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27 January, 2021

Mareeba citizen of the year announced

Councillors from the Mareeba Shire Council (MSC) joined together with brand new Australians and community role models for the 2021 MSC Australia Day Awards at the International Club in Mareeba yesterday.

By Phil Brandel

(L-R) Mayor Angela Toppin with the Citizen of the Year Mary Thompson and Young Citizen of the Year Guila Pilat., and Deputy Mayor Councillor Davies.

Councillors from the Mareeba Shire Council (MSC) joined together with brand new Australians and community role models for the 2021 MSC Australia Day Awards at the International Club in Mareeba yesterday.

29 people from across the globe swore allegiance to Australia while choosing to make the Mareeba shire their home at this years citizenship ceremony. 

After the citizenship ceremony the 2021 Australia day awards were presented by MSC councillors with Mary Thompson being awarded The MSC Citizen of the year and Guila Pilat was announced as the Young Citizen of the year.

Mary was recognised for her dedication to Mareeba over many years and for being an inspirational role model in the community.

Mary is a founding volunteer at the Mareeba Heritage Centre and was also an assistant teacher at St Thomas's Primary School, where she developed an avid interest in history and formed a partnership with teacher Lorraine Townsend.

Mayor Angela Toppin said, “Mary has transferred her love and knowledge of history towards the new Mareeba Museum and Heritage Centre, where she continues to dedicate her time to the visitor attraction,” she said.

“Mary was instrumental in acquiring artefacts for the display. Today she is better known for her direction in conveying her knowledge to tourists when they visit the museum and heritage centre.

“Her pioneer cemetery and town walking tours are also very informative and have been popular with locals.”

Mary said she was surprised to have won “I didn’t think I was going be announced as the citizen of the year,” she said.

“It feels like I am very very lucky to do something that I love.

“I would like to thank Elwyn Troughton for nominating me and a big thank you to everyone at the museum.”

The young citizen of the year award went to former St Stephen’s student Guila Pilat.

Giulia was Dux of the College last year and was acknowledged for her achievements in a number of areas. 

Mayor Toppin said Guila had received awards for Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics and Legal Studies and was also awarded the Amaroo Medical Bursary

“Giulia participated in the Great Wheelbarrow Race in 2019, raising money for Multiple Sclerosis research. She also pedalled over 300 kms in the Cardiac Challenge from Cairns to Cooktown to raise vital funds for cardiac care in Far North Queensland," she said.

“Giulia dedicates her time volunteering at Rosie's Food Van, she participated in the Vinnies Sleepout for the homeless and the Mareeba Lions Metrogain, supporting childhood cancer research. 

“This young role model is committed to making a positive difference in her community and hopes to pursue a career in medicine.”

 

 Mareeba Shire Council's Australia Day Award winners for 2021.

 Citizen of the Year: Mary Thompson

Young Citizen of the Year: Giulia Pilat

Community Organisation of the Year: Mt Carbine Rodeo Association

Community Service Award: Possum Corner Op Shop

Community Service Award: Karen Braes

Junior Community Service Award: Kara Trimble

Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Leon Grundling

Mayor Toppin congratulated all award winners and nominees and also welcomed the 29 new Australian Citizens on Australia Day.


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