Mayor McLaughlin pays tribute to winners


WELL DESERVED: Mayor Clare McLaughlin and Joanne Mulligan from Beyond Bank congratulate Andrew Eades on his Citizen of the Year award.

Sunday, January 27, 2020

Andrew Eades is Whyalla’s Citizen of the Year in the 2020 Australia Day Awards.

Andrew was one of ten citizens and one organisation recognised at last night’s Australia Day Award Citizens of the Year presentation at the Whyalla Bowling Club. The awards night was sponsored by Beyond Bank.

All eleven winners with be further honoured when they are presented to the community at the Australia Day Celebrations starting 4pm on the foreshore today (Sunday, January 26).

Mayor McLaughlin paid tribute to all the award winners and said the judges had a hard time selecting the winners once again this year.

“Congratulations to Andrew and all the winners,” Mayor McLaughlin said.

“These awards, last night’s event with family and friends and Sunday’s presentation to the crowd is a highlight of the year for me and I’m sure many others.

“We first get to share these honours with the very deserving winners, among their friends and family, then the community gets to celebrate their achievements and contribution to our community at the Australia Day Celebrations.

“The community can congratulate and thank all of these people and organisations at the celebrations.

“These are the people and organisations in our community that help make our city great and our community so rich ...  we all owe them a great deal of thanks.

“They are the inspiration for us all to go that little bit further to help others in the community and make our lives even more rich and enjoyable.”

Mayor McLaughlin said Andrew Eades was a very worthy winner of the Citizen of the Year award as he joined an impressive list of people who have won our highest honour.

“There wouldn’t be too many people in Whyalla that wouldn’t know Andrew and what he has achieved in a life of helping others,” Mayor McLaughlin said.

“From the swimming club to the model railway society and the Whyalla Show, Andrew has put in thousands of hours of work.

“He is a worthy winner and a shining example to everyone for everyone in our community.”

The Australia Day Awards winners will be presented to the city from 5.15pm at the foreshore celebrations today (Sunday, January 26). Go to for more information on the celebrations



FAMILY SUPPORT: Andrew Eades, second from left, with wife Bev, parents Maureen and Joe and son Jarryd.


Andrew Eades is a man who never shies away from offering a helping hand.

He is a valued member of many organisations. From his teens and over the years on the committee as both a general and executive member with the Model Railway Society, he has done more than his share of organising exhibitions and working bees as far back as the 1980s. He is a life member of the society.

He has been an active member of the Whyalla Swimming Club for the past 10 years, was awarded the Swimming SA Service Award in 2010 and in 2016 achieved life membership.

Countless hours have been spent making and sourcing equipment to improve the running of the swimming club to help create a safer and more efficient organisation.

An active member of the committee, he dedicates time to assist at fundraisers, has been carnival co-ordinator for the past four years and officiates at country carnivals throughout South Australia.

Most people would also recognise him from the Whyalla Show and the hours he puts in with the organising team to help make the event work.

A dedicated volunteer and ‘Mr Fix It’ before, during and after the show for the past 35 years, his commitment goes above and beyond. He is also a life member of the Show Society.

Andrew has been described as “an all-round awesome guy, who doesn’t like to be the centre of attention” and someone that this award would be a big surprise to him.

It is no surprise to those that know him.



COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Mayor Clare McLaughlin with Kirsty Arbuckle.


Kirsty Arbuckle spends countless hours in the local sporting community.

She has had a massive impact on women’s and girls’ sports within Whyalla and is one of only two women who play soccer in Whyalla’s league.

She has two daughters (13 and 10), is a strong advocate for healthy living, and is passionate about girls having the same opportunities as boys thereby increasing the number of girls playing sport, soccer in particular.

As a single mum of three children, studying at university and having made a considerable sacrifice to grow female participation in soccer in Whyalla, it is often at her personal financial cost and all done in a voluntary capacity.

Her community service award tonight follows on from being awarded the Sports Contribution award last year.


COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD:Mayor Clare McLaughlin with Jeremy Edwards


After the loss of many young men in our region, Jeremy Edwards saw a need to help break down the stigma for men to get them talking about their own mental health. Not only in Whyalla, but around the region.

He is the founder of the INATT (I’m Not Afraid To Talk) program.

Facing his own mental health battles, he and other local football gems decided they would help the youth of the region by providing free workshops that helped connect these people to the right community services.

He has also worked with local businesses, like Mint Café, to give people the opportunity to come in, have a coffee or something to eat, and just chat with someone who will listen.

Jeremy volunteers a lot of his time to make sure people get the right help, and has also conducted major workshops that have seen more than 300 regional people attend.

He is an invaluable asset to our local and regional communities.


COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD:Mayor Clare McLaughlin with Allyson Noble.


Having shown dedication and commitment to her volunteer work for more than 18 years, Allyson Noble’s love of judo and her commitment to the local committee came about through her son when he decided to join the local club in 1997.

From there, she became the club manager for seven years, helping where she could during competition time, organising flights, accommodation, itineraries, washing smelly clothing, making sandwiches, feeding kids, keeping them hydrated and even being the club medic, strapping and handing out band aids.

