Joint winners for Australia Day awards in Cottesloe

Robyn Benken. Photo: Jon Bassett
Robyn Benken. Photo: Jon Bassett

AN unusual joint Citizen of the Year award was made by Cottesloe Council at Australia Day celebrations in Manners Hill Park, Peppermint Grove this morning.

Cottesloe Mayor Phil Angers said co-awardee Kirsty Barrett was recognised for work on the North Cottesloe Primary School Traffic Safety Committee, Cottesloe Toy Library, Seaview Community Kindergarten, North Cottesloe Primary School P&C and the Cott+PLUS plan.

Mr Angers said co-awardee Robyn Benken had volunteered at 1995-formed Cottesloe Coastcare Association to collect and grow plants to restore dunes.

“She collects seeds every year from dune plants to provide nurseries with local provenance material to propagate seedlings for the annual planting season, and provides considerable advice and support to the Town of Cottesloe regarding restoration projects,” he said.

Cottesloe’s Youth Citizen of the Year was Ella Wylynko, who founded non-profit small business GOSHI to promote youth culture, and who recently organised a Youth Week art exhibition.

Senior Citizen of the Year was Shine aged care service volunteer Ross Bathgate, and the Community Group of the Year was Cottesloe Coastcare, which had restored more than four hectares of severely degraded coastal dunes.

“Their work involves hours of hand weeding, seed collections from local native plants for nursery propagation, erosion control and beach clean ups,” Mr Angers said.

The neighbouring Shire of Peppermint Grove awarded its Citizen of the Year to executive chair of the Fogarty Foundation Annie Fogarty for advancing in education in WA, and work with Roseworth Primary School, The Fremantle Press and Advisory Groups for the Centre for Social Impact and the ECU Fogarty Learning Centre.

The Active Citizenship Award went to the all-generations craft group Make New & Mend.