Three people and one event are front and centre today in Alice Springs, honoured with Australia Day awards which were coordinated by the Alice Springs Town Council in conjunction with the Australia Day Council NT. A record 111 people were declared Australian citizens.
The award winners are Peter Lowson (pictured above, centre) with his group of little Aboriginal drummers, teenager Jacilyn Lindner who captured a commercial opportunity, emergency services volunteer Michelle Thomas and the Australian Dirt Kart Titles.
Centralian Citizen of the Year – Peter Lowson
Peter is the Coordinator of Tangentyere Council’s “Drum Atweme”. He began this group in 2004 to meet the needs of at-risk Aboriginal town camp youth. Since then they have performed at over 300 events locally and interstate. He has spent many of his 29 years in Alice Springs working with Aboriginal youth.
Young Centralian Citizen of the Year – Jacilyn Lindner
Sixteen-year-old Jacilyn noticed a need in the Alice Springs Community and set up her own business with her mother, “Jac’s Coffee and Cakes”. She takes her portable coffee shop to markets, events, the library and local shopping centres. She is an inspiration, juggling her business with school and a hospitality course.
Volunteer of the Year – Michelle Thomas
As well as holding down a busy career as an Intensive Care Unit nurse at Alice Springs Hospital, Michelle devotes almost all her free time to the NT Emergency Service Volunteer unit. She joined the service in 2008 and has taken membership from eight to 32. She has represented the NT Emergency Service at the National Disaster Rescue Competition, coordinated volunteers for major events, oversees the training program and was voted the service’s Most Valuable Volunteer in 2012.
Event of the Year – 2013 NT & Australian Dirt Kart Titles
The Dirt Kart Titles featured two three-day events, bringing 270 nominations for the NT Titles and 340 for the Australian Titles – the highest number ever. Competitors traveled from across Australia to compete and took advantage of the week in-between the events to visit attractions in Central Australia. About 500 people attended the NT Titles presentation night and about 600 attended the Australian Titles presentation night.