A community advocate who set up an organisation to support the mental health of first responders has been named Rockingham’s Community Citizen of the Year. The City of Rockingham held its Community Citizen of the Year awards on Saturday during Australia Day celebrations, as part of Rockingham’s largest annual citizenship ceremony. Karen Hollings was named Community Citizen of the Year in recognition of her community activities, including founding not-for-profit organisation Dogs for First Responders, which supports the mental health of workers in the emergency services with therapy dogs. She was also recognised for her involvement in the Pink Belt Project, a charity that uses martial arts as a method of violence prevention and recovery for women. Senior Community Citizen of Year was awarded to Doreen Nelson in recognition of her work as an advocate for Aboriginal people. Angel Jose was named Young Community Citizen of Year for founding Kids Helping Kids in 2022, a group supporting children with disabilities by providing a safe place to learn and grow. The Active Citizenship Award went to CWA Rockingham in recognition of its long history with the city and its work in 2023 to bring women together at events that raised funds for local organisations. Mayor Deb Hamblin said it was a “privilege” to present the awards. “I am always humbled to meet these generous and selfless people who put so much time, effort and heart into the work they do,” she said. “We really are blessed to have people like these who are willing to do so much. “I thank them, and all the very worthy nominees, for the outstanding work they do to enhance the lives of others in our community.” The City of Kwinana held a citizenship ceremony on Australia Day where 88 people from 29 countries became citizens, with 17 hailing from New Zealand, 17 from India, eight from the Philippines and six South Africans.