Who makes a real difference in your community?

The Citizen of the Year Awards are proudly presented by the Australia Day Council of South Australia, sponsored by San Remo, Stratco and Channel 9, and administered by local Councils.

The purpose is to recognise those people in the local community that are making outstanding contributions. On Australia Day every year every local council will name their Citizen of the Year for their local community and on Australia Day eve a State winner will be named in each category. See below for the state winners for Australia Day 2016.  

For more information please go to our website

Citizen of the Year


The South Australian Citizen of the Year 2016
Debra Campbell (Lower Eyre Peninsula Council) 


Despite a diagnosis giving her only months to live, Debra Campbell has fought against her blood cancer diagnosis for 12 years and although still suffering from her illness has dedicated significant time for others facing the disease. This has included fundraising efforts of more than $180,000 which has contributed to the Leukaemia Foundations new Foundation Village which has 15 apartments for people who need to relocate to Adelaide for treatment. One of these apartments has been named the “Spirit of Eyre Peninsula” after Debra’s efforts. Debra has also been instrumental in the opening of the first regional office for the Leukaemia Foundation in Port Lincoln  which provides additional services to blood cancer patients. Debra is an amazing example of someone who has taken the events of a life threatening illness and used it to provide better services for those suffering from the disease across the state. 

The South Australian Young Citizen of the Year 2016
Joint Recipient: Eboni Frankel  (Berri Barmera Council) 


Despite her age Eboni is an active leader within her school and local community. A high achiever academically and in extra curricular activities at Glossop High School Eboni has been regularly elected to student representative positions and a key member of many of the schools sporting teams including Netball where she has represented the Riverland and was runner up Best and Fairest at the State Carnival.

Eboni is also a proud Gunditjimara  woman and is an excellent role model for other young indigenous women in the community especially with regards to her volunteer community work including rotary and  relay for life amongst others . Eboni’s commitment to school and her career goals have been recognized in her being honoured with the prestigious Dame Roma Mitchell Scholarship which is only granted to 6 indigenous students statewide. 

The South Australian Young Citizen of the Year 2016
Joint Recipient: Bianca Bilsborow (City of Salisbury) 

biancaBianca is a passionate contributor to her community, motivated to make a difference in society and selfless in wanting to improve the quality of life for others. Biancs efforts have been across a number of different areas including City Salisbury Rotaract Club where she has successfully fund raised for a number of causes including White Ribbon and Daffodil Day, Twelve25 Salisbury Youth Enterprise Centre, the Midnight basketball program for at risk youth, Salisbury Youth Council and a facilitator for the Duke of Ed program. The City of Salisbury has also incorporated Bianca in their marketing strategy as a result of her selfless efforts to promote volunteering to young people within the community. 

The South Australian Community Event of the Year 2016
Joint Recipient: Festival Fleurieu (Yankalilla Council) 

festivalThe Festival Fleurieu has been developed as an event across the Yankalilla Region that includes a range of inclusive visitor experiences over a 9 day period  with 90 eclectic events in 50 venues. Festival Fluerieu showcases the best of the region to create a greater awareness of visitors of the beauty of the pristine environment and also celebrates the community spirit. With a population of only 4500 the diversity in experience at this Festival is incredible including contributions buy local artisans, authors, musicians, cooks, poets, historians, farmers, producers and business owners. It is estimated that more than 20,000 people visited the Yankalilla region  generating significant economic and tourism impact for the area whilst effectively promoting the best the area has to offer.

The South Australian Community Event of the Year 2016
Joint Recipient: Side Show Alley (City of Port Lincoln) 

side show alley

 To celebrate Mental Health Week, West Coast Youth Services coordinated  a circus themed event “Side Show Alley” held on Port Lincoln Foreshore hosing an event that was free, fun, informative, inclusive and accessible while have wide appeal and educating and promoting about mental fitness and well being.  There was a wide range of activities including therapeutic art workshops, yoga and meditation sessions, community walks and presentations all highlighting mental well being. Over 1000 people of varying ages attended with a combination of local business, government and non government agencies contributing


Highly Commended: Centenary of ANZAC (Light Regional Council)   

centenary ANZAC

The Freeling RSL coordinated an incredible program of activities for the Centenary of ANZAC that had been 12 months in the planning. Commencing with a march from Freeling Post office followed by a Dawn Service that attracted record crowds ending with a light plane dropping poppies amongst those assembled. Afterwards  the ANZAC Day clash occurred in AFL Football between Freeling and Kapunda, followed by the A Grade Netball  with all participants receiving a commemorative medal and at the completion another flyover occurred to drop poppies on participants. The day finished with a ceremonial sunset with bugler, lowering of the flag and a fireworks display. The day was enjoyed by thousands from Freeling, Kapunda and other nearby towns and was an  incredible effort for a small community.