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Ingrid Kennerley - District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula Australia Day 2022

Ingrid Kennerley

Ingrid Kennerley was named 2019 South Australia's Citizen of the Year in recognition of her incredible voluntary contribution to the Cummins community supporting sporting clubs and community organisations. Her dedication and selflessness extended to her local community is inspirational  and her contribution has created a greater commuinity spirit within Cummins. Ingrid’s personal experience through the trauma and tragedy of suicide has seen her take on a mental health advocacy role and provide much needed support to the local community as well as provide mentorship for the Empowering Lower Eyre – Suicide Prevention Network Committee.  Ingrid presented the following speech to her local comunity - District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula on Australia Day 2022.

Mayor, fellow councilor’s, CEO, award recipients thank you for inviting me today as Australia Day Ambassador to your Award ceremony. I am not only an Ambassador for the Australia Day Council of South Australia but am also a previous recipient of Young Citizen of the Year for Gawler City Council in 1987 & Citizen of the Year for DCLEP 2019 & State Citizen of the year 2019.

Australia Day is a time to listen to each other’s stories, be aware of each other's contributions & aspirations. We embrace what being Australian means; together fair & free. We reflect on the past that began more than 65,000 years ago. It is a story that continues today. We are all part of the story of Australia – from those whose ancestors that walked on country for tens of thousands of years to the newest Australian citizens here with us today.

On Australia Day 2022 we reflect on being surrounded by our friends, family & community. It is a day to respect that the return of simple pleasures, once taken for granted have been hard earned.

For me it is a day to reflect on the resilience of communities & the spirit of helping & giving that defines our community & Australian spirit. As a community we have demonstrated this resilience & spirit once again & that resilience continues to be tested today thanks to COVID.

You all know my story or at least are aware of it. My life has taught me resilience which I am proud of. How do you teach resilience I am not quite sure, I think it comes with life experiences and how you as a community or as an individual respond to that experience? Why do I choose to share my story so openly for me?  It brings healing. It is a great way to reflect on what happened. It gives me the time to acknowledge everything that happened. How it made me feel. What I did & the way this experience has influenced my present life. It has built & continues to build my resilience.

To me Australia Day is a day to celebrate our resilience & how we use this resilience to help others & unite to overcome any challenge which as a community we have done on so many occasions. It is also a time to embrace every day people & their contribution within their community.

On this Australia Day I encourage everyone to share a bit about their story, listen to the stories of others & celebrate with the people around you.

To all award recipient’s congratulations, keep on doing what you do & to our new Australian Citizens congratulations on becoming part of the Australian Story.

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