Australia Day Citizen of the Year

27/01/2017

A long-time volunteer with the Rockingham Theatre Company is the recipient of the 2017 City of Rockingham Community Citizen of the Year Award.

Rockingham resident David Heckingbottom received the award today as part of the City’s Australia Day Ceremony in recognition of his active citizenship and the outstanding contribution he has made to community life in the City of Rockingham.Citizen of the Year David Heckingbottom holding his award.

David has been a resident of Rockingham since he arrived as a young boy on the Fairstar ship with his family from the UK in 1969.  He attended school locally and began an electrical apprenticeship in 1975 at CSBP Kwinana where he worked until 1996.  In 1976, at age 17, David discovered Rockingham Entertainers, now Rockingham Theatre Company, a group of local residents who gave up their time to provide entertainment for residents and raise money for local charities. David has volunteered with the group for 40 years and is now the president.
 
“David has a pay-it-forward attitude and is a positive role model who goes out of his way to make people feel welcome, accepted and included,” Mayor Barry Sammels said.  “He has had a positive impact on the lives of those he has assisted over the years.” 
 
A man of many talents, David has worked selflessly both on and off the stage to see the Rockingham Theatre Company thrive and attract new volunteers and audience members. He has put his performance skills, empathy and compassion to good use as a Clown Doctor at Princess Margaret Hospital and also gave his time to help coach t-ball, basketball and junior gymnastics when his children were young. 
 
“David is supportive, actively involved and committed to the promotion and development of the clubs he is involved in, with one focus: to help people within the community,” Mayor Sammels said. “I congratulate him on his well-deserved award and thank him for helping to make Rockingham such a great place to live.”
 
Safety Bay resident Sharon Young received a Special Commendation in the Citizen of the Year category for her tireless efforts to raise awareness of mental health issues in our community.
 
Almost four years ago Sharon Young’s nephew lost his battle with depression and took his own life.  Sharon Young with her Special CommendationSince then she and her family have supported Lifeline WA through hosting an annual luncheon in Rockingham and organising walks and runs in the community which have raised more than $1,000,000 for lifeline suicide prevention services. 
 
“Sharon has reached out to the community to take part in these events to remember those who have lost their lives to suicide, those who struggle with this issue in their daily lives, and all those people who have been bereaved by suicide,” Mayor Barry Sammels said.  “Sharon is a truly remarkable person making a positive impact on our community.”
 
There are four categories available for the Community Citizen of the Year Awards: Citizen of the year, Citizen of the Year - Youth (under 25 years of age), Citizen of the Year - Senior (over 65 years of age) and Active Citizenship - Group or Event. Nominations for the 2018 awards can be made at www.citizenshipawards.com.au.
 

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