City of Cockburn Community Citizen of the Year Awards

About the Citizen of the Year Awards

Each year on Australia Day, the awards acknowledge 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 on 26 January.

There are four categories in which to nominate:

  • Community Citizen of the Year (over 16 years)
  • Community Citizen of the Year - Youth (individuals under 25 years) 
  • Community Citizen of the Year - Senior (individuals over 65 years)
  • The Active Citizenship Award (community group or event).


Please note the following guidelines when nominating a Community Citizen:

  • A person or group must first be nominated to be considered for the Awards
  • Nominees should live or work primarily within the City of Cockburn
  • 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
  • Awards may be granted posthumously in recognition of recent achievements
  • 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 2024 awards will open on 1 September 2023.   

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

2023 award winners for Cockburn

Community Citizen of the Year 2023 

Serena Gamble 

Serena Gamble has been described as ‘volunteer extraordinaire’ and local legend, selflessly devoting countless hours bringing her community together both in person and online. 
As a registered Feed it Forward volunteer, Serena gathers perfectly edible food which would otherwise be headed to landfill and distributes it to local families in need.  Rain, hail, or shine, Serena, and her family welcome the community with no judgement to collect bakery products, fresh foods and groceries (even clothes and toys) from their driveway each and every weekend. Serena promotes open hours for collection, collects donations, sorts, displays, and distributes food to local families and charities, whether it be one-off help or more regular support.
Serena also helps to connect, share and inform local online communities by being the administrator for social networking groups including ‘Buy Nothing Hamilton Hill’, ‘Coolbellup and Surrounds Crimewatch’, and ‘Perth’s Best Op Shops’.
Serena’s commitment to the causes of reducing waste and helping families who may not know where their next meal is coming from is an inspiration to those around her. She involves children in the work that she does, actively demonstrating the benefits of volunteering and community service.

Community Citizen of the Year 2023 - Youth

James Wild

James Wild - as the youngest member of the South Coogee Volunteer Bushfire Brigade – has courageously been involved in fighting numerous fires, including actively defending and saving homes from a Christmas Day fire in Armadale, and assisting the SES when called upon. 
Another facet of James' community service has been his commitment to nature and animals. As an administrator of the “Cockburn Pets” online site, James  was integral to the success of the group by being responsible for the layout, rules and behind the scenes organisation of this online community.  James has also actively assisted with various Cockburn donation drives for WA Wildlife; The Shenton Park Dog Home; the Cat Haven; and the Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre. James is a member of "Beeliar Wildlife" and assisted with the collection and transportation of sick Corellas and later regular area patrols.
James has worked hard to be an example to young members of the Cockburn community with his energy and leadership.

Community Citizen of the Year 2023 - Senior

Serene Anderson

Serene Anderson is the co-founder of Friends of the Community - a volunteer community group dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others. After seeing the need for a benevolent fund to meet the gaps in social service funding, Serena together with co-founder Norm Dale, decided to create a small food organisation that specialises in healthy low-cost food at special events, which returns 100% of profits back into the community.
In addition to Serena’s role as Secretary and Treasurer of Friends of the Community since its inception15 years ago, she organises events, purchases food and activates other volunteers to join and participate.
Serena’s passion and ongoing leadership has resulted in Friends of the Community donating more than $180,000 to a total of 60 charities/individuals; ranging from sponsoring local cadets and individuals in need, to state charities. Aside from this, a total of 27 local high school scholarships have been awarded. Each of the students awarded a scholarship has successfully gone on to university study.
Serena humbly continues to serve the Cockburn community, and her commitment to ensuring vulnerable people do not go without food, medical aids, and humanitarian assistance makes her a very worthy winner of this award.

Active Citizenship Award 2023 - Group or Event

Yangebup Family Centre

The Yangebup Family Centre was established in 1992 to promote connection and wellbeing in the local community. The Centre is a cultural hub where all members of the community can embrace diversity and belonging. The Centre is community led and community driven, providing a warm and welcoming environment.  Social connections are fostered through the provision of activities, programs, networks, partnerships, events, and initiatives.
The Yangebup Family Centre has a dedicated team of over 70 volunteers and it’s estimated that the financial contribution of these volunteers is in excess of $100,000 per year.  The Centre currently provides a meeting place for 14 recurring groups and a wide range of workshops with over 500 families attending regularly.
The Centre provides a safe space where people can find opportunities and develop networks in a supportive environment and empowers volunteers to become future leaders in our Cockburn and wider community. 

More information and contact

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



Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

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

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

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.