JULIE Saunders earned the Mornington Peninsula 2021 Citizen of the Year Award partly for her role in cooking, packing and delivering three-course meals to around 60 needy households every Wednesday. She and a group of dedicated volunteers made 1200 meals which were delivered to mainly older residents during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Ms Saunders also acts as an IP, or independent person. This voluntary position administered by the Department of Justice involves making herself available 24/7 to assist 12-17-year-olds who have been arrested. When a parent or guardian is not available an IP sits with that person to help them through the interview.
She is a committee member for many local clubs and a keen historian writing several books on the history of Crib Point.
Nominations for next year’s Australia Day awards, including community event of the year, are now open.
“These awards are a wonderful opportunity to value a member of our community who has gone over and above in these difficult times,” the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said. “If you’ve consistently put others ahead of yourself, served tirelessly and made a difference in our community, you can be nominated and recognised.”
Other 2021 winners were Young Citizen of the Year Phoebe McShane; Community Event of the Year, Senior’s High Tea (Mary Budd); Community Spirit Award Josie D’Alia; Lifetime Achievement Award Michael Wunderly; and Lifetime Achievement Award Colin Blythe.