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Council celebrates 2016 Australia Day Award winners

27 January 2016

A tireless community volunteer, a young mental illness advocate and a local philanthropic organisation have all been recognised in City of Yarra's 2016 Australia Day Awards.

Council awarded Sophie Daws, Citizen of the Year; Rebecca Chapman, Young Citizen of the Year and FareShare, Community Service of the Year at its annual Australia Day citizenship ceremony held on 26 January.

The awards recognise individuals and groups who have made an outstanding contribution to the Yarra community, something all three exemplified, said Mayor Roberto Colanzi.

"Yarra's annual Australia Day Awards are a chance to formally acknowledge and shine a light on those in our community who do outstanding work.

"All three of our 2016 winners have a strong social conscience, and what they give back to Yarra shows how a caring attitude towards your community can make a difference to many."

Citizen of the Year – Sophie Daws
Sophie Daws has worked tirelessly in the Yarra community for many years, giving her time to a multitude of organisations to help those in need. 

 She currently runs and trains volunteers for a community lunch program at The Wellington, Collingwood. Sophie can often be found cooking, cleaning, and driving homeless people around.

In addition to her extensive community work, Sophie is also a mother-of-two and cares for a son with special needs.

Young Citizen of the Year – Rebecca Chapman
A volunteer with Eating Disorders Victoria, 25-year-old Rebecca Chapman has incredible passion for assisting people who are experiencing eating disorders and she strives to improve their quality of life.

The Collingwood local goes above and beyond in her work as a helpline and support group volunteer and seeks to de-stigmatise mental illness.

Rebecca has also been instrumental in setting up a project which provides eating disorder-related education and information to education professionals, school-aged children and their parents.

Community Service of the Year – FareShare
Abbotsford-based charity FareShare, cook more than one million free nutritious meals a year for charities across the State.

The organisation rescues quality surplus food that businesses no longer use, saving it from landfill and turning it into meals for thousands of Victorians who are doing it tough.

This year more than 7,000 volunteers were involved in cooking in the FareShare kitchen, including local secondary school students and local business workers. FareShare aims to cook two million meals in 2016.


Media enquiries
Marilyn Miller
Manager - Advocacy, Engagement and Media
9205 5122
0409 267 439 



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