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2020 Community Citizen of the Year Awards Recipients

The Town of Port Hedland would like to congratulate all the nominees and winners of the 2020 Community Citizen of the Year Awards. On the morning of Australia Day Sunday 26 January 2020, Hedland came together in the Jimblebar room of Wanangkura Stadium to reward and recognise Hedland based locals and organisations who have made notable contributions during the previous year, or have given outstanding service over a number of years. 

Community Citizen of the Year Awards are held by local governments across WA. The Patron of the Community Citizen of the Year Awards is the Hon. Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia. 

The Town of Port Hedland would like to thank ITOCHU Minerals & Energy Australia, the Port Hedland RSL, Horizon Power and Roy Hill for making these awards possible.

Click here to read more about the awards. 

Please find the list of recipients below:

Award Category Award Recipient
ITOCHU Minerals & Energy Australia Young Community Citizen of the Year Award

Brandon Herwig

Brandon exemplifies the power of innovation to improve people’s lives. Brandon and his father have spearheaded a project to regenerate unwanted e-waste personal computers back to life, subsequently donating them to those less fortunate. To date, over 12 e-waste computers have been fixed up and donated back to the community by Brandon, a remarkable effort which is both environmentally conscious and community spirited. Brandon and his father have given these computers to the Volunteer Marine Rescue Services, Hedland Gymnastics Club and the Port Hedland Volunteer Fire Brigade.

In a time when we all need to think about our impact on the planet, Brandon’s work is a shining example of how to incorporate environmentally conscious practice into on the ground, community driven change.

Port Hedland RSL Senior Community Citizen of the Year Award

Janet Gillingham

Jan has been an active member of the Hedland community for over 30 years, passionately advocating for the importance of music and the arts in communal life. She is well known in Hedland for being involved in community events, with her previous tenure as an Elected Member defined by generosity, grassroots community involvement and a willingness to support those in need. One of her main endeavours is organising the Pilbara Music Festival, a time when local musicians come together to celebrate musicianship and raise the profile of live music in Hedland. The Festival is only possible due to the hard work and dedication of Jan, with her passion for music changing local people’s lives.

Jan has also been a board member of the high school and teaches music at various local schools, as well as providing private music lessons. Generations of children have been mentored by Jan, learning the specialist techniques and appreciation for music that Jan gifts her students. Jan has always gone the extra mile for her students, seeing her role as much as a guide and mentor as a teacher. She is also known for neighbourliness and kindness in the community. Her acts of kindness often go unrecognised and are out of site, another reason she is so deserving of this Citizen of the Year Award.

Horizon Power Award for Active Citizenship

Hedland School of Dance

Hedland School of Dance are passionate about driving arts participation in Hedland, providing a high calibre of dance education to students across town. They have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to fostering a supportive, nurturing environment which inspires students to dream big and express their artistic passion on the stage. Staff, volunteers, parents and students work throughout the year to bring dance to life in the heart of the Pilbara.

They have a recognised profile in the community, performing at events such as the Welcome to Hedland Community Expo and the West Australian Ballet live show. Their passion and drive has seen them venture to Perth and Karratha dance competitions to represent the Pilbara arts scene, showcasing their raw creativity and talent to a state wide audience. They champion their place in a regional town, delivering education and performance on par with metropolitan centres. They have petitioned to develop better arts facilities in town for current and future students, always having an eye for the next generation of dance.

Grounded in the grassroots community, their inclusive approach to dance education welcomes new starters to discover the magic of dancing. Improved confidence, greater collaborative capacities, appreciation for the arts and a disciplined approach to performance are just some of the benefits gifted to Hedland School of Dance students.

Roy Hill Community Citizen of the Year Award

Jeremy Marklew

Jeremy Marklew exemplifies the powerful, life changing work of police officers in our community. Jeremy is the Senior Sergeant Officer in Charge of South Hedland Police Station, commencing this position in 2019. He has lead the fight against domestic and family violence, self-harm, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, youth offending and methamphetamine dealing.

Since January, he has achieved a reduction in youth crime and crime overall in Hedland, improving the safety and liveability of the town. Importantly, he recognises the relationship between mental health issues and crime, encouraging people to seek out help when they are struggling. His passion and determination has raised the profile of mental health awareness in the community, and he has sought to increase individuals’ confidence in engaging with the Police to seek out help.

Sergeant Marklew has spearheaded the School Bus Breakfast program for at risk youth children, providing local young people with crucial nutrients to empower their learning and development at school. His current project, Talking Posters, translates community safety messages into local Aboriginal Languages within the Town of Port Hedland, supported by multiple State and non-government community partners.

Like many Officers, he goes above and beyond the call of duty by contributing his efforts outside regular work hours. His sustained passion for the lives of young people is to be applauded, and the entire town appreciates his life changing work. His fellow Officers share in his determination and resolve to continually improve outcomes for community members.