Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards

Australia Day Awards

Each year, communities across South Australia celebrate the achievements and contributions of outstanding members of their communities through the Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards. Award recipients inspire us to get involved in our communities and contribute to our neighbourhoods.

The Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards gives the opportunity to recognise someone who makes a difference in their community across 4 major categories.

2020 Recipients

Citizen of the Year: Chris Lewis

Community Event of the Year: 2019 New Year's Eve Pageant

Active Citizen: Gary Hogben

Awards will be presented at the 2021 Australia Day Celebrations. Previous award recipients can be viewed on the honour boards located in the Council Chambers.


Citizen of the Year Award

The most outstanding Citizen for the Yankalilla district

Young Citizen of the Year Award

The most outstanding Young Citizen for the Yankalilla district

Community Event of the Year Award

The person or group who has staged the most outstanding community event during the year

Active Citizenship Award

A person or group delivering outstanding work or for an event or cause, staged in the community during the past year


Each local Council in South Australia seeks nominations in their local Council area, with the award recipients typically announced at the Council’s Australia Day celebrations.

Councils can forward the details of their Award recipients to the Australia Day Council of SA to go in the running for the State Awards, presented by the Governor of South Australia.

The Awards reward and recognise individuals and organisations that have made a noteworthy contribution during the current year, and/or given outstanding service over a number of years, to a local community over and above normal employment duties.

Outstanding contribution and community service includes areas such as education, health, fundraising, charitable and voluntary services, business, sport, arts, the environment, or any other area that contributes to the advancement and well being of a community.

Nominate someone who makes a real difference in your community and give them the opportunity to be rewarded and recognised for their important contribution.

Honour Boards are available for viewing at the Council Office listing past recipients.

Selection Criteria

In choosing the recipients of the Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards, regard is given to the nominee's achievements in the year immediately prior to receiving the award, as well as their past achievements and ongoing contribution to the community.

An individual need only be nominated once to be considered. The number of nominations received per nominee bears no weight in their selection.

The selection criteria for Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year are:

  • Significant contribution to the community
  • An inspirational role model for the Australian community
  • The scope of impact the individual’s contribution has on the Yankalilla district area

The selection criteria for Community Event of the Year:

  • The quality of the work for the event
  • The scope of impact the work has on the Yankalilla district area
  • The event’s contribution to the community

The selection criteria for Award for Active Citizenship:

  • The person or group has demonstrated leadership in and for the community
  • The person or groups involvement in the community
  • The scope of impact the person or groups work has on the community

PLEASE NOTE: it is not a requirement that the individual resides in the Yankalilla district area. The focus should be on their SPECIFIC contribution to the Yankalilla district area or community (e.g. an individual may live in a neighbouring council but has made a significant contribution to a community organisation within the Yankalilla district).

Selection panels will also consider the following in assessing and comparing nominations against the above criteria:

  • Personal, academic and professional achievements
  • Contribution in the relevant field (how has the nominee, event or group ‘put back' into their field to benefit others)
  • Demonstrated leadership, innovation and creativity
  • Contribution to development of regional community and/or economy
  • Future goals and likely impact
  • Degree of difficulty of the achievement and sacrifices made
  • Previous awards and recognition
  • Voluntary work beyond paid employment
  • Nature and length of activity or service
  • Achievements as an individual or as part of a group or organisation
  • Availability and commitment to promote community pride and active citizenship throughout the year of the recipient's appointment

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominees must be Australian citizens (except for Award for Active Citizenship)
  • Awards will not be granted posthumously
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted
  • Nominees must be at least 16 years of age in the year of the award presentation
  • Nominees for the category of Young Citizen of the Year must be 30 years of age or less on 26 January in the year of the award presentation
  • Sitting state and federal politicians, current vice-regal officers and current elected members of council are not eligible
  • Retired politicians, elected members and vice-regal officers will be considered for work undertaken in addition to their official duties
  • Unsuccessful nominees may be re-nominated in subsequent years
  • Groups of people, organisations or couples will not normally be eligible for Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year, though in exceptional cases the selection panels reserve the right to consider such nominations.
  • Both individuals and organisations should be considered for the Community Event of the Year as this recognises the organising body or committee responsible for the event
  • Absolutely NO weight is given to the number of times a person or organisation is nominated
  • Previous recipients of the award categories may receive the award in the future however the work that this person or organisation made in receiving the original award may not be considered.
  • Councils may choose to re-submit nominations that do not receive an award for future consideration in subsequent years of the program

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