Cou­ple share Ci­ti­zen gong

Pilbara News - - Education - Ali­cia Perera

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.”

Pic­tures: Dampier Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion

Tarita and Gavin O’Brien are the joint re­cip­i­ents of the 2016 Dampier Ci­ti­zen of the Year award.

Re­cip­i­ent Rose Best.

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