Tireless volunteers who strive to improve the quality of life of fellow Cockburn residents have joined the coveted list of locals honoured at the City of Cockburn’s annual Australia Day Community Citizen of the Year Awards.
The overall 2022 Community Citizen of the Year Award has gone to joint winners, mental health crusader Matt Willson
, and Yangebup Progress Association President Maggie Zentne
was named the Youth (under 25 years) Community Citizen of the Year, Richard Pradella
is the Senior (over 65 years) Community Citizen of the Year and Cockburn Masters Swimming Club
received the Active Citizenship – Group or Event award in recognition of its Coogee Jetty to Jetty Swim, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022.
The awards were announced at the City’s annual Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony where 120 new Australian citizens also pledged their commitment to our country on the 73rd anniversary of Australian Citizenship.
The awards will be presented in person to recipients at a later date.
Mayor Howlett said the annual awards were an important way to let individuals and groups that made a difference to the community know that their efforts were not only recognised, but valued and vital to the City’s productive, vibrant, healthy culture.
“Through their inspiring actions and dedicated service, volunteers help communities express their diversity and individuality, and provide a safe place where people can be themselves, grow and learn from each other,” Mayor Howlett said.
Awardees for 2022 are:
Community Citizen of the Year – Overall: Matt Willson
and Maggie Zentner
Community Citizen of the Year – Youth (under 25 years of age): Jackson Bormann-Potter
Community Citizen of the Year – Senior (over 65 years of age): Richard Pradella
Active Citizenship – Group or Event: Cockburn Masters Swimming Club
has been an active volunteer in Cockburn since 2017 and continues to help several local organisations.
Mental Health has played a vital role in Matt’s volunteering journey – using his own experiences and research to implement programs and support others across business, schools and the wider community.
He began as a coordinator with Perth Meditation, then became an active Beeliar Community Voice committee member. From 2019 he managed Beeliar Seniors Social Club and became an active member of Neighbourhood Watch Cockburn in 2020.
Matt adopted a volunteer leadership role with Mental Health at Raytheon Technologies and became chairperson of the Black Dog on a Lead charity.
During 2021, he volunteered at Neighbourhood Watch WA to facilitate strategy design and was invited to join the South Coogee Primary School Mental Health Group as a Mental Health advisor.
is YPA President and the Neighbourhood Watch Association’s central ward coordinator.
She is an active volunteer at Yangebup Family Centre (YFC), Cooby Cares, the local Lions Club, St John of God Murdoch, and regularly collects aerosols, printer cartridges and batteries from fellow residents to deliver to the City of Cockburn offices for recycling.
Maggie is a volunteer chef for the monthly Cultural Cooking program at YFC, and regularly collects unsold bread from a local bakery for those in need.
As YPA President, she ensures residents have a voice and a way to come together to discuss important issues and resolve concerns.
She recently helped secure funding to upgrade local play areas and has been at the forefront of providing free, accessible community events.
has worked hard to be a positive example to other young people in his community, helping peers feel accepted and welcome at events and programs, including activities at Cockburn Youth Centre (CYC).
Jackson has been able to help young adults overcoming the challenges of learning disability or social anxiety by creating a space where they are respected, valued and safe.
He has attended a number of programs and contributed as an active member, both before, after and during events and programs held at CYC.
His contribution allows the Centre’s youth programs to continue to be accessible and welcoming to young members of the Cockburn community.
is a respected, inspiring and valued volunteer at the City of Cockburn Seniors Centre.
He helps set up and pack down seniors’ events, escorts and assists members on various outings, and helps hang artwork at the Centre, adding to its vibrancy.
Richard is known by all as the first to put his hand up to help members, staff and other volunteers at the Centre where he is renowned for his patience and kindness.
His dedication to the Centre and its members means he often rearranges his own commitments to accommodate others.
Cockburn Masters Swimming Club
is a not-for-profit association that promotes swimming in the community as a healthy activity regardless of age or ability.
It also holds the annual Coogee Jetty to Jetty Swim at Coogee Beach, offering a range of swimming races between the Coogee Beach jetty and Ammunitions jetty at Woodman Point.
This year’s 13 March event marks its 25th anniversary and the Club aims to attract 1,200 entrants who will be overseen by Daphne the massive inflatable duck, the event’s much-loved mascot.
It has become the largest swim event in WA organised entirely by volunteers, attracting over 1,000 swimmers annually.
The 2021 event helped encourage people to get active outdoors after COVID restrictions in 2020.
Not bad for a club with around 100 members!