Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2016-01-20 Contents PAGE 10 – The Courier Wednesday, January 20, 2016
CITIZENS OF THE YEAR
By Rhody Gleeson
A tireless dedication to helping others has
earned Milang woman Rebecca Holt the
Alexandrina Council’s Strathalbyn Citizen
of the Year award.
Ms Holt has been recognised for her work as
the president of the Milang Red Cross Branch
which has experienced a boom in membership
under her leadership.
When Ms Holt first joined in 2009 there were
only 25 members and many of the organisation’s
posters and publications were still being hand
written by volunteers.
Since taking over as president in 2011, Ms
Holt has helped expand and modernise the
branch which has now become one of the largest
in SA with 119 registered volunteers.
Ms Holt said she first became interested in
volunteering for Red Cross because she wanted
to do something to give back to the community
and has enjoyed the chance to assist with local
and international disaster relief efforts.
“The Red Cross is an important part of the
community, especially a rural community as
we are the first ones on the ground if there is
ever a disaster,” she said. “Although I do enjoy
our local projects, I think my most memorable
experience was helping to fill a container of
aid for the victims of the 2013 typhoon in the
With an aging population, Ms Holt said Milang
had a need for services that not only assisted
older members of the community but also kept
them involved in social activities.
“It is all too easy for the elderly to become
isolated in Milang without access to public or
even private transport and it has been fantastic
to see the difference we are able to make
through our home visits and community meals,”
Ms Holt said she was grateful to have been
recognised by the community but insists she
wouldn’t be able to continue her work without
the support of her fellow volunteers.
“It has been a privilege to receive this award
but it really is a team effort.
“The Milang Red Cross branch wouldn’t be
possible without the contributions of all our
fantastic members and, of course, I would like
to extend a big thanks to our vice president
Tracy Falzon who has been incredible.”
A passion for engaging
Strathalbyn’s youth through
the arts has been no act for
The 29-year-old butcher
Strathalbyn Young Citizen of
the Year for her work with the
Strathalbyn Youth Theatre.
Her passion for performance
art grew during high school
and university where Miss
Maidment became interested
in youth work and, in 2013, the
opportunity arose to combine her
two interests with the creation of
the Strathalbyn Youth Theatre.
With a limited interest in
playing sports growing up, Miss
Maidment said she struggled to
find other social outlets and was
inspired to create a space for
like-minded kids to explore their
“For one hour each week
kids have the chance to just be
themselves and explore their
own personalities while making
new friends in a safe social
Theatre is about more than
just socialising however, with
members taking part in weekly
acting workshops and helping
to put together an annual end of
“It is very rewarding seeing
young kids come along who may
have never acted before and
by the end of the year they are
performing confidently up on
stage in front of a live audience,”
Miss Maidment said.
“It is such an honour to be
recognised with this award and
I would like to extend a special
thanks to the Strathalbyn
Players, the Strathalbyn Rotary
Club for their continued support,
the hardworking parents and
volunteers and of course the
Youth Theatre’s Tabitha Lewis
without whom none of this would
When she’s not busy behind the counter of the Milang Post Office, the president of Milang’s Red Cross
and Alexandrina Council’s Strathalbyn Citizen of the Year, Rebecca Holt, can be found volunteering
her time to help those in need.
Alexandrina Council’s Strathalbyn Young Citizen of the Year, Melissa
Maidment doesn’t mind a bit of horseplay at her youth theatre program.
Rebecca’s Red Cross rejuvenation
Youth art a passion
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