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Citizen of the Year Award

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The City of Darwin Australia Day Citizen Awards is commemorating its 40th anniversary of celebrating outstanding groups or individuals that showcase what it means to be an Australian Citizen by giving back to the community and contributing to our City.


Citizen of the Year Award

To be eligible, the person must be an Australian Citizen.

Young Citizen of the Year Award

To be eligible, the person must be an Australian Citizen aged over 16 years and under 30 years of age on January 26, 2022.

Community Event of the Year Award

This is presented to the person/group who has staged the most outstanding community activity during the past year. This year we are accepting nominations for online community events.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria for Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year are:

  • Significant contribution to the community
  • An inspirational role model for the Australian community
  • The scope of impact the individual’s contribution has in the local government area.

The selection criteria for Community Event of the Year are;

  • The quality of the activity
  • The scope of impact the activity has in the local government area
  • The activities contribution to the community.

The Australia Day Citizen of the Year and Community Activity of the Year Awards reward and recognise individuals and organisations that:

  • have made a noteworthy contribution during the current year,
  • and/or have provided an outstanding service over a number of years, to a local community to improve the lives of others,
  • who are role models, quiet achievers or leaders in our community.

Outstanding contribution and community service in areas such as education, health, fundraising, charitable and voluntary services, business, sport, the arts, the environment and any other area that contributes to the advancement and well-being of a community.

This year we also encourage nominations of online community activities.

We encourage you to nominate individuals who make a real difference in the community and give them the opportunity to be recognised and rewarded.

The application process has been simplified to make it easier than ever to nominate, don't wait do it now!

Nominations close on 19 November 2021

2021 Award Winners

Community Activity of the Year - The Kindness Shake

The Kindness Shake is a community-led initiative, set up in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, which supports and focuses especially on international students and temporary visa holders experiencing financial hardship.

Many international students worked in the Darwin hospitality sectors and unfortunately lost their jobs early on during the pandemic response and were unable to access any government assistance.  The Kindness Shake moved quickly to provide free meals to those affected by COVID, create a sense of connection and support for many students and community members who were feeling the weight of isolation far from home.

Since its launch in April 2020, this partnership between international student volunteers, education providers, local businesses, multi-cultural groups and government has served over 4,000 meals, assisted 500 individuals, partnered with more than 30 organisations and local businesses, recruited 50 volunteers and raised over $40,000.

Young Citizen of the Year - Anais Henry-Martin       

Anais is a very active member of the Darwin community involved and performing with Corrugated Iron Youth Arts High Fliers, NT Music School Con Moto and Rock School, as well as Darwin Middle School BEAT Choir.

Joining the Youth Advisory Committee, in March 2020, Anais recently worked tirelessly for the 2020 Quiz4Dilli, sourcing prizes to the value of well over $800 for the event.

Anais spends her spare time volunteering with St Johns Ambulance and the NT Darwin Cadet division.

Anais was also named as a recipient for the 2020 Citizen award for Darwin Middle School.

Citizen of the Year - Sharm Bali

As a highly regarded community member his work within the disability sector over decades in Darwin is well known, helping and assisting anyone in need. 

He is regarded as one of the most generous Darwinians around.

Sharm has been running a community service business Territory Care and Support Services (TCASS) since December 2000, a service that supports many people living in Darwin.

TCASS employees 50 part and fulltime employees. The primary objective is to provide wheelchair assistance for people to manage their daily appointments

Sharms’s volunteer work for more than 30 years has enabled him to be in a position to give back to the community creating many job opportunities for the people of Darwin.


Previous Winners

2020 Award Winners

Community Event of the Year - Darwin Deadly Runners

Darwin Deadly Runners was founded by a group of volunteers with the aim of encouraging the Darwin community to live more active and healthy lifestyles. Its founders have created an environment that is inclusive, supportive and free; where individuals, regardless of their age, gender, race, nationality or fitness level, have the opportunity and feel comfortable to participate. The ultimate goal is for individuals to run 5km, achieved by encouraging running at least 3 times a week.

The Darwin Deadly Runners has grown to become a large support network and a life-line to many people suffering from mental health issues. The group continues to grow and members are encouraged to volunteer their time back to the committee.

Young Citizen of the Year - Emily Ford

Emily grew up in Darwin and is a Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu woman from Kurrindju (140 kilometres south of Darwin). Emily’s active participation in the Darwin Community is demonstrated through many awards she has won including the Marion McCall OAM Scholarship and NT Leadership Award for the National Indigenous Youth Parliament in 2017.  Emily has a Certificate IV in Business Governance and is currently studying law at Charles Darwin University.

Emily’s commitment to the Darwin community is highlighted through her countless volunteering activities, including investigating Aboriginal cosmology in the remote community of Gawa, as an active member on City of Darwin’s Youth Advisory Committee and teaching children to fly drones. Over the past 12 months Emily has also been writing for a local community paper for the UN's Year of Indigenous Language.

Citizen of the Year - Elvira Tolentino

Elvira is an active member of the Darwin and Filipino communities. She is committed to creating a sense of belonging for newcomers from the Philippines, using sport as a way to engage the community. Her focus on this area stems from her own experience arriving in Darwin.

Elvira has participated in, coordinated and managed, organised and created many events for the Filipino and wider Darwin community. This includes hosting the Australian Filipino Sports Festival, coordinating basketball coaching clinics for young members of the Filipino community, organising and managing fundraising Concerts with International Filipino performers and coordinating the hosting of the Philippine Sporting team during the Arafura Games.


Citizen of the Year Award, Young Citizen of the Year Award, Community Event of the Year Award, Citizen Award, Young Citizen Award, Community Event Award, Community Award

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