26 Jan, 2023

Adelaide citizens honoured

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A renowned TV personality, an iconic city barber, an emerging community leader and popular lifestyle festival are the local legends to be crowned at the City of Adelaide Citizens of the Year awards.

Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith presented the Citizen of the Year for 2023, as well as the 2022 winners for Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Community Event of the Year after last year’s awards were postponed due to Covid.

City of Adelaide Citizen 2023 Awards

Citizen of the Year – Frank Vaiana

City of Adelaide Citizen 2022 Awards

Citizen of the Year – Keith Conlon OAM

Young Citizen of the Year – Alex Bruhn

Community Event of the Year – Vegan Festival Adelaide

Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith congratulated the winners for their extraordinary service to the local community.

“What makes our city special are the wonderful people who have positive and enriching impact in the community. I would like to acknowledge the difference these winners have made to the lives of people in Adelaide,” said the Lord Mayor.

“Frank is an East End legend who has dedicated his life to his craft, grooming South Australian men for 65 years while Keith Conlon’s pride and passion for this city is unsurpassed, he is a tremendous ambassador for Adelaide.

“Alex Bruhn is recognised internationally for her efforts in helping young people be active in their community.

“The Vegan Festival is quickly becoming one of the city’s most popular events and is the second largest event of its type in the world.”

“I would like to thank everyone who submitted a nomination, recognising the astounding people and unique events which make a difference in our community.

The winners were presented with their award certificates at today’s special citizenship ceremony, which saw 80 conferees from 30 different countries and five continents become Australian citizens.

Below is a brief description about all the winners.

2023 Citizen of the Year – Frank Vaiana

For 65 years, Frank "The Barber" Vaiana had been a stalwart of Adelaide’s East End, cutting, styling and grooming men’s hair.

Born in Sicily, the Italian migrant embraced his new country and life. He first started cutting hair on East Terrace in 1957, before he moved to Rundle Street and later set up on Vardon Avenue where he had been the area’s longest-serving tenant.

He has a laneway in the East End named in his honour, featuring a giant mural of the barber to commemorate his contribution to the community.

2022 Citizen of the Year – Keith Conlon OAM

After nearly four decades in Adelaide radio and TV, Keith Conlon OAM is lovingly known as “Mr. South Australia”. A history enthusiast and nature lover, he is an ambassador for our city’s culture and heritage.

A resident of the City of Adelaide for 40 years, he has spent countless hours exploring the Park Lands by foot or on his bike. He is always willing to share his knowledge and wisdom to those he meets, often taking groups on tours around the city and showcasing our city’s cultural and built heritage.

He’s a recipient of an OAM for his services to the community, received a Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Adelaide and has been inducted into the SA Media Awards Hall of Fame.

2022 Young Citizen of the Year – Alex Bruhn

Alex works tirelessly to build capacity and create opportunities for young people to be genuinely active citizens. During the 2020 Conscious Cities Festival Alex co-curated a conversation among young people to explore how the city shaped their identity, then arranged for their insights to be presented to the Lord Mayor resulting in council committing to scoping a youth space in the west end.

Alex volunteers to co-lead and bring to life the Conscious Cities Festival in Adelaide. The CC Festival is a program of concurrent events hosted by 36 cities around the world in late October to explore how cities might be conscious.

2022 Community Event of the Year – Vegan Festival Adelaide

Vegan Festival Adelaide is the world’s second largest vegan festival, attracting thousands of people over a packed weekend of music, workshops, presentations and eating. The festival aims to promote a vegan lifestyle and educate the community on sustainability. Thousands of people enjoy a fun-filled atmosphere with live music, guest speakers, cooking demonstrations, workshops and market stalls over two days.

For more information

Matt Halliwell