Cleve names Australia Day award winners

CITIZENS: EP Field Days committee members Errol Schuster, Julie Marsh and Rex Crosby, Citizen of the Year Erin Roberts and Young Citizen of the Year Lauren Siviour.
CITIZENS: EP Field Days committee members Errol Schuster, Julie Marsh and Rex Crosby, Citizen of the Year Erin Roberts and Young Citizen of the Year Lauren Siviour.

A young firefighter, the Eyre Peninsula Field Days and a founder of the Cleve and Districts Mental Health and Wellbeing Group are among the winners of the Cleve District Council Australia Day awards for 2019.

Erin Roberts was named Citizen of the Year for her work as president of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Group.

Mrs Roberts was there when the group started in 2015, inspired by a similar initiative in Kimba.

“It was a void we saw in the community that needed to be filled.”

In 2018, the group has reached out to community members of all ages and walks of life through events including a ladies night, bringing a drama production to the school and bringing speakers on men’s mental health to various locations in the district.

Mrs Roberts said she had noticed a reduction in the stigma around mental health in the community since the group began.

“It’s got better… there’s a lot of people who come up to me now and start a conversation,” she said.

The Eyre Peninsula Field Days won the Community Event of the Year, with the Cleve Sporting Bodies Colour Trail awarded a certificate of achievement to acknowledge the strong nomination.

Field Days committee member Rex Crosby said the major biennial event had something for everyone and brought people into the district.

“It puts us on the map a bit more,” he said. 

Mr Crosby has been involved with the committee since 2005, when he said he “felt like it was time to start putting back into the community.

Secretary Julie Marsh said she became involved to help the community, as well as to get to know people as a newcomer to the district.

Many committee members including Errol Schuster have been involved for decades, with changing lifestyles making it tougher for younger people to make the extraordinary time commitment required of such an event.

However, Mr Schuster said the addition of social media to the mix has assisted the community in bringing would-be volunteers on board.

“That has been amazing in the past couple of years,” he said.

Young Citizen of the Year Lauren Siviour has no qualms about getting involved in volunteering, and is involved in a long list of sporting groups.

She is also a member of the Cleve CFS, which she joined to follow the footsteps of her father and brother.

“My dad’s been on it since before we came to Cleve,” she said.

“I decided it was something I could help with as well.”

Ms Siviour said she became involved in Eastern Eyre Tennis, Cleve and Districts Basketball and the Rudall Community Sports Club because the job needed to be done.

“They needed people to take it on and I love my sport,” she said.

Ms Siviour said her volunteer work brought her a sense of accomplishment.

“It makes me feel good to know I’m doing stuff for my community.”

Shirley Duncan was also awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for her work with the Arno Bay St John’s.