2020 Australia Day Award Nominees & Recipients Announced

26th January 2020

The 2020 Australia Day Award nominees and recipients have been announced and formally recognised at the District Council of Grant’s Australia Day celebration on Sunday 26 January at Kongorong. Awards recognise noteworthy involvement and service that contributes to the advancement and wellbeing of the District Council of Grant community.


District Council of Grant Mayor Richard Sage said “As a Council we feel that it is important to celebrate the award recipients and all nominees as they have all made a positive difference to our community and should feel very proud to be nominated.”


Port MacDonnell resident Phillip Simpson has been named the 2020 Citizen of the Year. Phillip has been a member of the Moorak CFS for over 50 years, serving time as a Lieutenant and Captain, he was awarded the CFS National Service Medal and acknowledged for his service following the 1983 Ash Wednesday Bush Fires. During the 1990s Phillip volunteered weekly to teach children with disabilities. He was a volunteer regional examiner for the Royal Life Saving Society, President of the Port MacDonnell Men’s Shed, and also volunteered for Meals on Wheels and for the Moorak Primary and Grant High Schools’ Governing Councils. A Justice of the Peace for over 20 years and President of the Lower South East Justices Group for 15 years, Phillip become a volunteer SA Ambulance First Responder in 2005 and is rostered on 24 hour call, 3 or 4 times per week. He is Vice President of the Limestone Coast Zone Ambulance Volunteers and President of the Port MacDonnell Community First Responders.
Other deserving nominees for this year’s award included Wally Balnaves, Heather Richards, Chris Tully and Jodi Widdison.

Tarpeena Progress Association’s ‘Paint the Bowl’ project was named Community Event of the Year. A fact finding trip for Tarpeena’s youth was arranged before organising for artist Jeremy Ievins to design and paint the skate park bowl with their assistance. Supported by the Office of Youth, District Council of Grant and local business the project has sparked community pride in the town and increased usage of the skate park.


Young Citizen of the Year, 23 year old Bradley Long of Pelican Point has assisted with coaching Kongorong women’s and colt’s football teams, volunteers for working bees and the social committee and is a great role model for junior upcoming players. Brad also volunteers for the Limestone Coast Fishermen’s Co-operative and hosts an annual friendly cricket match to raise funds for charity.


Council’s free Australia Day Celebration was hosted by the Kongorong Progress Advisory Committee who graciously donated all proceeds contributed by the public for the BBQ lunch, along with money collected on the day to the SA CFS Foundation and the Stand Like Stone South East Disaster Relief Fund.


Mayor Richard Sage acknowledged personnel of the hard working emergency services including the C.F.S., S.E.S., M.F.S., S.A. Police, St John Ambulance, S.A. Ambulance and First Responder teams for their dedication, courage and sacrifice in keeping the community and country safe, especially during this horrific bushfire season. A minute’s silence was held for bushfire victims.