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Posted on January 21 2020

Photo of the Australia Day Award Recipients 2020


A man who has devoted himself to numerous community events and committees, a young woman using the art of dance to raise awareness of causes close to hear heart and a community event bringing together the local community together and gain access to drought support services has been recognized in the Australia Day Awards for 2020.

Australia Day Council Chief Executive Officer, Jan Chorley said the Australia Day Awards recognise the commitment of great South Australians who work unnoticed, are big hearted and make their communities a better place for all Australians,

“The Australia Day Awards recognise those outstanding efforts made by people all around South Australia. The actions of the 2020 recipients is something special that enriches the lives of those around them,” she said.

“They don’t do it for the praise, or for the recognition – they do it simply because it makes a difference for people in their communities.

“These are the unsung heroes that we pay tribute to on Australia Day, and I congratulate all Award recipients for the outstanding contribution that they have made to their community.

This year’s Australia Day Award winners are: 

South Australian Citizen of the Year:

Allan Mayfield (Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council)

South Australian Young Citizen of the Year:

Caitlin McMahon (City of Mount Gambier)

South Australian Young Citizen of the Year (commendation):

Ebony Brackston (Alexandrina Council)

South Australian Community Event of the Year:

Day in the Dust (Regional Council of Goyder)

The Award for Leadership in Languages and Cultures:   

Zahra Bayani

The Award for Leadership in Languages and Cultures ‘Student Award’: 

Fatima Shah

The Award for Inspiring South Australian Women:

Helen Marshall

The Award for Inspiring South Australian Women commendation:

Carmen Garcia

The Award for Inspiring South Australian Women ‘Emerging Leader’:

Arundhati Banerjee


About The 2020 Australia Day Awards Recipients:

Citizen of the Year Awards 2020

South Australia’s Citizens of the Year 2020:

Allan Mayfield (Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council)

It has been said that very few people within the Clare Valley have not benefited in some way from the work achieved by Allan Mayfield.  An agronomist by trade, demonstrating strong leadership with a practical and conciliatory approach towards problem solving, Allan has also devoted himself to numerous community events and committees.  Allan has increased the profile of Clare, not only in SA, but also nationally and internationally.  From securing funding from Federal and State Governments to extend The Riesling Trail, contributing to the community through Lions, to liaising with local governments and discussing issues with landowners.


South Australia’s Citizens of the Year (Commendation) 2020:

Ebony Brackston (Alexandrina Council)

Ebony is a valued and passionate member and volunteer of both the Southern Youth Advisory Committee and the Stathalbyn Community Youth. She has been heavily involved in the planning and implementation of regional events targeted at the youth of the region, giving her time towards the creation of opportunities for the youth within her community. Ebony has represented the Alexandrina Council and the region at the United Nations Youth Conference in Adelaide for the last three years, and the region at the 2019 State Governments Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy Summit. In 2019, Ebony was awarded The Fleurieu Women's Youth Ambassador Award this year for her valuable contribution to the region.

South Australia’s Young Citizens of the Year 2020:

Caitlin McMahon (City of Mount Gambier)

2019 Order of Australia Association, South Australian Branch, Student Citizenship award recipient Caitlin McMahon has an extensive resume showcasing her natural leadership in several spheres within her community and her quality contribution towards humanity across several community organisations. As an active member within her community, the City of Mount Gambier, Caitlin has also demonstrated considerable contributions towards her schooling, sporting and work commitments.  As a highly motivated and passionate individual, Caitlin demonstrates a clear consciousness for the importance of hard work, organisation and selflessness. 

 South Australia’s Community Event of the Year 2020:

Day in the Dust (Regional Council of Goyder)

In recognition of the resilient Goyder community, the Eastern Drought Community Action Group held the drought relief concert on the Robertstown oval.  Headlining the event was the South Australian Army Band, with local Goyder support acts. With over 400 attendees, this event not only brought together a community for an evening of food and entertainment, but to give the local community something to look forward to, access to drought support services, to raise awareness to us of what our neighbouring communities, friends and family are going through, and more importantly an opportunity to put aside the daily stresses that come with drought.

