Australia Day Awards


On Australia Day, we come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian.  It’s the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation.  It’s the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future. At its core, Australia Day is a day driven by communities, and the celebrations held in each town, suburb or city – unified by the celebration of what’s great about Australia and being Australian.

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.

Sorell Council’s 2019 Australia Day Award recipients are:

Citizen of the Year – Graeme Evans and Emma Keating

Graeme was a Sorell Councillor from 1997 – 2018 and Deputy Mayor from 2001 – 2011. Graeme has been a Lions Club of Sorell member for 22 years where he has served as President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and is currently a Director. He assists with organising and running the Jazz by the Sea event every year. He’s a Sorell School and Sorell School Council member and long-time teacher at schools in the district including being a school bus driver over many years servicing Sorell School. Over many years, He’s been a local cricket umpire and umpire co-ordinator for Sorell Cricket Association. He’s the Sorell Hall Committee Caretaker, judge at the Bream Creek Show, a Justice of the Peace, long-time member of the Sorell Historical Society and also the Sorell Tennis Club.

Emma is the ever smiling President of Primrose Sands Committee and Parenting Group. Emma is a full time busy working mother of two young boys who has worked tirelessly within the Primrose Sands Community. Emma has made major contributions to the facility through applying for community grants that have been of great benefit to the community. Emma has led the committee to greatly increase the community use of the hall including: regular markets, fortnightly Bingo, operating a successful playgroup, and co-ordinating eating with friends.

Young Citizen of the Year –Toby Whitton

Toby has been a Carlton Park SLSC member since 2010 and a committee member since 2017. Voluntary duties in just the last season include being an active patrol member, water safety for school groups, water safety for Rotary Sail Day and multiple Ocean Swims around the state and State-wide carnivals, delivering training at the Nipper Camp at Blue Lagoon, as well as being part of the organising committee for several Surf Club events and activities. When Toby became a committee member in 2017 he took on the role of “training officer”. In this role, the training Toby has delivered has allowed 22 people to achieve Awards and he is currently taking another 24 individuals through their respective Awards.

Community Group of the Year – Carlton Park Surf Life Saving Club Nippers Program

The Carlton Park nipper program has been an integral part of the Carlton Park SLSC for approximately 40 years. Carlton Park is the only surf club in the region and attracts families from all areas in the South East region and beyond. The program is offered for children 5 – 14 years and has over 100 children enrolled each season. The focus for the Nipper program is to build confidence and skills in and around the surf, promote an active lifestyle, teamwork and inclusion and being an active member of our community. The Nipper program runs each Saturday morning from 11am to 1pm from the first weekend in December to the last weekend in March. All sessions are coordinated by a team of volunteers, including CP lifesavers, cadet lifesavers, parents and carers.

Community Event of the Year – South East Suns Women’s Football Club – Truck Show

The South East Suns WFC began the Truck Show as a way to raise funds for the Club and also charities Give Me 5 for Kids and Black Dog Institute. The Truck Show showcases the community and provides interest and revenue for businesses in the area. The 2018 event attracted more than 3000 spectators and 200 vehicles and stall holders and included a truck and car convoy leaving Derwent Entertainment Centre and heading to Pembroke Park for the day. $11600 was raised for Give Me 5 for Kids and $2500 for Black Dog Institute suicide prevention.

Aside from the presentation of the Australia Day awards, other elements of the special event include:

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. Sorell Council hosts an Australia Day Ambassador each year who plays a special part of our Australia Day event.