Citizens old and new celebrate what’s great about our nation

THE City of Hobart shone the spotlight on the people and events that make a special contribution to the community at the annual Citizenship and Australia Day Awards.

The awards were presented during the Sandy Bay Regatta’s Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at Nutgrove Beach Reserve on 26 January.

Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey said Australia Day was a special day for everyone who lived in the country.

“Becoming a citizen and taking out citizenship represents a commitment to Australia and its people,” she said.

“It gives a sense of belonging because one can fully participate in all aspects of Australian life.

“Australia has been built by the combined contributions of Indigenous Australians and generations of migrants and their descendants.

“While we come from a diverse range of backgrounds, we share a common future as Australians.”

Ald Hickey said 64 candidates representing 25 different countries signed up to become Australian citizens.

“These new citizens have pledged their commitment to our country, our people, our democratic beliefs, our laws, our rights and our liberties,” she said.


The 2015 Australia Day Awards winners:

Citizen of the Year – Lawson Ride

Lawson Ride is the chief executive officer of the Cancer Council Tasmania and has been instrumental in uniting the existing patchwork of small organisations to become a highly respected unified entity. His charismatic leadership saw him as the public face for cancer related issues in Tasmania in the media, discussions with governments, with health providers and members of the public.


Young Citizen of the Year – Meg Cooper

Miss Cooper is 23 years old and has lived in the Hobart region all her life.

She is one of five children and her younger brother, Ross, has Down syndrome. Miss Cooper assists her family with the care of her brother and has been recognised as an excellent role model for him.

Since 2010 Miss Cooper has been running the “BrightStars” dance program, volunteering many hours to planning and running the classes.

The dancers vary in age from six to 35 years, so routines are constantly work shopped to adapt to all abilities and skill levels.

BrightStars South now has more than 30 dancers, which include people with Down syndrome.

The group holds regular classes and has had increased requests for public performances.


Community Event of the Year (joint winners) – 2014 Hobart Relay for Life and 2014 Hot August Jazz Festival

The 2014 Hobart Relay for Life event was held on 1 and 2 March in 2014 and saw more than 2000 locals come together at the Domain Athletics Centre to camp out overnight with family and friends.

Relay for Life is a chance for people to recognise and celebrate those who have overcome cancer or are undergoing treatment, as well as the people who care for them. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the memory of loved ones lost to cancer.

The event raised more than $320,000 for Tasmanian support services, research and advocacy programs to help minimise the incidence and impact of cancer on all Tasmanians.

Run by the Hobart Jazz Club Inc, the Hot August Jazz Festival is an annual free public event attended by people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

The 10th festival, which was held in North Hobart on 31 August 2014 as a gala event, featured fine food, beverages and more than 200 Tasmanian musicians including duos and big bands performing from midday to midnight.

Every year the attendance has been overwhelming, with venues often packed to capacity.