Published on Friday, 20 May 2022 at 12:09:03 PM

Just before the official start of the Australian-wide Volunteer Week, the Shire of Exmouth recognised the outstanding efforts of its town's volunteers and sports stars at an awards presentation evening at the Ningaloo Centre. 

More than eighty people attended the 3rd Shire of Exmouth Community Volunteer and Sporting Awards, which recognised the contribution of volunteers in all community areas, with awards presented in seven categories. 

Community members, organisations and sporting clubs have been encouraged to nominate volunteers and high achieving sportspeople from the Exmouth community who deserve recognition for their inspiring and exemplary voluntary contributions during the previous year. 

With more than 40 nominations received, the awards showcased the ongoing passionate support of its volunteers, with some nominees being award winners in previous years already. 

The awards evening was supported by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries through the Every Club program; individual awards were supported by BHP, Santos, Woodside, RAC, Raytheon and Tattarang, while the Shire of Exmouth sponsored the event. 


  • BHP Young Volunteer of the Year – Michael Brooks for his contribution to the Exmouth Touch Football Association 
  • Santos Sports Star of the Year – Jarra Atherton for her achievement in the sport of swimming for Exmouth Amateur Swimming Club 
  • RAC Association Club of the Year – Exmouth Touch Football Association 
  • Tattarang Committee Person of the Year – Tonya Hollis as the President of the Exmouth Gymnastics Club 
  • Raytheon Event of the Year – Exmouth Masonic Lodge for the "Seniors Christmas Lunch" at the Ningaloo Centre 
  • Woodside Volunteer of the Year – Anthonett, Anthony and Mio Gadon for their voluntary work during the Gascoyne Games 2021 
  • Shire of Exmouth Exceptional Service Award – Ken Saligari for his ongoing efforts in keeping Exmouth clean 


"The annual Shire of Exmouth Community Volunteer and Sporting Awards are a great way to give back a little to our volunteers. Showing our appreciation as a community for their vital efforts, and to recognize that we are better together, that every volunteer supports Exmouth and helps us thrive." 

"These locals are the true fabric of our town, and their contributions are valuable and important to the remote Exmouth community as a whole." 

“We have been overwhelmed with how the Exmouth community reached out to show their respect and support for its volunteers.” 

"We are fortunate to live in a community with so many people willing to give their time and effort to enhance our town's social, cultural, economic and environmental well-being. All nominees have positively impacted the lives of others and the Exmouth community." 



BHP Young Volunteer of the Year – Michael Brooks  

Michael, or Brooksy, as he’s known around his club, is a great example for other members every week. He has helped with the junior program, refereed senior games, and is always the first to help set up and pack away the fields. During the Gascoyne Games, Brooksy was the young referee of the tournament, reffing multiple games with some of the best refs in the nation, on top of playing in the tournament. He is a true credit to the Exmouth Touch Football Association. 


Santos Sports Star of the Year – Jarra Atherton  

Jarra has pushed outside the familiar this season and set her sights on Open Water Swimming. She competed in her first 2.5km swim at the Yarra Burrup Classic, where she was named Top Achiever of the meet. She came first in her age category and first female across the line. She backed this up with 1st place in Donnybrook, 3rd place at Mullaloo, and 9th place in her first 5km swim in Bunbury. Competing in 5 of the 11 Open Water Swim rounds across the state, she came 27th place in the female under 18 categories. Halfway through the Open Water Series, she committed to swimming her first Duo swim to Rottnest, swimming 20kms to come 9th in their category. She has opened up Open Water Swimming to her community and shown them that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it and commit to the training. Jarra has also been Club Captain for the Exmouth Amateur Swim Club season. Jarra is also developing her public speaking and presented to the entire travelling squad at the Country Pennants meet, encouraging everyone and highlighting some of the squads’ special achievements in the pool.  


RAC Association Club of the Year – Exmouth Touch Football Association 

In 2021, Exmouth Touch Football grew its association to include a junior program that had more than 50 participants. This volunteer-run Wednesday night program, coupled with a senior competition in its 3rd year, ensured an extraordinary season for participants and weekly community spectators alike. 
Exmouth’s own representative team also travelled to Tom Price to compete in the 2nd NW championships after Exmouth restarted the championships in 2020. The season was concluded with a great senior finals series where the club had a third different winner and an excellent Gala Awards night. 


Tattarang Committee Person of the Year – Tonya Hollis 

In 2021 and 2022 Tonya acted as the President of the Exmouth Gymnastics Club, while being an active member of many other organisations. While in this particular role, Tonya implemented a number of initiatives to improve the governance and management practices of the club. Such as introducing a new online booking, payment and registration system for all parents and club members. She also developed position descriptions in order to build efficiency within the club and reduce workload pressures on committee members. Her persistence in managing the complexity and incredibly large workload involved in this role has been crucial to keeping the club running.  

Tonya is an inspiring leader who is incredibly diligent, motivated, committed and continually demonstrates good governance and management practices through her tireless involvement in the club. Tonya continues to offer support and guidance throughout all aspects of club management and governance. 

Raytheon Event of the Year – Exmouth Masonic Lodge 

Each Year, the Exmouth Freemasons raise money to provide a free Christmas Lunch to the Senior Citizens on Christmas Day. In 2021 the club hosted more than 60 Seniors, many of them Exmouth Pioneers, at the Ningaloo Centre. The event brings many of Exmouth's Elderly Locals together to enjoy a buffet luncheon, and every year, club members spend part of their Christmas Day with the attendees to share stories and memories. The Exmouth Freemasons also collect donations, prepare and deliver annual Christmas Hampers to the local Centacare for distribution around town. 


Woodside Volunteer of the Year – Anthonett, Anthony and Mio Gadon 

When we are thinking of a worthy nominee, sometimes we can't choose simply one. 

Especially, as this family comes in three. With their strong family and community values, the Gadon family have shown true community spirit. The hardworking family are always the first to volunteer and show their support at any community function. No matter if it is organised by a club or the Shire itself. This was clearly noted over last year's Gascoyne Games. Their assistance, from setting up in the morning to packing down late in the evening, was highly exceptional, and the Games would not have been such a success if it wasn't for the efforts of the Gadons.  

The whole family has embraced the Exmouth lifestyle and made it their hometown since migrating to Australia, and the Exmouth community is more vibrant having them. 


Shire of Exmouth Exceptional Service Award – Ken Saligari  

For over 17 years, Ken has continuously picked up rubbish around our town early every morning, visitors and residents know of Ken. Even if they've never spoken with him 

It doesn’t matter, if it is 45 degrees or cold and raining, you can guarantee to see Ken somewhere: He will be around picking up rubbish and working to keep Exmouth beautiful.  
Exmouth as a community is aware, that Ken is a humble pensioner, who donates his time and money to his town without wanting to be recognised boldly. All while his efforts and tokens of appreciation bring literally tears of happiness to many and inspire younger generations. 





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Media contact: 
Sandra Flint, Coordinator Communications & Marketing, Shire of Exmouth 
M: 0459 431 439 | E: sflint@exmouth.wa.gov.au 


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