The City of Playford’s Australia Day Awards acknowledges the valued work and commitment of community members who give their time generously to help others and make a significant contribution to the city.
The award winners were announced on our Facebook page on Thursday, 26 January 2023.
Citizen of the Year: Anthony Hill
Anthony Hill, or as his team call him, Captain Hulk, co-founded a Variety Bash team named the Avengers five years ago, and has already raised more than $100,000 for the children’s charity.
Anthony and his team also support community events, providing both entertainment and cooking food. These events are often to support or raise funds for both Variety and other organisations or groups that focus on children and their families who are facing many challenges through sickness, disadvantage or living with special needs.
Young Citizen of the Year: Bianca Nilsson
Bianca Nilsson is an emerging leader in the South Australian music industry, who has built a record label, publicity and management company into a global powerhouse by the age of 25.
Bianca has a passion for helping other new artists get their start in the industry. She mentors them by teaching them self-management tools, and demonstrating how to run publicity campaigns – helping to create an easier path into the music industry.
Bianca also has a strong focus on building representation of females and the gender queer community in the industry. Her business, called Renegade, is a fully female, non-binary, LGBTQI business.
Community Group or Initiative of the Year: Elizabeth Vale Soccer Club
Elizabeth Vale Soccer Club is a major community club in the northern suburbs, featuring four senior and eight junior teams, as well as many volunteers, members and supporters.
The Club recently celebrated 60 years of supporting the community to live happy and healthy lives, with their celebrations, turned community fun day, winning Community Group or Initiative of the Year.
The Club teamed up with the Variety Bash team, the Avengers, to host the free fun day which saw an exhibition match, activities, food and entertainment for all ages.
Sports Club of the Year: Playford Athletics Centre
The Playford Athletic Centre aims to create a fun and active environment for all ages and fitness levels.
In recent times, the Centre has seen significant participation growth, which they attribute to the dedication of their volunteers, along with local families’ dedication to training opportunities.
The Centre provides support to families who may be financially struggling or have special needs to make sure its sport offerings are accessible to everyone – helping to promote a healthy lifestyle through family and community involvement in athletic activities.
Award for Active Citizenship: Ben Rowe
Ben Rowe is an active community member, who alongside his wife, Anni, founded an organisation called Streetlight six years ago. Their aim is to empower young people to reach their full potential.
Streetlight is active in the Playford Community, offering a safe place for local youth to hang out at the Elizabeth City Centre and local skateparks.
Streetlight, and their network of over 80 volunteers who have been trained to mentor young people, pride themselves on creating an atmosphere where young people can gather to interact in a safe space and build relationships. Streetlight uses this as an opportunity to get young people connected to services, get them engaged in school, engaged in employment and give them a good start in life.
Award for Young Active Citizenship: Jessica Ferdinands
Jessica Ferdinands joined Streetlight as a volunteer two years ago, and has since run an art therapy program, recruited new volunteers, successfully applied for grants, and coordinated Street Eats.
Street Eats is a free virtual cooking program to help young people learn to cook healthily and engage with the community through lockdowns. This involved dropping ingredients off to young people’s doorsteps and then getting online together, to learn how to cook a healthy meal together.