Dolls Point resident Mona Luxton has been named Bayside Council’s 2018 Citizen of the Year.
Mrs Luxton founded the Bay City Care Women’s Domestic Violence Service in 2010 and has done brilliant work with the organisation since, helping hundreds of victims of domestic violence.
The service has also set up an education program in local high schools targeting Year 9 students.
She said she was passionate about domestic violence prevention and started the service with help from her church in Arncliffe.
“It’s something that I’ve always been passionate about, for lots of reasons, and I had the opportunity to start a service through the organisation Bay City Care which is connected to Bay City Church in 2010,” she said.
“That was the very small beginnings of what we have now.”
The service now has a centre in Rockdale and also has high hopes of opening a shelter in the future.
Mrs Luxton said the service had helped hundreds of victims over the years, including through counselling and offering practical help such as finding housing.
She received the award in front of a strong crowd at Peter Depena Reserve in Dolls Point on Friday, which had gathered for a citizenship ceremony and the Australia Day celebrations run by Bayside Council.
Mayor Bill Saravinovski presented her with the award. “I was very humbled. My daughter nominated me which was special.”
She spoke to the crowd about the work that still needed to be done preventing domestic violence.
“Domestic violence prevention requires the whole community working together in collaboration, and while much is being done much is still left to do.
“It is not about statistics but it is about our mothers, our sisters and our daughters.
“The effects are far reaching and often result in homelessness, depression, anxiety and self-harm.”
Kingsgrove High School student Mark Fokas, 16, was named as the Bayside Council Sportsperson of the Year for his efforts in athletics.
Young entrepreneur Juliette Jones also received a special award for her efforts raising money for motor neurone disease and running her business CSJ leMoNaiD.