Katanning welcomed nine Australian citizens at the 2023 Australia Day celebration. The new citizens, including the Htoo family and the Villaflor family, have come from Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand. After welcoming Katanning’s newest citizens, Shire president Liz Guidera conducted the affirmation ceremony before presenting the community awards. The citizen of the year award was given to Moolay Ta Loh. “Moolay has been invaluable in supporting culturally and linguistically diverse families, particularly in the Karen community in Katanning,” Cr Guidera said. “She spends time helping to educate the Karen community, relay important information and encourages learning of English. Her dedication to help is admirable.” “Moolay is an asset to the Karen community and supports new residents in settling into town. “This was shown in the several letters of support from all over Katanning for Moolay to receive this award. Well done.” The senior citizen of the year award went to Dorothy and Vince Cacciola, who were recognised for the efforts they have put into the community teaching taekwondo. “Dorothy and Vince give many hours outside the club, producing training materials and are always willing to give their time for additional training prior to competition or grading,” Cr Guidera said. “Within grading, they give their time and on a couple of occasions, their bones, to help their students’ progress.” The active citizenship award was presented to two groups, the Katanning & Districts Pool Association and the Katanning Environmental Container Cash In. “Council felt that both nominees were deserving of the award,” Cr Guidera said. “The Katanning & Districts Pool Association have been a great asset to the community through the Katanning Youth 8 Ball Program, which was open to all youth, and gave them a safe, social space off the streets, with support and funding from the Shire and Katanning Hub CRC. “The Katanning Environmental Container Cash In has achieved amazing milestones since they first started with the Containers for Change scheme in October 2020. “They have helped to reduce litter and waste and have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars back into the local economy.” After the presentation of the awards, Holly-ann Martin OAM was invited to the stage to deliver the guest speaker speech. A former Katanning resident, Ms Martin was awarded the OAM in 2022. Her speech focused on the importance of online safety for children and the important role parents and guardians play in helping children navigate social media and the digital world. Cr Guidera thanked Ron Wake for providing sound and the groups that provided the breakfast: Katanning Lions Club, Apex Club, Rotary Club and the Islamic Association of Katanning.