By Julian Bajkowski
The president of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and the Mayor City of Marion, Dr Felicity-ann Lewis, has been named as South Australia’s Australian of the Year for 2014.
While Dr Lewis is best known outside the state for her tireless campaigning and lobbying on behalf of local government and community issues across Australia, the state award has also recognised her substantial contribution to the reconciliation movement and settlement of migrants and refugees.
Dr Lewis has served as the Mayor of Marion for nearly 14 years and was also the head of of the South Australian Local Government Association prior to her election as ALGA President.
“As mayor and national President of ALGA, I've had many opportunities to raise issues that I'm passionate about and I'd like to think that this acknowledges and recognises that I've used those opportunities to my best advantage to keep those issues on the radar," Dr Lewis said.
The state accolade is also an important tribute to the work of councils and councillors across Australia because it recognises the contributions of elected representatives at the grass roots level of communities which are often overlooked by mainstream media.
“The Glengowrie resident’s efforts alone have raised more than $100,000 towards Australia’s first memorial recognising the sacrifice of Indigenous people in war,” the official announcement of Dr Lewis’ award said.
“Her passion for the community is matched by a commitment to health promotion, and she achieved a Doctorate of Education from the University of South Australia in August 2013 and is currently a senior lecturer at Flinders University.”
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