Australia Day 2021 | Ronald York named Busselton's Citizen of the Year

Ronald York has been named this year's Busselton Community Citizen of the Year at an Australia Day ceremony on January 26, 2021.

The citizen awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge people in the community who make Busselton a great place to live.

Mr York was recognised for cleaning up rubbish along the bypass and road reserve near Old Broadwater Farm for the past five years.

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said Mr York had done this on his own volition and never asked for any recognition.

Mr Henley said he became aware of Mr York's contribution to the community through the Mail's social media post which attracted more than 920 likes.

"I saw someone give some accolades on social media and thought if we are looking for someone who really stands for what we should be, and strives for as a community, it is Ronald," he said.

"Ron has done this on his own volition and has never asked for any recognition or remuneration for his wonderful contribution to the community.

"He is the ultimate quiet achiever."

Active citizenship for a group or an event went to Cliff's Kitchen which is run by coordinators John Morris and Kerry Bailey.

Mayor Henley said they worked with volunteers to provide weekly meals to the public which included veterans, people with physical and mental disabilities, people who are homeless or are struggling financially.

"Over 100 meals are prepared each week," he said.

"Challenges associated with COVID-19 saw the demand of this service increase last year, but restrictions on social gatherings presented volunteers with real difficulties.

"Cliff's Kitchen continued their services during the COVID-19 crisis by adapting to rapidly changing circumstances.

"Food was packaged and delivered to those in need.

"Thank you and well done the service you provided in a very challenging year was invaluable."

Runner up was Foodlosophy South West owned by Sam and Dan Ninness, who initiated and ran a community fundraising concert Bushfire Aid South West 2020.

Mayor Henley said they held the events because they felt so touched by the devastation of the Eastern States bushfires and wanted to show those communities that the South West community cared as well.

"Sam and Dan had two fundraising concerts, one in Busselton and another in Bunbury, they worked tirelessly and raised $25,000 which was donated to the Salvation Army Bushfire Appeal," Mr Henley said.

Senior Community Citizen of the Year went to Anne Faithful who is an active member of the Rotary Club of Busselton Geographe Bay.

Ms Faithful has also contributed her time to local heritage projects and was involved in the conservation plan of the Pioneer Cemetery.

She has also contributed to ladies hockey, the Oral History Group and was involved in the Busselton Foreshore Redevelopment and Settlement Art projects.

She was also a founding member of the Vasse Leeuwin Health Board and the hospice committee.

Runner-up went to Anne Merton who was recognised for her work with the Lions Club and acting as an advisor to the young Lions and Girl Guides.

Joshua Smith was named Young Community Citizen of the Year who is an active member of the Shift Youth Crew and conducts events such as Battle of the Bands, South West Youth Fest, Mental Health Week and Yactivate.

Mayor Henley said Josh presented a great enthusiasm for leadership roles, with a positive and ready to learn attitude, and was a great role model for youth in the community.

Runner up went to Cassidy Topping who has committed himself to helping those less fortunate.

Mayor Henley said Cassidy held his first art exhibition at 14 years old, then held an online auction donating $2,000 to the Starlight Children's Foundation.

When he finished high school Mr Topping signed up with Camp Quality and gives his time to go on camps and be a carer, friend and mentor to children whose lives are impacted by cancer.

Mr Topping is now a disability support worker.

He has also raised money through art commissions which he has donated to Camp Quality and mentors teenagers on the autism spectrum.

At the ceremony 28 residents became citizens of Australia from 12 different countries including Japan, India, France, United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, South Korea, China, Philippines, Italy, Nepal, Vietnam and the USA.

In Dunsborough, 12 residents became naturalised from six different countries including France, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines and South Africa.