City of Cockburn Community Citizen of the Year Awards

About the Citizen of the Year Awards

The awards profile leading citizens who are role models and who inspire us with their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution to creating a better community. The recipients will be selected from people and groups who have made a noteworthy contribution during the current year or given outstanding service to the community over a number of years. The awards are presented at the City's Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony each year.

There are four categories in which to nominate:

  • The Community Citizen of the Year
  • Community Citizen of the Year - Youth (for individuals under 25 years) 
  • Community Citizen of the Year - Senior (for individuals over 65 years)
  • The Active Citizenship Award (for community group or event).


Please note the following guidelines when nominating a Community Citizen:

  • A person must first be nominated to be considered for the Awards
  • The person must live or work primarily within the City of Cockburn
  • Awards may be granted posthumously in recognition of recent achievements
  • Groups of people or couples will not normally be eligible except when meeting the criteria for a community group
  • A couple may be recognised in an individual category
  • A person may receive an award on more than one occasion in recognition of particularly outstanding community contribution or involvement in an alternative initiative
  • Self nominations are not accepted
  • Individuals must be at least 16 years of age on 26 January, though younger nominees may be considered for exceptional contribution
  • Unsuccessful nominees may be nominated in future years
  • Nominations must be apolitical in their nature and should not in any way bring the awards program or local government area into disrepute
  • Sitting members of State, Federal and Local Government are not eligible.

Community Citizen selection criteria

Winners are judged to have shown active citizenship and:

  • Significant contribution to the local community
  • Demonstrated leadership on a community issue resulting in the enhancement of community life
  • Contributed to a significant initiative which has brought about positive change and added value to community life
  • Inspiring qualities as a role model for the community.


Nominations for the 2021 awards have now closed. Finalists will be notified and winners will be announced at the City's Citizenship Ceremony on Tuesday, 26 January 2021.

For more information about the awards, visit the official Community Citizen of the Year Awards website opens in a new window.

2020 award winners for Cockburn

Community Citizen of the Year 2020 (Joint Winner)

John De'Laney

John, of South Lake, has been instrumental in pushing for greater recognition of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, now commemorated annually on 15 October.
Following his and wife Kate’s struggles in starting their own family, John founded Pregnancy and Infant Loss Australia in an effort to honour not only the babies that they had lost, but also to help others through their grief when losing babies through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and stillbirth, as well as death in infancy.
In 2012, John was successful in having Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day commemorated in WA, and in 2019 in Victoria.
To mark the day in 2019, almost 60 landmarks across Australia and New Zealand were lit up in pink and blue. John is now petitioning the Federal Government to make 15 October a day of national commemoration.

Community Citizen of the Year 2020 (Joint Winner)

Felicity Bairstow

Felicity has worked tirelessly to promote and protect biodiversity, sustainable practices and community advocacy.
Felicity has volunteered for more than 10 years with the Wetlands Centre Cockburn, helping run environmental education programs and supporting volunteers. She has volunteered for 25 years for the Save Beeliar Wetlands campaign, and for many years with the Wetlands Conservation Society.
Felicity has participated in working groups with state government, works with local Aboriginal people to foster environmental awareness and has helped many young people to connect with the natural environment.

Community Citizen of the Year 2020 - Youth

Zal Kanga-Parabia

Zal is an energetic volunteer who pours his ‘heart and soul’ into projects that support local artists, youth, and not-for-profit organisations, becoming a leader for young people in his community.
The Hammond Park local works with Propel Youth Arts WA, and volunteers with The Perth Observatory, the National Science Week committee, and many other groups, programs and festivals. 

Zal volunteers with Koondarm and Madjitil Moorna reconciliation choirs, translating popular songs to Nyungar, and with community groups Walyalup Kannajil and Dilbi Kannajil giving people an opportunity to come together to learn the Nyungar language.

Community Citizen of the Year 2020 - Senior

Noleen Jesser

Noleen is a member of Cockburn Seniors Centre, and coordinator of the Cockburn Seniors Travel Club. Noleen has always enjoyed travelling, but arriving in Cockburn from Queensland four years ago and not yet knowing many people, meant she’d have to travel alone.
After discussing her idea of starting a travel group with the Seniors Centre manager, the Travel Club immediately took off, with many interested seniors who had previously found it difficult to travel as a single person joining up.
Since then, Noleen has organised many trips within WA, Australia and overseas, allowing seniors from her community the opportunity to form new connections and experience the joy of travel.

Active Citizenship Award - Group or Event

Cockburn Chinese Community Association

The Cockburn Chinese Commuinity Association (CCCA) formed in 2018 to facilitate and foster relationships, integration and social cohesion between the Chinese and broader community in Cockburn.
The Association connects the Chinese community in Cockburn with services and also provides an Australian Citizenship workshop to help applicants prepare for their citizenship test.
The CCCA regularly hosts events and activities for juniors, seniors and new migrants to help the local Chinese community adapt to the Australian culture and way of life. 

More information and contact

To find out more, visit the Auspire Australia Day Council of WA website opens in a new window.
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9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Language Support

Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging.