2021 Ballarat Citizen, Young Citizen and Community Activity Award winners announced

Left to right: Deputy Mayor Cr Amy Johnson, Heather Luttrell, Dr Sundram Sivamalai, Gabriel Gervasoni and Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney

Left to right: Ballarat Deputy Mayor Cr Amy Johnson, 2021 Ballarat Community Activity of the Year Award winner Heather Luttrell, 2021 Ballarat Citizen of the Year Dr Sundram Sivamalai, 2021 Ballarat Young Citizen of the Year Gabriel Gervasoni and Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney following the award ceremony on Monday 25 January.

Dr Sundram Sivamalai has been announced as the City of Ballarat’s 2021 Citizen of the Year.

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney announced the 2021 Ballarat Citizen, Young Citizen and Community Activity of the Year award winners at a special ceremony at Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility this evening.

This year’s award winners are:

Ballarat Citizen of the Year 2021 – Dr Sundram Sivamalai

Sundram Sivamalai had a professional life in nursing and nurse education, and at the same time as been a community advocate, mentor, inter-cultural facilitator and academic.  He established the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council which is the peak multicultural agency in the Central Highlands Grampians Region. This organisation partners with other community and cultural associations and members to actively promote multiculturalism, cultural diversity and the well-being of all migrant communities throughout the region. Sundram was awarded the Centenary Medal from the Commonwealth Government for his work with migrants.

A Ballarat local since 1988, Sundram and his wife Subrata raised their two children in here.

Ballarat Young Citizen of the Year 2021 – Gabriel Gervasoni

Gabriel Gervasoni is passionately involved in his local community and is on many committees and groups. Despite having a profound vision impairment, Gabriel shows a willingness and determination to contribute to the Ballarat community and is particularly passionate about issues affecting youth and those with disabilities.

He is committed to helping young people achieve their best whilst making a positive difference to the community.  Through his involvement with the Youth Advisory Board, Gabriel was part of the team which organised the Spring in the Park event, Clean Up Australia Day events, created online content to assist young people who are experiencing violence at home, and consulted with the Commissioner for Children and Young People regarding issues affecting young people in the Central Highlands region.

Gabriel participated with a team in the YMCA Youth Parliament and recently completed the YDAS Emerging Young Leaders Program, which aims to equip participants with skills to lead their peers in advocating for young people with a disability as well as improving their own lives through self-advocacy.

Ballarat Community Activity of the Year 2021 – Ballarat Reverse Advent Calendar (Heather Luttrell)

The Ballarat Reverse Advent Calendar emerged two year ago as a way to support members of the community in need, through the purchase of additional non-perishable food and groceries.  These were then donated, one item per day (25 items in 25 days) to those who struggle to provide for their family over the Christmas period.

This activity involved many people across the community, including staff in various businesses and individual families who encouraged their children in their understanding of Christmas through considering other more vulnerable families at that time of year.

In its first year the Reverse Advent Calendar donated around 80 boxes, and in its second year more than 200 boxes.

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney congratulated recipients and the nominees for this year’s awards.

“The strong field of nominations for these awards highlight both the many inspirational Ballarat people who work to help others in our community and some outstanding community events and projects.

“These people and community activities help make Ballarat a great place to live. For tonight’s recipients this is fitting recognition of their impressive contributions to our city.”