As if that wasn’t enough, she became the treasurer and we are told the club has never been in a better position.

Her son left the club more than a decade ago but Allyson is still as committed to the club as she was those 18 years ago.

Allyson has also been involved in various other organisations including long-term active support with the Whyalla Show Society.


COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Mayor Clare McLaughlin with Ryan Sutherland.


 An active member of the Whyalla community, Ryan Sutherland’s involvement in the community extends far beyond her work as manager of the Middleback Arts Centre.

A member of the Chamber of Commerce Management Committee and a volunteer with the Tourism Focus Group, she is a very well respected and appreciated member of the community.

Her involvement with the local Aboriginal community has seen her work on numerous events and issues including the annual NAIDOC week and she recently assisted with the organization of a successful art exhibition of local Aboriginal women.

Her work also extends to organisations such as D’faces of Youth Arts, Whyalla Ballet School, Whyalla Players and the uneARTh Festival to name just a few.

Ryan is an inspirational role model for our community, particularly young women. She is a community leader, a warm, caring person with a zest for life and a dedicated member of our city through her volunteering efforts.


COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Mayor Clare McLaughlin with Emma Wake.


Emma’s tireless efforts in helping the Whyalla community to understand how to care, think about how we are impacting on the environment and how we can make it better for generations to come is acknowledged with this award.

Talk to Emma and you will hear her talk about the three ‘Rs’, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, a motto which she stands by every day of her life. In fact, it would be fair to say that it is her personal mantra.

She offers support and advice to anyone who wants to know more about recycling while providing opportunities for people to swap and sell unwanted items, thereby minimising waste and unnecessary landfill of useable goods.

She is a most strong believer that even the smallest of changes in our attitudes to help our planet are the most worthwhile.


COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Mayor Clare McLaughlin with Jenny Watts and husband Peter Watts who won Senior Citizen of the Year.


Jenny Watts is a long-standing member of the Whyalla community who has been volunteering her time for the past 45 years.

She has never stopped helping others.

For nearly five decades, Jenny has volunteered with the Make a Wish Foundation, Lifeline by answering the telephone and helping those on the other end, Meals on Wheels with her husband and helping at Annie Lockwood and Copperhouse Court.

On top of all of this she still finds time for her family and friends when they need support or just a shoulder to cry on.

Her commitment to the community has not gone un-noticed as tonight’s awards testify with her nomination for those she has helped in the community.



Daryle has had an enormous impact on junior snooker in Whyalla.

For the past 20 years he has run local snooker and eightball “come and try” nights, resulting in hundreds of junior male and female participants having an opportunity to learn more about the sport.

During this time he has been able to raise money to help purchase two eightball tables for the juniors so they can learn and play at the Left Hand Club.

“Come and Try” has become more popular around Australia and the governing bodies of snooker and eightball hold annual State and National titles for these juniors, in which they are able to compete.

He gives his time generously for those who wish to practice leading up to these big events and has coached numerous juniors to achieving State championships, State Runner up, State and Australian team members, and also an Australian Champion.

He is an asset to not only the Whyalla Community but to the juniors he teaches.

Daryle was unable to attend the function.



EVENT OF THE YEAR: The crew from Peppercorn Markets.


This year’s award goes to four hard-working community members and the Peppercorn Markets they organise.

This event has provided the community with an opportunity to attend something unique that not only brings vendors from all over the region but also raises money for local charities.

It runs twice a year and has seen, during the past three years, a total of $20,000 raised for charities and organisations within Whyalla.

The latest market held in November saw record breaking crowds and vendors from Whyalla, Port Lincoln, the Barossa Valley, Adelaide and surrounding areas.

This market raised $3720 for the Whyalla Community Playgroups while a pop-up market held at the Westland Shopping Centre in December raised $4110 for INATT.

Not only is the event giving the community and surrounding regions a unique experience, it is supporting other community organisations around the city.



SENIOR CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Mayor Clare McLaughlin with Peter Watts.


With a legacy of more than 45 years of volunteer work and community contribution, Peter Watts is an outstanding and worthy winner of the Whyalla Senior Citizen of the Year award for 2020.

His continued contribution to the city has been second to none.

He has volunteered his time at numerous organisations such as Meals on Wheels, Annie Lockwood and Copperhouse Court, making deliveries and picking up for Lifeline and the Make a Wish foundation.

Despite his many involvements, he still finds the time to spend helping his neighbours and family without complaint and never asking for anything in return.

His wife, Jenny, was also recognised this year in the Community Service Awards making this husband and wife team a dynamic duo for our community.



YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Mayor Clare McLaughlin with Shantae Barnes-Cowan and her parents Jeanette and Stephen.


Shantae Barnes-Cowan is a truly inspiring young lady who is never afraid to put her hand up if it means helping the community.

Shantae wasn’t available to attend the presentations, as she is attending a basketball carnival on the long weekend, so she was presented with her award yesterday in a small, but special, ceremony for her and her family in the Council chamber on Friday.

She is clearly a role model and a mentor for young Aboriginal people in Whyalla and has a strong presence within our local community.


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