Selfless champions of our community

Dr Philip Deschamp
Dr Philip Deschamp

The humbled Waterford resident said the best thing about receiving the award was that his wife was able to be on the platform with him and he could share it with her.

He said he just wished all the other finalists could have been recognised too, rather than just one recipient.

‘It would be disappointing to get that far and not get it,’ he said.

Dr Deschamp has lived in Waterford for 12 years and is very deserving of the acknowledgment.

He was recognised for his advocacy for people with disabilities in the City and across the metropolitan area. He has worked extensively promoting services for people with disabilities in the role of director of an association that supports more than 200 people with disabilities.

Other roles include previously being chair of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Disability Services, board member of Royal Perth Hospital and past member of the City’s Inclusive Community Action Group.

He also encouraged development of picnic areas around Waterford.

‘These sorts of things cost very little but make a big difference,’ he said.

He is also a keen photographer and loves taking abstract photos, which you can find hanging at the Royal Perth rehabilitation centre.

Also recognised at the ceremony was Gillian Rackham, who was the recipient of the 2014 City of South Perth Young Citizen of the Year and Premier’s Australia Day Active Young Citizen Award.

The Penrhos College student was recognised for her role in initiating a year-long program in promoting a positive body image among students, and raising awareness of the effects of mental illness.

And the City of South Perth Premier’s Australia Day Active Community Group or Event Award went to the Rotary Club of Mill Point, which has raised thousands of dollars over the past three years.