easier,’ a report said.
‘Based on population increases, it could be considered that after 1966 Wanneroo should no longer be considered to be a pioneering place and that making new awards of ‘pioneer’ would no longer be meaningful.’
Mrs Roberts said the 12 Pioneers joined a list of 91 people recognised for laying the foundations.
‘With all the parks, roads and facilities built by the City, it is a very different place to when you arrived in Wanneroo,’ she said in her speech.
‘Your lives and the challenges and hardships you had to face are part of our history.
‘I encourage you to record them, write them down for your families and future generations, perhaps to be kept here by the City in our regional museum.
‘You are trailblazers who are now being followed by tens of thousands of people.’
The then-Shire of Wanneroo awarded the first Pioneer titles in 1975 to people who had been living in the area since at least 1925.
The City plans to continue to celebrate with pioneers at a lunch each year after 2016, but use the Australia Day citizen of the year award to recognise outstanding contributions by other community members.