As bushfires continued to ravage mainland Australia at the start of 2020, the children of Miss B's Student Services at Riverside knew they needed to do something to help.
Led by teacher Catherine Connell, the group organised the The Fair Dinkum Fire Appeal, raising more than $2600 for the Tasmanian Volunteer Fire Brigades Association, who were aiding in the firefighting efforts.
For this and a long list of achievements that make her an "inspirational" role model for young people and the wider community, Ms Connell has been recognised as the West Tamar Council's Citizen of the Year.
AUSTRALIA DAY 2021 IN NORTHERN TASMANIA:
Miss B's Student Services offers academic, numeracy and music tutoring through a creative approach to teaching aimed at ensuring students are engaged with their education.
Working closely with parents, schools and other educational and health experts, in her nomination Ms Connell was described as someone who leads by example to give back to her community.
This includes volunteering roles with Dogs' Homes of Tasmania and regular performances at aged care facilities.
Accepting the award at Riverside Golf Club on Tuesday, she said she was most proud of the efforts of her students to help those most in need.
"I feel like I was just doing my job, and it's the most awesome job in the world because I get to work with Tasmania's number one asset - which is our young people," she said.
"I was most proud at the beginning of last year when Australia suffered from tremendous bushfires, that my students did not hesitate to give up their school holidays to put together the Fair Dinkum Fire Appeal, with a little bit of my help.
"As an educator, I couldn't be more proud because that is essentially what I was trying to build in my students.
"A sense of pride, a sense of citizenship, and that real Australian fair dinkum let's get in and help."
Continuing with the theme of giving back to the community, Patrick Rosevear was named Young Citizen of the Year in recognition of his ongoing volunteering roles and advocacy for the West Tamar region.
The 19-year-old was recognised for his work with Tasmania's Lids4Kids program, which re-purposes plastic bottle lids into prosthetics for children with disability.
He also volunteers for the Exeter Show and the Tamar Natural Resource Management's Catch it in the Catchment initiative.
The committee behind the region's Festival of Small Halls was named the council's Community Event/Group of the Year.
The popular Rowella event has been running since 2018 and is recognised as an unmissable show for locals, providing world class musicians and singers to regional destinations.
For service to the community, Roslyn Burr was named the recipient of the Mayor's Award for her achievements through the Exeter Golf Club, Legana Tennis Club, West Tamar Seniors Advisory Group and as a volunteer for Tamar Visitor Centre.
Mayor Christina Holmdahl said there was no doubt that Ms Burr's work was admired my a lot of people in the community.
Accepting the award, Ms Burr said she had spent the best 42 years of her life in the West Tamar.
"This is a wonderful community. It has just been a choice that I made to live on the West Tamar and wild horses wouldn't drag me away from here, or Tasmania," she said.
"Everything I have been involved in has been a wonderful experience and I thank everyone for this great honour."
Cr Holmdahl said the recipients of this year's Australia Day awards came from all walks of life, but had all given selflessly to their community.
"On behalf of the West Tamar Council and everyone in our community, I thank them most sincerely for their contributions," she said.
The council's Australia Day ambassador Will Smith, who won the 2020 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year award, also spoke at the event.
Using the opportunity to reflect on his own experiences that made him proud to be an Australian, he said everyone should use Australia Day to ask themselves - what am I doing to contribute back to my community?
"We all have a responsibility to contribute to our community," he said.
"Take part in the community and contribute. That's the greatest way we can all share being Australian."
The council also welcomed 10 new citizens from Vietnam, Singapore, United Kingdom, India and China.
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