The Award for Leadership in Languages and Cultures 2020

Provided by the Minister for Education through the Multicultural Education and Languages Committee (MELC)

MELC is a ministerial advisory committee that provides advice to the Minister for Education and Child Development in the interrelated areas of languages education, multicultural education and the internationalisation of education. MELC works collaboratively with educational and community organisations towards ensuring that education for all students is enriched by the value of engagement with linguistic and cultural diversity and that young people learn to operate with sophistication and ease with diverse people.

This Award is for people aged 24 years or younger, who have demonstrated a commitment to a multicultural Australia including community leadership and the capability to operate across languages and cultures.


The Award for Leadership in Languages and Cultures 2020:

Zahra Bayani

Zahra Bayani is passionate about motivating youth, which she hopes to inspire to follow their dreams and reach their full potential, by sharing her own life experiences.  A student at Thebarton Senior College, Zahra is proficient in Dari, Hazaragi, Persian, and English. By volunteering through organisations such as the Australian Refugee Association, Australian Migration Resource Centre, and the Australian Red Cross, Zahra has a focus on celebrating cultural differences, educating the wider community, and assisting those with limited English literacy.

The Award for Leadership in Languages and Cultures ‘Student Award’ 2020:

Fatima Shah

Fatima Shah is a born leader who strives to create harmony and peace through youth and community engagement.  As an Afghan Hazara refugee, Fatima continuously works to improve her English and use these skills, along with her ability to fluently speak Dari, Hazargi, Farsi, and Urdu, to help others.

In addition to working with organisations like Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service to help other refugees manage family conflict and racism, Fatima co-founded a women’s wellbeing group where women from various cultures come together for activities such as yoga, dance, group discussions, and games.


2020 Inspiring South Australian Women

Sponsored by the Office for Women

This Award was introduced by the Australia Day Council and the Office for Women to recognize some of the outstanding contributions by women to the community during the current year or over several years. The criteria also include achievement in their relevant field and their ability to act as a role model in the community.

2020 Inspiring South Australian Women ‘Emerging Leader’:

Arundhati Banerjee

At the young age of 16, Arundhati has put South Australia on the global map of dance competitions after winning several international competitions and being invited to perform in Canada and Hollywood. 

Arundhati has used the art of dance to raise awareness for several causes such as children and young adults suffering from down syndrome, dyslexia, cancer as well as thematic presentation towards supporting LGBTQ, raising funds for women who are victim of domestic violence and several others. In 2019 she was titled the first South Australian Miss Teen Diamond Australia, received the International Young Star Award 2019, and was facilitated by Seven News -Young Achiever Award.

2020 Inspiring South Australian Women:

Helen Marshall

A medical clinician researcher and National Health and Medical Research Practitioner Fellow with specialist training in child health, vaccinology, and public health, Professor Helen Marshall has dedicated her career to practicing and leading medical research at the forefront of the global fight to stop meningococcal disease.

Professor Marshall has recently received funding to further measure the benefit of meningococcal B vaccine for adolescents in the Northern Territory, after having prevented an estimated 12 cases of meningococcal disease in the “B part of it” study providing free meningococcal B vaccine to year 10, 11 and 12 students in South Australia 

2020 Inspiring South Australian Women commendation:

Carmen Garcia

Giving over 24 years of service to multicultural communities and thousands of voluntary hours, Carmen is a trail blazing advocate for multicultural communities and an instrumental role model for multicultural youth and the Australian Filipino community in particular.  Relishing in challenging the conventional thinking to engineer creative solutions, she focuses on how migration can be leveraged to meet skill shortages in Australia.

A role model for women who want to lead change, she has proven to be a prime example of how investing in yourself and purpose, by going above and beyond, you can make a profound social impact and transform the lives of others who need someone to stand up and say ‘I believe in you’

The Australia Day Awards are proudly supported by the Local Government Association of South Australia, On the Run (OTR) and Sarah Constructions.


1 comment

  • Aida Garcia: January 28, 2020

    Congratulations to the winners and to the Australia Day Award Coouncil who have selected inspiring men and women, showcasing what one can contribute and achieve to the SA community through their work, talent, drive, determination and commitment to serve their community and or SA’s generally. Well done everyone.

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