It’s coming up to Australia Day, and with that comes all the accolades for the City of Adelaide’s 2018 Citizens of the Year. With two dentists with a strong commitment to social justice and a young volunteer helping to make a difference being recognised.
Lord Mayor Martin Haese presented the Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year awards at the Adelaide Town Hall today in conjunction with a special citizenship ceremony.
Dr Mark Galaz and Dr John Day have been recognised jointly as the City’s 2018 Citizens of the Year.
While it is rare for the City to award the Citizen of the Year jointly, it was considered that dentists and business partners Mark and John were both highly deserving of the award. Mark and John, each of whom has been in practice for 35 years, deliver dental services to vulnerable clients through their business, Gilbert Street Dental, in the city’s south-western precinct.
In partnership with the SA Dental Service Homelessness and Oral Health Program, John and Mark deliver dental services to people who are without homes or are living in refuges in the CBD. The program, which also involves key members of the homelessness sector, has provided free dental care to around 4,000 clients, helping people improve both their health and self-confidence.
The Lord Mayor said, “Council recognises and appreciates the tremendous gift of time, skills and support given by Mark and John to their local community as co-founders of the Homelessness and Oral Health Program.
“We also acknowledge their contribution to the broader dental community through local universities and as volunteers, mentors and educators in other organisations,” said Martin.
Young Citizen of the Year
Young Citizen of the Year 2018 Ms Chelsea Bartlett volunteered with Guide Dogs SA/NT for close to two years.
During this time, Chelsea, who has a vision loss, has made a valuable contribution to the Guide Dogs’ mission to enhance the quality of life of people living with disability.
By hosting tours and sharing interactive activities with school groups, the public and businesses, Chelsea has shared her experience of significant vision loss, and guided people in how to interact and engage with vision impaired people in the community.
She has also helped to convert Guide Dogs documents for greater accessibility. Her skills and community commitment have recently resulted in her gaining full time employment as a National Disability Insurance Scheme planner.
The Lord Mayor said, “The City of Adelaide is delighted to congratulate Chelsea on her positive professionalism and achievements, which exemplify inclusion, determination, and opportunity for all young people.”
Chelsea said it was a privilege to be acknowledged for her volunteer work. “It means a lot for me to be able to give back to the organisation that has provided several services to me for many years and to share my experiences of living with vision loss,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs SA/NT, Aaron Chia, said the organisation was proud to be part of Chelsea’s life journey.
“The award is a tribute to Chelsea’s passion for ensuring others are given opportunities to achieve their life goals,” Aaron said.
Community Event of the Year
The Community Event of the Year Award was presented to the Adelaide Zombie Walk for its 14 October 2017 walk to help Foodbank SA put food on the table of vulnerable South Australian families.
The Lord Mayor congratulated the Adelaide Zombie Walk for raising the equivalent of more than $18,000 in cash and direct food donations.
The event, which appeals to a diverse range of age groups and interests, including families and international students, enabled Foodbank SA to put more than 37,000 meals on the table of South Australians in need.
The Lord Mayor said, “The Adelaide Zombie Walk event and community are deserving recipients of this
recognition and Award, for its work to raise funds for and awareness of charity partner Foodbank SA.
“The event outcomes have been great for the City: an inclusive cultural event which raises much needed funds and increases awareness of Foodbank SA and its fight against hunger in our community.”
CEO of Foodbank SA Mr Greg Pattinson said: “Foodbank SA are very proud to be associated with the Adelaide Zombie Walk and believe they are most deserving of this recognition. Adelaide Zombie Walk have been long-time supporters of Foodbank SA and the work we do for the South Australian community. Their efforts have not only served to raise the awareness of Foodbank in this state but enabled us to provide much needed food relief to those most in need.”
The Awards were presented at today’s Citizenship Ceremony, during which the City welcomed 40 new citizens from 13 countries, including eight children.