Volunteers recognised with Australia Day awards

Ceduna's Citizen of the Year says she has shed tears of joy since being informed of her accolade.

Longtime volunteer Kath Dunn was rewarded for more than seven decades of assisting her community, dating back to her first volunteer role in the early 1950s when living at Charra.

She has joined Young Citizen of the Year Travis Goodwin and Event of the Year the Ceduna Community Christmas Carols in being recognised by the 2020 Ceduna District Council's Australia Day awards.

Ms Dunn has been involved with a number of different organisations over the decades, including the Ceduna Hospital and Village Auxiliary, Country Women's Association, Uniting Church Op Shop, Flair on Eyre, Friends of the Women's and Children's Hospital Ceduna branch, Meals on Wheels, and Probus Club.

Ms Dunn said she enjoyed volunteering.

"It blew me away when I found out, I shed lots of tears of excitement and joy," she said.

"I am very honoured to be the Citizen of the Year, but I do what I do because I love doing it - I love being with people and talking to people.

"When I first left home mum told me to be community minded and to do what I could to help, and as I say you need to keep mobile because if you stay at home you'll rot."

Ms Dunn, who is a common fixture at fundraising stalls across the region, said she had lost count of the amount of fundraisers she had been part of over the years.

The 81-year-old said she had no intention of stopping now.

"I love cooking and helping to raise money for different organisations," she said.

"I want to keep going, I won't stop now and while my health lets me I'll still continue to volunteer."

Young Citizen of the Year Travis Goodwin has been with the Ceduna Country Fire Service (CFS) since February 2006, when he joined as a 15-year-old cadet.

He progressed through the training to become a firefighter in 2010 and since then has held numerous positions within the brigade, such as administration, training and logistics officer and Lieutenant 3, a position he has held since 2015.

He also dedicates many hours to training and supporting the current cadets.

Mr Goodwin, who decided to join the brigade following a family tragedy, said he was shocked to win the award.

"This is my way of putting back into the community, and after a tragedy in the family I thought I needed to help out more," he said.

"I can give back to the community and help young people coming through."

Mr Goodwin said he was enjoying what he did as a CFS volunteer.

"I am pretty happy doing what I do in helping young people achieve their goal," he said.

"I help the cadets every Monday during the school term and teach them what they need to learn to do what we do on the fire ground."

The combined churches coordinated the 2019 Community Christmas Carols last month in the Ceduna Memorial Hall, with more than 200 people in attendance.

The crowd enjoyed performances by family groups, the Crossways Choir and Jodi Martin, bringing the community together to celebrate the festive season.

Event organiser Stuart McIlwraith said they were thrilled with the award win.

"We are very pleased as it's been running for 30 or 40 years and we've never been up for the award before," he said.

"What we have done in the last few years is we've refocused on families and really made it a family event.

"Attendance of the event had been dropping, so we thought about it and emphasised the family focus, and now we are getting over 200 people attending."

Mr McIlwraith said the aim was to continue to grow the event.

"We want the carols to be a real part of the community, something very special," he said.

Mr McIlwraith said the efforts of fellow organiser Sara Veerhuis in getting the singing groups and other acts organised was a major boost for the 2019 event.

The council's Australia Day Awards ceremony will take place at the Ceduna Sailing Club.

Celebrations start on the foreshore at 8am with the awards ceremony, followed by a free community breakfast in the clubrooms.