Citizen Awards

The Hobsons Bay Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year Awards are open to individuals who live, work or study in Hobsons Bay. Awards are presented to one winner in each category based on their achievements or contributions to the Hobsons Bay community in one or more of the following areas:

  • community service
  • sport
  • arts and culture
  • environment
  • business and economic development

 2019 Hobsons Bay Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year

Marilyn Olliff and Layla West

Introducing environmental scientist Dr Marilyn Olliff and junior sports mentor and Altona teenager Layla West as the 2019 Hobsons Bay Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year.

Dr Marilyn Olliff is a chemical scientist by profession who has used her knowledge and experience to initiate and manage a range of short-term and long-term environmental projects that benefit the Hobsons Bay community.

Dr Olliff is the founder of the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre, coordinator of the Friends of Williamstown Wetlands’ Wader Beach Project and cofounder of Hobsons Bay Boomerang Bags to help reduce single use plastic bags.

Dr Olliff is motivated by a lifelong love of nature and her sadness at seeing people become more and more disconnected from the natural environment. Dr Olliff’s vision is for a purpose built wetlands centre that provides facilities for nature walks, talks, creative workshops, birdwatching, citizen science programs, nature play and school programs.

Currently, the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre is based at the Under Keeper’s Quarters in Truganina Explosives Reserve, Altona.

Year 12 student, Layla West, coaches the Altona Auskick ‘SuperStars’, a group of five to 12 year old girls who are new to football.

Layla aims to challenge the girls but also makes everything achievable, even if it means moderating the activities so everyone has a chance for success. Layla first became involved with Auskick acting as the carer for her younger brother Reid who has Down syndrome.

Layla is a passionate champion for Down syndrome awareness, organising activities for World Down Syndrome Day at her school every year.

Layla believes it’s important that we see the person before the disability – as Layla says “just because a person may have a disability it doesn’t take away from their competence and ability to live within the community”.

Criteria and eligibility

To be eligible, nominees must be Australian citizens. Hobsons Bay City Council staff members and Councillors are not eligible to be nominated or to nominate. Nominations from previous recipients or nominees of other Council awards are welcome.

Achievements or contributions that form the basis of nominations must have:

  • taken place in the 12 months preceding the nomination date; or
  • culminated from many years of work including, the 12 months preceding the nomination date

Nominees for Young Citizen of the Year must be 26 years or younger as of 26 January 2019.

Nominees for Citizen of the Year must be 27 years or older as of 26 January 2019.

Nominees must be willing to undergo a Victoria Police criminal records check (paid for by Council).

Businesses are not eligible to nominate.

Individuals cannot nominate themselves.

Former Citizens of the Year

  • 2018 Andy Griffiths
  • 2017 Ralph Humphries
  • 2016 Nancy Winder
  • 2015 Geoffrey Mitchelmore OAM
  • 2014 Lesley Ould OAM
  • 2014 George Said, Altona Yacht Club
  • 2013 Douglas Heywood OAM

Former Young Citizens of the Year

  • 2018 Abbey Jayde Brown
  • 2017 Nikolina Mabic
  • 2016 William John McKenzie
  • 2015 Hue Man Dang
  • 2014 Gabrielle Duke
  • 2013 Oussama Abou-Zeid
  • 2013 Joel Kuperholz