Rhonda Parker

Rhonda Parker


Richard Court

Richard Court


    86 year old Kalgoorlie woman named 1999 Western Australian Senior of the Year

    5/11/1999 10:30 PM

      An 86-year-old Kalgoorlie woman, who still works five days a week for others in a voluntary capacity, has been named the 1999 Western Australian Senior of the Year by Premier Richard Court at a ceremony in Perth tonight.

      Mrs Lorna Mitchell was chosen from five Regional Seniors of the Year, announced in Bunbury last month.

      At tonight’s ceremony Mrs Mitchell was presented with a $2,000 cheque and a trophy in recognition of her achievements. She was also the recipient of the Seniors’ Community Service Award and the Goldfields’ Senior of the Year Award.

      Mrs Mitchell dedicates her time to FARA, an organisation that provides emergency food relief and advice on financial assistance to those in need.

      She has spent half her life working to improve the quality of life for all sections of the Kalgoorlie community including intellectually handicapped children, recovering alcoholics, the Aboriginal community or the aged.

      The Premier said the example set by Mrs Mitchell and the other winners announced tonight showed how seniors were helping create a society where age was no barrier, where seniors were valued and where ageing was a positive and rewarding stage of life.

      Seniors’ Minster Rhonda Parker said Kalgoorlie had benefited enormously from Lorna’s vast knowledge and experience.

      “She provides an inspiring example of what seniors achieve through hard work, dedication and commitment,” Mrs Parker said.

      “Through her efforts with people in need, Lorna has challenged the negative stereotypes that surround ageing such as a false belief that seniors are frail and dependent.

      “Lorna typifies the qualities of this International Year of Older Persons - independence, participation, self-fulfilment, dignity and care and her work does much to bring into reality the State theme for the year - A Western Australia for all Ages.

      “She will be an exceptional ambassador for seniors in the new millennium.”

      Mrs Parker said there had been a record 160 nominations from around the State for this year’s awards in the fields of community service, the arts and culture, sport and recreation and business leadership.

      She said every entrant shared the qualities of tireless energy and dedication to their favoured activity.

      The winners of the categories open to seniors were:

      Seniors Community Service Award recognises seniors who volunteer their time to benefit others by for example working with children, special needs organisations, the environment or community groups.
      Lorna Mitchell (86) Kalgoorlie
      Lorna also won this year’s Senior of the Year.

      Seniors Sport and Recreation Award is made to seniors who inspire others to participate or achieve in sports or recreation as an administrator, coach, mentor or role model.
      James Harwood (72), York
      York’s reputation as a top tourist and historic town is largely due to the foresight and dedication of James Harwood. Mr Harwood has managed York’s premier tourist attraction, the York Motor Museum for the last 20 years. York has much to thank Mr Harwood for including a Sir David Brand Award for Tourism, the founding of the Vintage Sports Car Club and the Matilda Bay Brewing company.

      Seniors Arts and Culture Award recognises seniors who enrich the community through creativity and inspiration in arts and culture (literature, education, music or fine arts).
      Beryl Silvester (76), Bentley
      At 76 Beryl Silvester has no intention of slowing her active lifestyle. While her first love is theatre, Mrs Silvester is involved with a diverse range of interests which keep her mixing with people almost every hour of the day. Mrs Silvester recently retired as Director of the Young Australian League Drama Academy after 20 years of dedicated service and was involved in a project that encouraged young people with disabilities to experience the magic of theatre.

      Seniors Business Leadership Award awarded to seniors (paid or unpaid) contributing to the business community.
      Russel Mouritz (67), Hyden
      Prior to the involvement of Thomas ‘Russel’ Mouritz, the tourism industry in Hyden virtually did not exist. In the 1960’s Russel saw the need to improve the services for visitors to the district. His initiative and vision led to the formation of several companies including the Hyden Tourist Development Company, Hyden Hotel, Hyden Roadhouse, Wave Rock Caravan Park, Wave Rock Wildlife Park and the Wave Rock Resort.

      The Seniors’ Awards also recognise the contributions of individuals and organisation, other than seniors, who provide exceptional services to the seniors’ community.

      The winners were:

      Award of Excellence recognises outstanding service to seniors by individuals under the age of sixty.
      Thuriyya Ibrahim (41), Esperance
      Thuriyya Ibrahims’ vision and leadership along with the support of the staff at Esperance Home and Community Care has brought much joy to the lives of seniors in the Esperance community. As the manager of Esperance Home and Community Care, Thuriyya has organised a large calendar of events and activities for local seniors and is a keen supporter of the International Year of Older Persons.

      Seniors Exceptional Organisation Award recognises business or organisations that run projects or activities which benefit seniors.
      Mandurah City Seniors Citizens Centre
      The centre has set the benchmark for seniors centres throughout the State. With more than 2,000 members, the centre caters for the needs of everyone by running an extensive activities program and providing members with access to their own podiatrist, hairdresser, beautician, library and free legal advise. The centre is run by dedicated staff and a group of enthusiastic volunteers who are committed to providing benefits for all seniors.
      Senior’s Card Quality Business Award recognises outstanding service by a business that participates in the Seniors Card discount program.
      Perth Zoo
      Perth Zoo provides fun for all ages. As a participant in the Seniors Card Discount Program for the past 10 years, they make sure that seniors are not forgotten by offering Senior’s Card holders a generous 30 per cent discount off the normal adult entry price. Perth Zoo is always very willing to become involved in seniors activities and has been a keen supporter of Seniors’ Week in the past.

      Category winners each receive $500 and a trophy recognising their achievements.

      Media Contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810