Citizen of the year Erica Duffett speaks at the Australia Day ceremony
It wasn’t just our newest citizens who were being recognised on Australia Day, it was our citizens of the year as well.
It was fitting recognition for individuals and groups who have made an outstanding contribution to their community.
Their were five nominations for the Citizen of the Year Award. Bridgetown’s Citizen of the Year is Erica Duffett.
“For almost 13 years, Erica Duffett has contributed boundless energy, positivity and many, many hours of her time to St John Ambulance,” said Deputy Shire President, Barbara Johnson.
“In fact Erica has spent over 5,000 hours on shift. In addition to volunteering in the ambulance, Erica is a member of the Bridgetown Sub Centre committee and performs the roles of equipment officer and recruitment officer,” Councillor Johnson said.
“St John Ambulance has recognised Erica as a Member of the Order of St John – the highest honour that a St John volunteer can be awarded – and a commendation for her outstanding performance at a bus crash in 2008.”
Sharing the Music
Senior Citizen of the Year went to Erica Gale for her dedication to sharing the joy of music in the community.
“For over 21 years, Erica has made weekly visits to Bridgetown locations including the hospital and Geegeelup Village and hostel,” said Councillor Johnson.
“Erica shares her musical talents with those who are in poor health, ageing, isolated or in need,”she said.
“Erica’s beautiful singing and guitar playing bring joy and entertainment anywhere she goes.
“Outside of Bridgetown, Erica regularly travels to nursing homes throughout the region, as well as fundraising concerts, Carols by Candlelight, church services and country music festivals, always free of charge.”
Erica Gale may be generations apart from Young Citizen of the Year, Jessica Wright, but they share the same commitment to their community.
Young Citizen of the Year
The youngest member of the St John Ambulance Bridgetown Sub-centre, Jessica is a gentle, respectful and genuine person, said Councillor Johnson.
“Apart from volunteering on call-outs, Jessica has taken on plenty of responsibility in the past year,” she said.
“Jessica is the first person to put her hand up to help out, also tutoring local primary school students, volunteering in the SuperKids SuperHeroes fundraiser and the Mystery Tour of Life.
“Jessica’s care, maturity and diligence are a real asset to anyone who benefits from her time and contribution,” she said.
The Jubilee Singers were the worthy winners of the Active Citizenship Group or Event Award for their significant contribution to the arts in Bridgetown-Greenbushes.
The Jubilee Singers have become a fixture in the Bridgetown-Greenbushes community for almost three decades, said Councillor Johnson.
“Predominantly performing gospel tunes in their signature robust style, the Jubilee Singers have performed every year since their formation in 1992, including at the Blackwood Rhapsody, Blues at Bridgetown, the Winter Festival, many Christmas events and for hospitality patients, Silverchain and residents of Geegeelup,” she said.
The Jubilee Singers concluded the formalities on a beautiful morning by singing “I am Australian”.