Australia Day Awards

The Australia Day awards are coordinated through the National Australia Day Council and administered by local councils throughout Australia. These awards are the highest honour a Council can bestow on an individual or group for outstanding contributions to their local community. Sorell Council’s Australia Day Awards are presented at a special presentation ceremony in January each year. Nominations for the Australia Day Awards usually open in October each year.

Our 2024 Australia Day Awards were presented to the recipients in a presentation event at the Sorell Memorial Hall on Wednesday 24 January 2024. Four Awards were presented and 13 new citizens were welcomed in Citizenship Ceremonies.

Citizen of the Year : Lenna Boxall

Lenna has been a driving force on the Dodges Ferry Primary School Association and is the current chairperson.

She has spent extensive time and effort to volunteering and fundraising for Dodges Ferry Primary School, in particular being the main coordinator and organiser of the past 2 school fairs both of which raised large amounts of funds for the school.

Lenna was also involved with implementing and volunteering for the wonderful School Food Matters program at the School, which provides hot lunches for students.

Lenna is also a member of the Sorell Local Enabling Group for the Child and Family Learning Centre currently under construction at Sorell School.

Lenna was also a driving force in the community advocating for, and working with Council, to see the Snake Hollow playground developed.

Young Citizen of the Year : Josh O’Neill

At 14 years old, Josh O’Neill demonstrates altruism, respect, and initiative beyond what most would expect of someone his age. In the last 3 years he has gone from a quiet boy who came to community events and movie nights with his family to now one of the most committed volunteers at South East Tasmania Salvos. During 2023, Josh assisted the SE Salvos at 50 events and activities, including helping set up community meals, food service, markets and assisting with the running of Family Movie Nights.  He demonstrates a willingness to learn new things, and through life’s challenges, Josh has developed a spirit of resilience and empathy.

After school, Josh gets his hands dirty working in peoples’ gardens, mowing lawns and weeding – with the goal of buying his own car at 16 with the money he has saved.

His volunteering extends also to the Midway Point Neighbourhood House where Josh helps with the community garden. In recent months he has also expressed a desire to become a volunteer with the Tasmania Fire Service.

Community Event of the Year: A Taste of the South East

South East Netball Association held its inaugural ‘A Taste of the South East’ in November 2023 at the South East Sports Complex.

The event attracted over 1,800 patrons who enjoyed the food and beverages, market stalls, entertainment and attractions and access to a fully supervised play area which included games, sports, and crafts for the children (and some adults) to enjoy.  It was a wonderful showcase of local produce, handcrafted fine wares and much more.

Community Group of the Year: Southern Beaches Tuesday Weeders Group

This group of dedicated volunteers meet weekly to weed and care for the Dodges Ferry Recreation Reserve which is home to many native bird species, wildlife and rare orchids and offers an important biodiversity habitat and wildlife refuge in the Dodges Ferry area.

The Southern Beaches Landcare Coastcare Group are strong advocates for the environment and an active presence in our community.


Community Group of the Year

  • Birchgrove Feline Assistance
  • Bream Creek Farmers Market
  • Copping Community Care
  • Disabled Surfers Association – Tasmania Committee
  • Dodges Ferry Primary School – Lunch Program Volunteers
  • Lions Club of Sorell
  • Okines Community Kitchen
  • Sorell Fire Brigade
  • Sorell Tennis Club
  • Southern Beaches Landcare Tuesday Weeders Group

Community Event of the Year

  • A Taste of the South East
  • Dunalley Hall Anzac Day Breakfast
  • Small Town Market

Young Citizen of the Year

  • Josh O’Neill
  • Sebastian Mundy
  • Zachary Bujora

Citizen of the Year

  • Aleks Long
  • Colleen Hennessy
  • Danielle Eastley
  • Lenna Boxall
  • Michael Larkins
  • Roger Puckridge
  • Shaned Gaffney

Congratulations to our Award recipients, as well as all the nominees. Its a privilege and honour to be nominated and recognised for the outstanding work you do in your community.

Nomination Categories:

Citizen of the Year (to be eligible, the person must be 27 years or older on 26 January)

Young Citizen of the Year (to be eligible, the person must be not more than 27 years of age on 26 January)

Community Group of the Year

Community Event of the Year

To be eligible all individual/group nominations must be residents and/or have significant involvement within the Municipality.





Citizenship Ceremony

Australian citizenship is more than just a ceremony and forms an important part of Sorell Council’s Australia Day celebrations. It symbolises our unity as a nation. It represents commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It also symbolises the sense of belonging to the country where we have been born or where we have decided to make our home. Australian citizenship is a shared identity, a common bond which unites all Australians while respecting our diversity.

Go to or contact Council on 6269 0000 for find out more on becoming an Australian citizen on Australia Day.

Affirmation Ceremony

Affirmation ceremonies allow Australian-born citizens to affirm their loyalty to Australia and its people—engendering a feeling of belonging to their community and building pride in their citizenship. These ceremonies have no status in law and no legal effect. Participation is voluntary.

