The hard work and dedication of individuals and organisations in the City of Gosnells were acknowledged and celebrated with the presentation of the annual Australia Day WA Community Citizen of the Year Awards. 

Mayor Terresa Lynes and Australia Day Ambassador Janine Wood presented the awards as part of the City’s Australia Day Big Breakfast event, with the Mayor thanking all nominees for their passion and commitment to making the City of Gosnells a great place. 

“This year’s nominees have provided outstanding service and made a positive impact in our community,” Mayor Lynes said.

“Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for their amazing efforts – and thank you to the people who nominated them.”

This year’s winners are:

Community Citizen of the Year – Jawaria Mahmood
Jawaria is an active community leader with a passion for supporting migrant communities and opportunities for young people, especially girls, in STEM careers. She is involved with The Smith Family, hosts bilingual Storytime sessions and raises money for orphans in Syria through Local Food Canteen. Jawaria also wrote a book detailing the journey of professional migrant women in Australia, conducted iCAN Arts and Crafts Workshops for children and administers a Buy Nothing page to promote the circular economy. She provides coding experience to girls in high school through the Girls’ Programming Network and hosts mosque visits for non-Muslims.

Community Citizen of the Year – Senior – Dorothy Burke
Dorothy served at the William Langford Community House (WLCH) as Deputy Chair between 2013 and 2015, before taking on the role of Chairperson between 2016 and 2022. She provided leadership and assisted with funding applications to ensure WLCH could provide beneficial programs for its multicultural members. For many years she has also taught mosaic art to WLCH members. Dorothy is an executive member of the Mosaic Association of Australia and New Zealand and recently headed a project called ‘Hanging by a thread: Mosaics for Afghan Women’, which joined with artists across 47 countries to raise awareness of Afghan women’s right to education and employment. She also volunteers with the Southern River Community Garden.

Community Citizen of the Year – Youth – Samuel Thomas
Sam runs not-for-profit organisation Sam’s Spares in the City of Gosnells, through which he saves unwanted e-waste, which is then repaired and refurbished to be given freely to those in need. He works closely with other not-for-profit organisations in the City, through his family’s Eco Community Hub at Jacaranda House. Sam, who is on the Autism
spectrum and has Tourette Syndrome, works as an independent support worker with other Autistic youth, training them in computer repairs.

Active Citizenship – Group or Event – Forest Lakes Thornlie Family Centre
This State Government-funded organisation was established in 1992 and has evolved to become a community hub that enhances the health and social wellbeing of the City of Gosnells community. Services include casual drop-ins, food and dignity bags, child health services, mothers' groups, playgroups and other programs. The centre is currently a meeting place for 12 groups and offers a range of workshops for community members.