Two community-minded individuals have been awarded Hobsons Bay’s 2023 Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year at the citizenship ceremony on Australia Day.
Naserah ‘Nasz’ Khan has been named the 2023 Citizen of the Year for her years of dedication to improving her beloved Seabrook, while Altona educator, theatre maker, writer and advocate Mia Boonen is the Young Citizen of the Year.
About Nasz Khan
Described as “the heart of Seabrook,” Nasz has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make Seabrook a better place to live.
Since moving to Hobsons Bay in 2005, she has been involved in nearly every part of the Seabrook community, from establishing the Seabrook Community Gardens to working with Council to develop the Homestead Run Park.
The new eye-catching mural at the Seabrook shopping centre was Nasz’s idea and came to life through Council’s Pitch Your Project program.
Working together with Council and members of the community, Nasz also organised the Dawn Service in Seabrook for the past two years, enabling Seabrook residents to pay respects to veterans locally.
During the COVID pandemic, Nasz delivered meals to people in isolation, and lifted spirits through competitions and positive messaging around the park.
Nasz also works locally as an autism teacher at the Western Autistic School in Laverton.
About Mia Boonen
At 22, Mia is the chief executive of Altona theatre group Dramawerkz, is an engaging public speaker and a published author. She is passionate about building community with a focus on youth engagement, access, and inclusion.
A proud disabled woman and activist, she co-hosted the YDAS COVID-19 podcast and has worked in the youth sector across many Melbourne organisations.
About the Citizen of the Year Awards
The Hobsons Bay Citizen of the Year Awards are a chance for us to acknowledge the people in our community who are striving to make a difference and to drive positive change. This year, we received a record number of high calibre nominations.
The awards celebrate the outstanding contributions or achievements individuals make to the Hobsons Bay community.
This could be through community service, sport, arts and culture, environment, health and wellbeing, business and economic development, and other areas that contribute to improving our city.
As well as highlighting the excellent work being accomplished by individuals in the community, the awards also give the recipients the opportunity to raise awareness in the community of their interests and vision for the future.
Criteria and eligibility
There are two categories:
- Citizen of the Year
- Young Citizen of the Year.
To be eligible, nominees must be Australian citizens who live, work, volunteer or study in Hobsons Bay. 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. Previous award winners will not be accepted (unless in exceptional circumstances).
Nominees for Young Citizen of the Year must be 26 years or younger on 26 January 2023 and nominees for Citizen of the Year must be 27 years or older on 26 January 2023.
You can only nominate someone else. Self-nominations will not be accepted.
The award recipients in each category must be willing to undergo a Victoria Police criminal records check (paid for by Council).
- Tuesday 11 October 2022 – nominations open
- Sunday 11 December 2022, 5pm – nominations close
- Thursday 26 January 2023 – winners announced at the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony at Williamstown Town Hall
Award criteria and assessment of nominations
The selection committee evaluated nominees against the following four criteria:
- Has the nominee made a significant contribution to the City of Hobsons Bay over this year and /or a number of years?
- Has the nominee made a significant contribution to the general community beyond Hobsons Bay over this year and/or number of years?
- How much potential does the nominee have to use the award to benefit the community?
- To what extent will the city benefit from having this individual as an ambassador for the city?
- Does the nominee's cause reflect the priorities of the city?
The selection committee comprised the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the most recent recipients of the Hobsons Bay Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year.
Announcement of winners
Award recipients were announced at the Australia Day citizenship ceremony on Thursday 26 January 2023 and their details published on Council’s website and social media channels.