Aboriginal advocate Deanna Schreiber named our top citizen

Deanna Schreiber (second from right) was recognised for her 50 years' work as an advocate for Aboriginal people. Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce (centre) presented her with the award and was joined at the announcement by Deborah Holden and Kellie Checkley (left) representing the Community Group of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year Salina Alvaro (right). Picture: Chris Lane
Deanna Schreiber (second from right) was recognised for her 50 years' work as an advocate for Aboriginal people. Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce (centre) presented her with the award and was joined at the announcement by Deborah Holden and Kellie Checkley (left) representing the Community Group of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year Salina Alvaro (right). Picture: Chris Lane

ABORIGINAL elder and artist Deanna Schreiber has been named Sutherland Shire's 2016 Citizen of the Year.

The 2016 Young Citizen of the Year is Salina Alvaro, of Sutherland Shire Youth Council, and the Community Group of the Year is Project Youth.

Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce said the winners were selected from the largest ever group of nominees.

“The quality of nominations received this year has highlighted that we live in a strong, energetic and caring community,’’ Cr Pesce said.

Mrs Schreiber was recognised for her 50 years’ work in the field of health, education and community services, and volunteering her time to advocate for Aboriginal people. 

She mentors many young Aboriginal people both within and beyond the shire, is a member of the council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee and was instrumental in establishing the Kurranulla Aboriginal Corporation. 

Through all of these avenues she continually strives to share her unique cultural heritage with others in the community.

Sutherland Shire’s Young Citizen of the Year, Salina Alvaro, graduated from St Patrick’s College, Sutherland, in 2014 and was named most outstanding student of her graduating class. State Training Services also named her Southern Sydney Vocational Education Training in Schools’ student of the year, and she achieved first place in NSW for retail services in her HSC exam. 

She has led hamper collections for St Vincent de Paul, Sutherland, and a donation drive for the Nawaicoba school in Fiji.

She participated in an advocate for children and young people consultation evening this year as a Sutherland Shire Youth Council volunteer, and helped facilitate the Youth Mental Health Forum.

The 2016 Community Group of the Year, Project Youth, has operated in the shire for 23 years and has assisted thousands of local young people navigate their way through tough times. 

Programs cover health, music, education, employment and social enterprise.

Project Youth runs homelessness services, a street-based outreach program and hosts three drop-in centres in Miranda, Menai and Kurnell. 

It receives no ongoing funding.