Australia Day Awards - Citizen of the Year 2022

26 Jan 2022

The Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award is presented in recognition of outstanding personal achievement and/or the considerable contribution as an individual has made to our community over a number of years.

The Australia Day Citizen of the Year 2022  is Don Heather

Don left school at 15 to work in the Phoenix Foundry, and then worked for the Railways in Burnie, Launceston and Victoria before returning to Launceston to work for the Marine Board at Kings Wharf, and for some years was head fireman on the Ponrabbel II steam dredge.

Don came to George Town with his wife Margaret and two children in 1956 to work at Bell Bay. With his third son being born here. While his children were involved with the local Cubs and Scouts so was Don while he also taught Sunday School.

He worked at Comalco for 30 years and he retired in 1990, but was employed as a consultant engineer for a further 18 months in order to pass on his skills to those taking over his responsibilities.

The innovation, leadership and organisational skills Don displayed in his workplace continued in his involvement with different community organisations over several decades - before and after retirement. He made and sold wooden toys in his spare time and was the inaugural President of the former Arts & Crafts Association, which established and ran the first Visitor Information Centre.

Since finishing full-time employment Don has served the community in a variety of spheres, contributing his lifetime of experience and his practical and leadership skills to assist in any way that he can.

In 2018 Don was awarded Life Membership of the George Town Senior Citizens Club. He remains an active member and assists with Bingo, Trivia and the occasional trip or anything else that is needed.

Don has restored a valued piece of Tamar Valley history to working order so that it can 'tell the stories' and be appreciated by locals and visitors to one of this area's major tourist attractions.

Don's contribution to the Pilot Station Support Group has been characterised by his dedicated perseverance, reliability, generosity and his sheer hard work. He is always keen to share his passion with adults and students alike as he assists as a tour guide or 'meet and greeter' at the Museum.

In Don's own words: "I loved my work and I love volunteering - whatever it is!"

His selfless contribution to so many different community groups, always ready to step in where needed, sets a great example for others to follow.

Don Heather has been an inspirational role model throughout his whole life and is held in high esteem and respect by family, friends, former workmates and employers and fellow community group members and volunteers.

Don Heather