Kangaroo Island observed its 184th Settlement Day on July 27, 2020 down at the historic mulberry tree near where SA's first settlers arrived in 1836.
As is tradition, the council announced its young achievers of the year but due to COVID-19 restrictions a separate ceremony was held at Kangaroo Island Community Education's Kingscote campus.
Year 12 student Julia was named the 2020 Young Achiever of Year after a rigorous selection process and some excellent nominations.
The council this year decided to award a Special Commendation for Exemplary Service to the Bushfire Relief and Recovery Effort.
The winner as 23-year-old Jade Hinton, who helped set up and run the Western Districts Community Hub.
More on these two outstanding young women later.
Settlement Day 2020 started on Reeves Point at the mulberry tree, which the council acknowledges may not have many years left.
Acting mayor Bob Teasdale welcomed the crowd, noting it was Kangaroo Island's most important day.
Guest speaker was Neville Cordes from the KI Pioneers Association.
The author and founder of The Islander newspaper spoke about his lifetime ambition to build a Kangaroo Island History Pavilion and Heritage Precinct.
Since the devastating bushfires, he has become even more motivated and recently published a detailed brochure outlining his vision for the $10 million history centre at Reeves Point.
"Sadly, however, the Island is not known for its rich and dramatic history and it should be," he said. "Kangaroo Island's history is quite extraordinary. In fact there is nothing in Australia to compare with it."
He acknowledged finding the funding would be the biggest challenge but that the project would need support of the state government.
Also present at the ceremony was Craig Simms, a descendant of Robert Russell, who was first mate on the first ship to arrive, the Duke of York.
The attendees than attended a morning tea at the council chambers.
Later in the afternoon, councillors attended the Kingscote campus to award the young achievers.
Mr Teasdale said all the nominees deserved to win and the selection panel had a very difficult job selecting the winners.
"It was very difficult to pick a winner with so many deserving recognition," he said. "And good luck to the Year 12s and all the best for next year."
The Year 5s took to the stage with the history of the Island's settlement, while the council school grants program was acknowledged.
2020 Young Achiever winner
The 2020 Young Achiever award recipient is Year 12 student Julia Haselgrove, who hopes to study nutrition and dietetics at university next year.
"Growing up in Kangaroo Island my whole life, I have developed a love for it and its community," Julia said in her acceptance speech. "Not many kids are lucky enough to grow up surrounded by nature."
Her accomplishments include:
- Winning the Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award in Year 10.
- Receiving a High Academic Achievement Award for her Year 11 studies, receiving multiple A grades over many of her subjects.
- Receiving a merit award for outstanding effort in her studies in 2019.
- Receiving a SACE Subject Merit Award for achieving an A+ grade in Research Project.
- Taking the role of the 2020 senior house caption.
- Winning a number of MVP awards in netball, and club championships in sailing.
Julia is a member of the Kangaroo Island Yacht Club, where she competes and participates in training newcomers in how to sail.
In the past, Julia has been captain of her netball team where she demonstrated her leadership and teamwork skills.
She is a part of the 2020 Student Executive Committee at KICE, contributing her ideas and organising activities and projects to improve the school.
A current project Julia is leading is aimed at improving the school's exterior environment. Julia hopes to become a mentor for younger students, part of a project beginning in the next school term, also organised by Student Executive Committee.
Julia is on the 2020 Formal Committee, where she has made a number of contributions towards organising the event on behalf of her classmates.
Julia is currently in the Environmental Fire Recovery Committee, where she discusses ideas with her peers, teachers and individuals from the community to come up with a plan to help the recovery of Kangaroo Island's environment.
Her group is soon going to participate in planting 1000 trees. She recently took part in a presentation to the Governor of South Australia, where she spoke about the initiation of the Environmental Fire Recovery Committee and its future plans.
In the past two years in English class, Julia created two outstanding digital videos, both receiving A+ grades and presented to all KICE campuses.
Julia demonstrates strong leadership skills in group activates and projects, but also enjoys working independently. She is an excellent role model for her younger peers, especially her two "Reception buddies".
Julia is very diligent and dedicated to her school work, trying to produce the best work possible, and proactively seeks extra help when needed.
She uses her time wisely, dedicating many hours after school and on weekends to complete work to a high standard.
She is organised, completes her work by the given due dates, and she balances her social and school life as well as other extra-curricular activities.
Her resilience is shown through overcoming unpredicted challenges throughout the year such as temporarily changing to online schooling mid-term.
She is very adaptable to changes in her work environment and throughout these changes, keeps a positive mindset.
Her problem-solving skills are expressed in her everyday life, finding suitable solutions to any issues she faces.
Julia is understanding and is willing to lend her time to support her classmates.
Special commendation winner
Jade Hinton, 23, is the recipient of the Special Commendation for Exemplary Service to the Bushfire Relief and Recovery Effort.
"The fire was brutal and unforgiving and like many others it left us feeling defeated," she said in her acceptance speech.
She thanked the many agencies and volunteers that helped out at the centre, singling out specific families who helped.
"What incredible spirit this Island has," she said.
Her work with the initial bushfire response has been life changing.
She and her partner have now moved back to Island and she has a new job as a stylist at Salon 49 Hair Design.
Jade came to the assistance of Kangaroo Islanders initially as a helper on a farm fire-fighting unit with her dad Shane in late December, while she was on holidays.
On January 3, the Western Districts Sports Club was burnt to the ground along with many other west end residents homes and livelihoods.
It was soon recognised that a hub was needed out west for the multitude of donations that were arriving on KI as well as a place for far west end residents to go to for food and toiletry supplies, to have a shower, to wash clothes and get support from someone who cared.
For people out that way, going to Parndana was even too far, there was just so much to do.
With the support of Western Districts Football Club president Tony Nolan, she started camping at the Western Districts footy club change rooms and set up a fully functioning relief centre.
Jade provided a hot cuppa and meals as well as helping people to get the supplies that they needed from the donated goods.
Jade was also pivotal in recognising what other items were needed by people who has lost everything.
She was joined by some other campers, being west end residents who had nowhere else to go and who needed someone to talk to, as well as the ADF for some time.
Jade was a listening ear and a friend at peoples time of need. She looked out for peoples well-being and regularly phoned someone if she was concerned about how they were coping.
Jade assisted the Red Cross and the Recovery Coordinator, then Mike Williams, to understand the needs of people she was interacting with, as well as helping to host outreach Recovery Centre pop-ups.
Jade stayed out at Western Districts for about three months and had very little time off to spend with her partner, friends and family.
Jade was dedicated and supportive to many west end residents and it would be very easy to hear many positive stories about how she helped many community members during this time.
Jade showed care, concern, empathy, respect and humanity over these months. She was selfless and focussed on others well-being and recovery and determined to help where she could.
Jade worked many unpaid hours and really showed remarkable community spirit in her work out west.
Jade stayed for the long haul and really put her own needs and life on hold to provide help at the community hub. Jade was reluctant to close the hub when it was required and she would have stayed longer if it was needed.
"I highly commend Jade for her commitment, engagement and kindness during her time of helping out at Western Districts," her recipient wrote.
"She will be well respected and remembered by many who received care and concern from her during a very difficult and challenging time. It would be great if Jade can be recognised by this community award as she is very well deserving."