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Australia Day and Citizenship Awards

Australia Day 2015

Australia Day in Hobart is traditionally marked by an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and the presentation of the Council's Citizen, Young Citizen and Community Event of the Year Awards by the Lord Mayor of Hobart at the Sandy Bay Regatta at the Nutgrove Beach Reserve commencing at 11 am.

Australia Day Awards

The Australia Day awards are part of a group of awards co-ordinated through the National Australia Day Council and administered by local councils throughout Australia.

The awards are presented to citizens in recognition of personal achievement and to acknowledge outstanding contributions to the local community.

Recipients of the City of Hobart awards were once required to be a resident in the Hobart municipal area, but nominations are now welcomed for anyone who has made a noteworthy contribution to the Hobart community.

2014 award winners:

Citizen of the Year (Joint Winners)
Ms Emily Conolan

Emily Conolan founded the Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Support (TASS) network, a grassroots community organisation formed to welcome asylum seekers to Hobart and to empower a community of volunteers to express their compassion for these vulnerable people in a very practical way.

The TASS network was initially formed to facilitate locals visiting asylum seekers being held in the Pontville detention centre through a ‘buddy’ program.  Locals were matched with an asylum seeker who had requested a visitor, an arrangement that led to the poignant relationship portrayed in the Tasmanian documentary ‘Mary Meets Muhammad’, among many others. 

Emily ran cultural training sessions for all of the volunteers and, together with other committed TASS network volunteers, managed the ‘match-up’ of buddies. 

After the Pontville Detention Centre was first closed down, Emily coordinated a group of people to expand TASS’ focus from the buddy program to include the Bridging Visa Social Club (BVSC). The BVSC comprises a group of locals, and asylum seekers now living in the Hobart community on Bridging Visas, who meet every week to enjoy each other’s company, share English lessons and other support, and to get out and explore Hobart.

Emily has also overseen an expansion of TASS’ projects including Monthly ‘pot luck’ dinners for locals and asylum seekers to meet and share a meal; ‘Match-ups’ where participants offer to share their skills, time and friendship with another person at the pot luck, before the next dinner; Collaborating with the ‘Students Against Racism’ project to facilitate student awareness of the reasons why people may flee their home country and seek asylum in places like Australia and Monthly Family Day gatherings.

Mr Fayia Isaiah Lahai

From the time of his arrival in Australia Fayia Isaiah Lahai has been a deeply committed and very active member in the Sierra Leonean, broader African and wider Australian community and contributed significantly to a cohesive Tasmanian society and has provided great support for the UTAS migrant support program.

Isaiah has demonstrated his commitment to this area through his constant engagement with University projects aimed at orienting and supporting migrant students new to the university.  He has been a mentor to younger students at UTAS several years running, has assisted with outreach activities to college students and is involved in projects helping prepare graduates for the workplace through an introduction to the benefits of volunteering and work placements.

More recently, Isaiah has contributed to the UTAS Community Friends and Networks program which aims to connect “new to town” students with local students and the Tasmanian community.

On external projects between UTAS and the migrant sector, Isaiah has been a founding member of a media working group to establish better connections and mutual understanding between migrant communities and the media.

Isaiah is a regular invited speaker to large audiences in Refugee Week, in speeches against discrimination for the Office of the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, in speaking to new students entering the University, and in radio, newspaper and television interviews on issues to do with the settlement experience and the inclusion of diversity in our community.

Isaiah has taken on volunteering roles in areas in which he is passionate about, contributing significantly to both Amnesty International and the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) in their activities in Tasmania.

Young Citizen of the Year

Miss Laura Kay

Laura Kay is a 24 year old woman who is passionate about raising public awareness in the Hobart community in relation to issues affecting women, particularly things such as domestic violence and gender inequality in the workforce which have an impact on the human rights of women.

Laura has completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Tasmania and is committed to social justice activities.  Laura is currently working as a Child and Youth Support Worker and plans to continue working in this area.

Laura is the Maker of BettyMag which launched in December 2012 and it is a feminist magazine for young women in Southern Tasmania, that focuses on proactive women who are contributing in positive ways in their communities in Tasmania.  Laura has also presented a radio show called Fem-Tasm on Edge Radio 99.3FM which is Hobart's youth radio station. 

Laura has also been involved with different community events and organisations in Tasmania.  She was involved with the 2012 rally that protested for the end to the discrimination of women based on their appearance, particularly in regards to rape. 

Community Event of the Year

2013 Chinese New Year Festival

The inaugural 2013 Chinese New Year Festival was held on Sunday 3 February 2013 in the Condell Place Car Park, North Hobart.  It was a successful event held by the Chinese community in Tasmania, to enable the culture, sounds, sights and food of the Lunar Chinese New Year celebrations to be brought to the local community of Hobart, which attracted over 3,500 people.

Event activities included: Lion Dances, Chinese Ethnic Dances, Cantonese Opera, Tai Chi demonstrations, fire crackers, cooking displays, Chinese food produce and children’s activities stalls.

The local Chinese Community Association attempted such an event as part of its commitment to promote the Chinese culture in the Hobart community.

Past winners

Citizen of the Year                             



Dr Nitan Verma - Services to the Hobart community and undeveloped countries in the field of medicine.


Mrs Leone Scrivener – Recognition of her long record of services to education in the Hobart community through her years as a teacher.


Mrs Romilda Amarosi – Fundraising services to the Cancer Council of Tasmania over many years.
2010 Mr Nicola Ranalli - Services to the Abruzzese community in Hobart.
2009 Dr Sheila Given - Contribution to the areas of ageing policy and education.
2008 2008 Mrs Jean Panton OAM - Contribution to the areas of medical research, cultural heritage and the environment.

Mr Alojzy (Alex) Dziendziel - over 50 years of community service.

2006 Joint Winners:

Mrs Marie Ducat - 50 years of service to Meals on Wheels.

Mr Liberatore Allocca - Contribution to the Italian community.

Young Citizen of the Year


Miss Elizabeth Carin - Supporting local justice and charity/volunteer work.


Ms Nene Manasseh - In recognition of her involvement in supporting young refugee students.


Ruby Johnston – Youth leader and ambassador – 2010 Make Poverty History Road Trip.


Eva Mackinley - Working with young people.
2009 Alex Moores - Contribution as an advocate for young people.
2008 Jacob Millier - Contribution to social issues affecting young people.
2007 Johanna (Hanny) Allston - world champion orienteer.
2006 Habte Weldemarian - support of Ethiopian refugees.

Community Event of the Year


2012 Festival of Voices. 


2011 Fairer World Festival.
2011 Mother’s Day Classic Fun Run and Walk.
2010 Homeless Connect Hobart.
2009 Friends of Soldiers Memorial Avenue - 90th Anniversary Event.
2008 The Sustainable Living Expo.
2007 The City to Casino Fun Run.

Nominations for the City of Hobart 2015 Australia Day Awards are now open

 Click here to download the 2015 Nomination Form



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Customer Service Centre

16 Elizabeth St, Hobart
Office Hours: Mon–Fri 8.15am–5.15pm
Telephone (03) 6238 2711
Email hcc@hobartcity.com.au

Postal address

Town Hall, Macquarie St
GPO Box 503
Hobart Tasmania 7001