Community Citizen of the Year Awards

Date29 January 2024

Every year, the City of Rockingham’s Community Citizen of the Year Awards acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of people and organisations within the local community.

Held at the Gary Holland Community Centre on 27 January as part of the City’s largest annual Citizenship Ceremony, the 2024 Awards recognised outstanding contributions from three local residents and one local organisation, selected from 12 worthy nominees across four categories.

The Community Citizen of the Year Award went to Karen Hollings. Among her other community activities Karen founded a not-for-profit organisation called Dogs for First Responders dedicated to supporting mental health of first responders using therapy dogs. She is also actively involved in the Pink Belt Project - a charity that uses martial arts as a method of violence prevention and recovery for women.

The Senior Community Citizen of Year is Doreen Nelson. She has been a strong voice for Aboriginal rights, empowerment, and social justice at a national level and has helped shape policies and programs with implications for Aboriginal people. Doreen was recognised for the lasting impact she has made on cultural preservation, community development, education, and awareness about Aboriginal issues and experiences nationally and globally.

The Young Community Citizen of Year winner was Angel Jose, who founded a group called Kids Helping Kids to support children with special needs by giving them a safe place to learn and grow. As a young person with her own physical challenges she has been able to develop a uniquely welcoming and relatable approach which has seen the group grow exponentially since it was launched in 2022.

The Active Citizenship Award went to CWA Rockingham, a long standing and very active local organisation that is passionate about community engagement. The group worked hard throughout 2023 to bring together ladies from the Rockingham area at engaging events which generated funds and other donations for a variety of local organisations.

As Mayor it is my privilege to present the community Citizen of the Year Awards said City of Rockingham Mayor Deb Hamblin.

“I am always humbled to meet these generous and selfless people who put so much time, effort and heart into the work they do. We really are blessed to have people like these who are willing to do so much. I thank them, and all the very worthy nominees, for the outstanding work they do to enhance the lives of others in our community.” 

  • Community Citizen of the Year Karen Hollings
  • Senior Citizen of the Year Doreen Nelson
  • Young Citizen of the Year Angel Jose
  • Janine O’Hare (L) and Elaine Smith (R) from CWA Rockingham
  • Elected Members and VIP's at the 2024 Citizen of the Year Awards
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