Australia Day honour for five decades of community service

Beryl Sutton has won the Australia Day WA Senior Community Citizen of the Year Award for Busselton.

Ms Sutton was recognised for more than 50 years of volunteering for the Southern Districts Agricultural Society, the Busselton Pony Club and the Busselton Trotting Club Inc.

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley presented the award to Ms Sutton in front of hundreds of people at The Rotary Club of Busselton - Geographe Bay Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Breakfast.

Mr Henley said Ms Sutton was a very worthy recipient and Busselton was lucky to have benefited from her passion for horses and ponies.

“Beryl has fondly been described as a person who always puts her hand up to help others,” he said.

“We are fortunate indeed that she has taken the time and effort to share this passion with the broader community.”

Ms Sutton founded the Busselton Pony Club in 1973 and has been involved with the Southern Districts Agricultural Society since 1974.

In 1980, she started up the Busselton Pony Trots and in 1984 joined the Busselton Trotting Club, where she trained a number of winners including a winner of the Busselton Cup.

Mr Henley said Ms Sutton’s contributions to the clubs had been enormous.

“She ran the canteen, assisted with fundraising activities, instructed young members in horsemanship and was president of the club for four years, “ he said.

“It’s fair to say that her efforts were integral in building the Pony Club into the great youth and family oriented club it is today.

“Members of the Trotting Club recall her helping children whose families didn’t own a horse float, she would routinely transport these kids and their ponies to events so they could participate.”

Ms Sutton is a lifetime member of Southern Districts Agricultural Society, the Busselton Pony Club and Busselton Trotting Club Inc.

She was awarded the Commonwealth Medal for her work with the Busselton Pony Club in 2000.

Ms Sutton used the opportunity to call on the city’s youth to become involved in the community and volunteer.

She told the crowd she volunteered simply because she loved it and loved the clubs she was involved with.