Couple share Citizen gong
Not one but two Dampier Citizens of the Year were announced at the community’s 2016 awards night, for the first time in its history.
The Dampier Citizen of the Year Awards were held by the Dampier Community Association on Saturday, February 27, and attended by about 50 nominees and their guests, as well as the residents who had nominated them.
Husband and wife Tarita and Gavin O’Brien were announced joint winners of the town’s top honour of Citizen of the Year for their volunteer work with local junior football and on the Dampier Primary School P and C committee. DCA president Sharon Vertigan said the association had been unable to separate the two.
“Both Gavin and Tarita were nominated separately and the DCA committee, who votes on the winners, felt that their individual efforts were only possible with the support of the other,” she said.
Netball coach Amber Beeton was named Dampier Youth Citizen of the Year for her work coaching and mentoring local netballers and volunteering with community organisations.
Dampier Community Association’s Lifetime Membership was awarded to resident Rose Best for her many years of contribution as co-ordinator of the Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association, now in its 16th year.
It follows Ms Best’s win for the City of Karratha Environmental award on Australia Day earlier this year. She said life membership was a “huge honour”.
“I’m quite blown away (at winning two awards this year), because years go by when you’re not mentioned,” she said.
“Not that you need to be recognised, but it’s just good for people to know that we are out there.”
Mrs Vertigan said she was pleased the awards had drawn greater public attention this year.
“It’s us acknowledging the great community work that goes on in our town,” she said. “As opposed to previous years, we had quite a few nominations in each category this year and it was really good to see the nominations were up.”
Tarita and Gavin O’Brien are the joint recipients of the 2016 Dampier Citizen of the Year award.
Recipient Rose Best.