2019 City of Nedlands Citizenship Awards

Winners of the City of Nedlands Citizenship Awards have been announced.

Maggie Wilde West was named Community Citizen of the Year, Jennifer Tessler was Senior Citizen of the Year and Theadosia Kurnaiwan took out Youth Citizen of the Year.

Read more about them below...

Community Citizen of the Year Award

Community Citizen of the Year Award: Maggie Wilde West, left, with Acting CEO Lorraine Driscoll.

Maggie Wilde West is an actor, writer, director and musician who has provided opportunities and encouragement for thousands of people from all sectors of the community to participate in the performing arts. 

She is the director of the vocal ensemble Voiceworks, a musical theatre community that celebrates inclusion and encouragement. Maggie is also the founder of Voiceworks Plus, a professionally-directed musical theatre ensemble for young people living with disability. Maggie’s respect for diversity and ability to make her community theatre programs financially sustainable are a remarkable accomplishment. 

Maggie was a member of the steering committee that founded the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She has also been awarded multiple awards from the NSW Arts Council including an award for best director, best production and best set design. She won a Golden Key Award for best actor in 1983 and was nominated for the BHP Quiet Achiever Award for services to arts and the community. 

Senior Citizen of the Year Award: Jennifer Tessler 

Senior Citizen of the Year Award: Jennifer Tessler

Jennifer Tessler trained in divisional therapy for hospitalised servicemen with the UK Red Cross, going on to work at the British Military Hospital in Hong Kong. Upon her return to Australia, Jennifer worked as a remote school teacher and a ballet teacher. 

Her passion has always been helping people with learning difficulties and, in 2014, she joined the program ReadWriteNow – an organisation dedicated to assisting people whose literacy levels present a barrier to their full inclusion in the community. 

She trained as a volunteer adult literacy tutor and quickly began accepting the most difficult cases. While most tutors usually only help one student at a time, Jennifer has always helped multiple students. She readily accepted the challenge to work with those with acquired brain injury, who the program would be otherwise unable to help. 

With assistance from Jennifer over the course of two years, one of Jennifer’s students (whose injuries had left him with affected speech and little ability to read and write) was able to achieve his goal of presenting a paper on aphasia at a conference in Sydney.

Youth Citizen of the Year: Theadosia Kurnaiwan 

Youth Citizen of the Year: Theadosia Kurnaiwan

Theadosia Kurniawan has been involved in the community from a young age. Theadosia attended high school in Indonesia where she was a part of Buku Berjalan – which means walking book club – in which she travelled to various communities to impart reading and writing skills and encourage bi-lingual literacy.

She returned to Perth to attend university. She is a part of Millennium Kids Inc,  a youth-led environmental advocacy group that runs school-based leadership forums and World Without Waste workshops around Perth.

In 2016, Theadosia founded TED X UWA, WA’s only fully student-run TED talk organisation. Theadosia works with her team to create TED talk-style events throughout the year. These talks give young people the opportunity to attend world-class talks and workshops that engage with important global and local issues. 

Theadosia is also part of various youth committees including Engineers without Borders and the City of Nedlands Youth Advisory Council.