As many Australians celebrated Australia Day with a public holiday full of games of backyard cricket, trips to the beach and snags on the BBQ, three individuals from children’s charity Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation joined former Prime Minster Julia Gillard in receiving top awards in this year’s Australia Day Awards and Honours List.

CEO of Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation Pamela Brown received the Sutherland Shire Citizen of the Year award for “her dedication and commitment to serving her community”, particularly for her devotion to supporting and advocating for kids living in families affected by mental illness.

Mrs. Brown said she was excited and honoured to be recognised for her work.

“Through my role at Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation, my team and I support local children, and children from further afield, who live in families affected by mental illness. Knowing these kids and what many of them face every day is very humbling. They motivate me daily to build a stronger and more wide-spread program so we can help more kids know they are not alone, it’s not their fault so they can better cope with the difficulties they face.”

Also receiving recognition was Kookaburra Kids’ Young Ambassador Rose Cox for her community and volunteering work. Ms Cox said of the best aspect of winning the award was that “it brings about an increased awareness of the organisations I serve”.

Fellow Kookaburra Kids’ Ambassador Allan Sparkes CV, VA was included in this year’s Australia Day Honours list. Mr. Sparkes was honoured as a recipient of the Medals of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the community through a range of charitable organisations and his dedication and service to mental health.

Mr. Sparkes is also an Australia Day ambassador and spent the day in Alice Springs assisting with the Australia Day citizenship ceremony.

Mrs. Brown, said the recognition of the charity’s supporters and ambassadors receiving such high honours and awards on Australia Day showed the importance of the service Kookaburra Kids delivered and the children it supported.