Australia Day Awards give thanks to local heroes

Shire President Mick Bennett conducts a Citizenship Ceremony.

The significant and selfless contributions made to our community by a group of outstanding locals were recognised on Saturday with the presentation of three Australia Day Awards.

Shire President Mick Bennett presented the following awards at Eaton’s Australia Day community breakfast in front of a strong crowd enjoying the festivities:


Citizen of the Year – Pankaj Sinha

Pankaj is an Eaton resident who has shown he is one of those rare and truly selfless individuals who help others without any desire or need for recognition or thanks.

Pankaj provides home cooked meals to the homeless several times a week, every week and during the winter also delivers blankets.

Incredibly, the Shire of Dardanup received Pankaj’s nomination for this award from someone who says they benefitted immensely from his man’s genuine acts of kindness, having been sleeping at the Graham Bricknell Shell in Bunbury and describing a truly horrid time this past winter.

We are very glad for the opportunity now to publicly recognise Pankaj’s valuable contribution to the community.


Youth Citizen of the Year – Jayden Meek

Jayden is 15 years old and lives in Dardanup with his family. Jayden is being recognised today for his tireless volunteering work in supporting activities by the Eaton Lions Club.

While not a full club member due to his young age, Jayden still embodies the Lions motto of ‘We Serve’. He absolutely understands the personal and wider value of community work, and is always first in line to assist others.

What makes his contributions all the more remarkable is that Jayden himself previously suffered from a life threatening illness and debilitating recovery period.

Family and friends first introduced him to the Eaton Lions Club as a way of broadening his horizons. They could never have guessed that he would take to the organisation with such gusto.


Community Group of the Year – Burekup CWA River Valley Belles

The Burekup CWA River Valley Belles was established to give local women a chance to be social with one another and be in a position to help the community in times of need.

In the past when the membership of the CWA Burekup Branch had dwindled to just four senior ladies who were considering closing the group down, Kahlia Murray, Teagan Fraser and Danielle Read took matters into their own hands and joined up with a view to breathing new life into the organisation.

The Burekup CWA River Valley Bells now boasts 15 members from Burekup and surrounds. The group has received grants to revamp the old CWA building by replacing floors and sheeting to encourage more members.

This group has been a part of several community charity initiatives including Give a Damn Give a Can and Share the Dignity along with fundraising and donating to the Drought Appeal, Alzheimer’s Australia and numerous other West Australian charities.

Locally they have supplied gift cards to the River Valley Primary School chaplain for use with students when needed.

Their contributions to their local and wider community have been and continue to be outstanding.


Sincere thanks to all our local community groups and their army of volunteers who provided Australian Day breakfasts for great crowds in Eaton, Dardanup and Burekup.

Big crowd for Australia Day Breakfast.