Ambassador Program

The Australia Day Ambassador Program is an initiative that sees high achieving and proud Australians attend local Australia Day celebrations in towns and cities across the nation. Australia Day Ambassadors volunteer their time and energy to inspire pride and celebration in hundreds of local communities in cities, regional areas and in the country. Council hosts an Australia Day Ambassador each year who plays a special part of our Australia Day event.

Citizen of the Year

2024 – Lenna Boxall

2023 – Jessica Ffrost-Boyd and Craig Boyd

2022- Diane Cusick

2021 – Michelle Pears

2020 – Saakia Itchins

2019 – Graeme Evans and Emma Keating

2018 – Marsha Batchelor

2017 – Walter Croswell

2016 – Graham Hawkins

2015 – Dennis Turner

2014 – Sue Birch

2013 – Bryan Dean

2012 – Bill Fraser

2011 – Helen Rogers and Dianne Fitzpatrick

2010 – Edith Ford, Joy Gough and Gwen Reynolds

2009 – Bruce Henderson

2008 – Peter Yaxely and Lola Phillips

2007 – Bernie Hobden

2006 – Moya Sharpe and Barbara Kregor

2005 – Christine Redden and Duncan Giblin

2003 – Judy Berry

2002 – Jenny Oates

2001 – Gwen Grundy

2000 – Joyce Reardon

1999 – June Walker

1998 – Gavin Evans

1997 – Barbara Schofield

1996 – Thomas Dunbabin and Thelma Fewkes

1995 – Theo Casimaty

1994 – Patricia Cusick

1993 – Ernest Percy Daly

1992 – Helen Ling

1991 – Francis Medhurst

1990 – Elaine Downie

1989 – Stan Mead

1988 – Edward Le Rossignol

1987 – Marj Walker

1986 – Gwen Newitt

1985 – Ailsa Scurran

1984 – Don B Gatehouse

1983 – Not awarded

1982 – Not awarded

1981 – Barry Neave


 Young Citizen of the Year

2024 – Josh O’Neill

2023 – Joshua Coates and Jordon King

2022- Daniel Smith

2021 – Olivia and Madeline Lowe

2020 – Orana Bolland-Shaw

2019 – Toby Whitton

2018 – Makayla Claxton

2017 – Josh Oates

2016 – Jessica Bennetto

2015 – Ethan Reed

2014 – Beth Van De Kamp

2013 – No nominations received

2012 – Chris Beis

2011  –  nominations received

2010 – Alana Bell

2009 – Olga Nelson

2008 – Scott Ryan

2007 – Sorell High School, Eating with Friends program

2006 – No nominations received.

2005 – Dodges Ferry Primary School Tournament of the Minds team

2003 – Kristy Fletcher-Jones, Olga Nelson, Renae Stewart

2002 – Nicole Earley

2001 – Matthew Green, Micheal & Robert Jack

1994 –  Marissa Birch

1992 – Janelle Maroney

1991 – Eileen Aikenhead

1989 – Lyden Iles

1981 – Peter Fraser


Community Event of the Year

2024 – A Taste of the South East (South East Suns

2023- Community Garden Twilight Market (Midway Point Neighbourhood House)

2022 – Sorell Community Christmas Carols (South East Salvos)

2021 – Not awarded due to Covid-19

2020  – Lantern Parade

2019 – South East Suns Women’s Football Club Truck Show

2018 – Old Mates Day

2017 – Sorell School Fair

2016 –  Youth Fiesta

2015 – Carlton Park Surf Life Saving Club – Surf Festival

2014 – Dunalley Winter Warmer

2013 – No nominations received

2012 – Forcett Hall Car Exhibition

2011  – Sorell Community Christmas Festival and Carols

2010 – Sorell 200 Years Celebrations

2009 – Dodges Ferry Farmers and Artisans Market

2008 – Samuel Thorne Reserve Opening

2007 – Dodges Ferry Primary School ‘can tabs for land mine victims project’

2006 – Denison Canal Centenary Celebrations

2003 – Sorell Memorial Hall 50th Birthday Dance – Jenny Oates & Doreen Goss and Sorell Market

2002 – Primrose Sands RSLA Club


Community Group of the Year

2024 – Southern Beaches Landcare Tuesday Weeders Group

2023 – Okines Community Bike Repair Shed

2022 – Sorell Men’s Shed

2021 – Okines Community House

2020 – Carlton Park Surf Life Saving Club

2019 – Carlton Park Surf Life Saving Club Nippers Program

2018 – Southern Beaches Regional Arts

2017 – Historical Society of Sorell

2016 – The Causeway Club

2015 – Bream Creek Farmers Market Committee

2014 – Lions Club of Sorell

2013 – Sorell Spirit Cheerleaders

2012   – Sorell on Stage

2011 – No nominations received

2010 – Sorell Men’s Shed

2009 – Midway Point Fire Brigade

2008 – Bream Creek Show Committee