City of Port Lincoln has announced the winners of its Australia Day Citizen of the Year Awards program for 2022.
Mayor Brad Flaherty said it was great to see the number of nominations made the program this year.
"Over the past couple of years COVID has tested us all and I think we have become stronger as a community, especially with the efforts and dedication shown by all the nominated recipients," Mr Flaherty said.
The awards will be presented officially at an Australia Day Ceremony to be held in the Nautilus Arts Centre on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 11am, following the Australia Day Breakfast from 7am until 9.30am.
Citizen of the Year
Sharon Humenick is president of Tunarama, a Port Lincoln festival which is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2022.
Ms Humenick has been involved in the Tunarama committee since 2005 and was granted Life Membership in 2019.
She was awarded for her hard work and dedication to the festival, which brings thousands of people to the region each year.
Ms Humenick is also an active Executive Member of the Eyre Peninsula Crows Supporters Group where she has held various committee positions over the past eight years.
She said she was "very, very touched" by the recognition.
"I enjoy seeing everybody get together for a weekend and celebrate the community," she said.
"It's a lovely way for the community to get together and showcase what we at Port Lincoln have got to offer."
She asked the community to support the 2022 Tunarama in January.
"Keep supporting this festival so it keeps happening," she said. "It's the longest-running regional festival in Australia."
Community Event of the Year
2021 SALT Festival
The SALT Festival was named Community Event of the Year for its ability to bring together the community to engage in the arts.
Since 2017, the committee has being creating a platform for local artists and innovators to share with the community, where people can learn and develop skills across various aspects of the arts and provide opportunities for people to be involved in projects such as the mural at Kallinyalla Nursery.
SALT Festival coordinator Eliza Wuttke said the team of nine - mostly volunteers - were "really excited" to find out they won.
"A lot of events are submitted by local artists, leaders, community groups, innovators, and people doing things in the community who want to share that," she said.
"We also bring some arts events in so it's about providing access to the local community to those unique arts experiences."
The annual SALT Festival will be back in 2022, from April 22 to May 1, and applications are open for locals to get involved. Go to saltfestival.com.au
Award for Active Citizenship
Lain Montgomerie was awarded for always thinking of others first, and for bringing a big smile, compassion and joy to people's lives.
Ms Montgomerie is passionate about spreading awareness of mental health across the Eyre Peninsula through her work as a community development officer with Mentally Fit EP.
She supports weekend programs and spends hours of her own time looking out for her community.
Ms Mongomerie said she was "shocked" to receive the award, and was grateful for the nomination.
"You don't do it for the accolades but it is really nice to be acknowledged," she said.
"Be the change you want to see, and never see a need without doing something about it.
"They're really great mottos to live by. We can all make some sort of impact."
Young Citizen of the Year
Shania Richards was awarded for her leadership and for being a positive role model to others in her community.
Ms Richards likes to help others by assisting and being actively involved in community initiatives.
She also attended the YMCA Youth Parliament this year, becoming the 27th Youth Governor and leading the 7th session of Junior Parliament.
"Being being able to receive this [award] would make my elders proud and empower the next generations to make a difference, speak their truths and be themselves," she said.
"Personally I feel very grateful and lucky to receive such incredible recognition from my current community as volunteering is a strong passion of mine, since I love to help people."
Ms Richards also runs her own business Nerdy Indigenous Art selling art, clothing, and tarot cards and has a powerful message.
Her website said "growing up [I was] bullied for being 'black, queer, schizo, fat, ugly, nerdy, weird.' So in my adulthood I decided why not make a business out of the very things people hated about me?"