Volunteers front and centre at the Clarence Community Spirit Gala  

Timed perfectly with National Volunteer Week, Clarence City Council held its Clarence Community Spirit Gala and Citizenship Awards ceremony on Tuesday 16 May at Blundstone Arena. 

Clarence City Council Mayor Brendan Blomeley said the gala was a wonderful celebration of the invaluable contribution volunteers make in our community, and the perfect event to showcase the generosity, hard work and commitment that makes a huge positive difference in Clarence. 

“Just within the first three months of this year, Council’s Clarence Community Volunteer Service has contributed an impressive 2,131.5 hours – contributing over $432,000 of value to the Clarence community,” said Mayor Blomeley 

“And this group of volunteers are only 64 volunteers of the total 8,934 people in Clarence who did volunteer work through a group or organisation in 2021.  

“If 64 dedicated volunteers are contributing that much to our community, imagine what the contribution of 8,934 volunteers must look like!” 

The gala was brimming with volunteers, family and invited guests from all corners of Clarence, they enjoyed music from the Clarence City Band Crosswinds Ensemble and a light dinner.  

The nominees represented a diverse cross-section of the community, with involvement in a wide range of organisations. Despite their varied backgrounds and affiliations, a common thread among them was their selflessness and strong work ethic. 

The panel of judges faced a daunting task of selecting winners from the 64 highly deserving nominees for the Community Event, Young Citizen, Senior Citizen, and Citizen of the Year awards. The abundance of worthy candidates made their decision-making process extremely challenging.  

“The winners of these awards, and indeed all the nominees, are ordinary people who have done extraordinary things for others, and I urge everyone to take the time to read about all of our nominees and their fantastic efforts,” said Mayor Blomeley. 

The details of all the award nominees and their exemplary contributions to the Clarence community can be found online at 2023 Clarence City Council Citizenship Awards nominees and winners – City of Clarence : City of Clarence (ccc.tas.gov.au)

The winners of the 2023 Citizenship Awards are as follows: 

Community Event of the Year 

  • The Rosny Library – Clarence Reads Twilight Reading Fair
    This exceptional event took place during the first-ever Tasmania Reads Week, held on March 5 to 11. Hosted by the Rosny Library, it featured more than thirty exciting and free activities for people of all ages. The event was a true celebration of the wonders of books, reading, and storytelling, bringing people together from all walks of life.

    With an impressive turnout of over 900 attendees, the event surpassed expectations and left a lasting impression on the Clarence community. Many participants expressed their enthusiasm for similar events in the future, showing the success of the event in promoting a love of reading and creating a sense of togetherness. 
  • Warrane Community Garden Springfest
    On 1 April 2023, the Warrane Community Garden hosted its second Springfest, a harvest festival that built on the success of the previous year’s inaugural event. The recent festival was even more impressive, with a range of exciting activities and attractions catering to people of all ages. Attendees were treated to live music, line dancing, food, workshops, stalls, and various other activities which created a lively and enjoyable atmosphere. It will surely become a much-anticipated feature on the Clarence community calendar.
  • Bellerive Parkrun
    The Bellerive Parkrun is a free, 100% volunteer run community event where participants can walk, jog, run, volunteer, or spectate the 5k course. It takes place every Saturday morning from Bellerive Beach, and features lovely views of Howrah Beach, Bellerive Beach, Hobart City and Mount Wellington. This is a great community event encouraging active living for all ages and is an excellent asset to Clarence. 

Young Citizen of the Year Award 

  • Grace Williams
    Grace is an integral part of the local advocacy group, YNAG. Grace works tirelessly and is always the first to put up her hand to volunteer, and often gives up the freedom of her weekends. Grace is dedicated, hardworking, compassionate, kind, inquisitive and empathetic. She is a pillar of the community and known by many due to her great work with YNAG and the Clarence Youth Advisory Committee. Congratulations Grace. 

Senior Citizen of the Year 

  • Alan and Annette Richardson
    Alan and Annette have given hundreds of volunteer hours over an incredible 36 years running the Clarence Football Club bingo! Every week they organise, set up and run two bingo nights for the local community. These nights are attended by over 120 people and provide the community a safe inclusive social evening. For some patrons this is the only social activity they will have in a week.Alan and Annette have brought an enormous amount of happiness of to hundreds, if not thousands of Clarence residents over the last 36 years and are much loved members of the community!   

Citizen of the Year 

  • Lewis Taylor
    Lewi approached Cancer Council Tasmania in 2021 with an almost impossible fundraising proposal, to climb 158 Abels in 158 days and raise $158,0000 for Cancer Council Tasmania, to provide support for Tasmanian impacted by cancer.Lewi’s inspiration was his mother Jane who had received a second breast cancer diagnosis. The impact of the diagnosis inspired him to do something meaningful, he aimed to improve the fighting chances and living conditions for all Tasmanians with any cancer.In Tasmania there are a set of 158 mountains coined the Abels – an Abel is a peak that is over 1,100m high and is separated from other mountains by at least a 150m drop on all sides of its summit – making it a prominent and challenging peak to climb.

    Lewi took over two years to plan the trip, and successfully achieved it on June 10, 2022, his 30th birthday. And to add to all that, during the climb, Lewi committed to do 158 laps of the 20-hour Cancer Council Tasmanian Hobart Relay for life in March 2022.

    He was successful in achieving his goal of raising $1000 per Abel and to date has raised over $164,000 for Cancer Council Tasmania.

    Lewi showed a commitment to never giving up and demonstrated that when you believe what you are doing is important, great outcomes can be achieved. His feat (and feet) will inspire others to achieve their goals and will surely become bushwalking folklore.