Citizen of the Year asks new arrivals to ‘create community’
The Byron Shire Citizen of the Year 2021, Zenith Virago, has called new residents to the shire to 'create community' and volunteer in local organisations.
"There are so many people working so hard to make Byron the best and heartiest place it can be," she said.
"We've had a strong community in the past and until now, and it would be my hope that, with this new influx of people, that they start to build community, be involved an volunteer.
"It would be great if they could donate their time and some of their wealth to the causes that need it.
"I'm sure many organisations would welcome them to come and support, and become community."
Ms Virago said it is important those who want to volunteer find organisations and community services that are close to their hearts.
"For me, two of the most important things are women's issues, particularly women that are impacted by domestic violence and abuse, young women that are affected by sexual abuse and rape in our community, which is very common and under reported," she said.
"It would also be great for people to come and support the LGBTIQ communities, they are dear to me, and that's what I've put my energy into.
"People need to start thinking bigger than themselves and their families, because if they don't step up to fill up those volunteer places, a lot of those services won't survive, because we are getting old and we need younger people to step up and claim those roles."
The community activist, deathwalker and marriage celebrant said local business play a pivotal role on the future of community organisations.
"I've begged for thousands of raffle prizes over the years," she said.
"There are many people who cannot get involved but are happy to donate good, services or money to some of those causes.
"If someone comes to your business begging for the Women's Information Centre or the Youth Activity Centre, donate what you can."