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We celebrate our own way

02 February 2021

A number of community celebrations were held across the West Arnhem region including Maningrida, Jabiru, Minjilang and Gunbalanya to reflect, respect, celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of all Australians.
This is the theme of Australia Day in 2021 – ‘We're all part of the story.’
On January 24, West Arnhem Regional Council’s (WARC) Youth, Sport and Recreation team and pool staff collaborated with Mala’la Health Service, Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation and Maningrida Progress Association to celebrate ‘Maningrida Day’ in 2021.

Beef stew was on the menu and some pool games were held, alongside a screening of the film ‘Bran Nue Dae’. 
Big thanks to the generous contributions made by local organisations to support the event. 
In Jabiru, around 100 community members gathered at the swimming pool to enjoy a pool party with all types of inflatable toys.
The highlights of the morning were the presentations of the ‘2021 Citizen of the Year Awards’ by WARC Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Williams and the barbecue lunch.
Organisers wish to thank the staff, MC Andy Ralph, volunteers and the Jabiru Fire Station for their help on the day.
The Gunbalanya community enjoyed a morning of fun and a great success.

There was a huge barbecue breakfast, live music from the local bands and lots of prizes.
A huge thank you to those wonderful community members who pitched in to help on the day, community members for attending and the WARC staff for assisting.
The community enjoyed the event so much, they hope to hold another one soon.
Australia Day in Minjilang started with bacon and egg rolls for everyone who attended.  
We then dispersed to start fishing for the competition. During the afternoon, they also had a colouring competition for the children followed by Kix Rix Art dancing.
The winners of the fishing competition were announced and the fish was cooked up for dinner.


The 2021 Young Citizen of the Year recipient Letisha Lami Lami is a Jabiru Area School student who has demonstrated that she is a great role model for her peers and a budding young leader in the community.
In her spare time, Letisha regularly volunteers her time, organising and helping with community events for the Stars Academy including Mothers and Fathers Day stalls, sport and recreation barbecues, FAFT community sleepovers and the ANZAC Day drive-through breakfast in 2020. 
When she is not supporting community activities, Letisha has a passion for building a career in childcare services. The young leader has completed her Certificate 3 in Family Wellbeing while working at the FaFT through a School-based Apprenticeship. Through this role, she works alongside families to help them support their children in early learning, and has demonstrated that she has made a difference too many families in Jabiru and surrounding outstations.
Finally, in 2020 Letisha was nominated in the prestigious Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards, in the Somerville Community Service category. This award category recognises those selfless young men and women who make a difference by giving their time, guidance, encouragement and much needed support.


The 2021 Citizen of the Year Martina Grimshaw is a person known to everyone for their strong leadership, kind nature and community spirit. 
Martina continually goes above and beyond in her job and line of duty every single day. 
As the Primary Health Centre Manager for Jabiru and West Arnhem, this person has a key role in managing the health needs of our community while also dealing with very difficult situations or responding to accidents within the region. 
This person’s service to Jabiru is something truly inspirational, and the nomination form we received for her described her contributions over the last 12 months perfectly.
‘In such a difficult and trying year, this person has provided strong and confident leadership of both the clinic and the response to the control of the pandemic in the Kakadu region.’
With many different stakeholders with varying points of view, this person was able to bring them together to ensure this area remained COVID-19 free and community needs were met.
To add to the difficulty of the situation, the official rules and guidelines were often changing and many people in the community needed to travel to access treatment – all of this was enabled through her leadership.
Despite all challenges thrown in our direction, this award recipient ensured the Kakadu region was COVID free, while also managing the healthcare needs of the entire community. 
And even before the pandemic, Martina has been a standout citizen, regularly volunteering her skills at many sporting and community events, or when not volunteering, she is always supporting and attending community functions.
In saying all of this, it is easy to see that Martina’s contributions to our community are to be commended.