2022 Canberra Gold Prize Winners


The Wright family, Margaret Wright OAM, Nicola Dears and Paul Wright received Gold Awards.

Over 200 Canberrans and individual groups have received Canberra Gold Awards, in recognition of their longstanding contributions to the community.

The Canberra Gold Awards were introduced in 2005 and over 4,650 Gold Awards have been awarded to individuals and groups during this time.

The Gold Awards celebrate those who have chosen to make Canberra their home for over 50 years and who help make our community an inclusive, joyful and supportive place to live.

This year’s recipients were recognized for their commitment to the community, to the organizations they volunteer with, for the work they do, and for the care and love they give to their families and loved ones. their friends.

Read on to find out more about some of the Canberra Gold Award winners.

Peter Barclay OAM with his award

Peter Barclay OAM

Peter Barclay OAM moved to Canberra in 1967. He was involved in a number of retail and hospitality businesses before establishing the now iconic King O’Malley’s Irish Pub in 2000.

Since then the pub has supported a wide variety of community groups and charities. Many Canberrans young and old have had a festive time or two at Peter’s pub in Garema Place.

Beyond his career as a publican, Peter is president of the Rotary Club of Canberra East and vice-president of the Australian Hotels Association ACT. He sits on the Red Shield committee of the Salvation Army and was president of EPIC.

One of Peter’s favorite things about being a Canberran is how the community comes together to celebrate different events.

“At Rotary, we sell the gnomes that people may remember painting at the Floriade a few years ago. To be there and see families, young and old people painting dwarfs, having them enter the contest and having a bit of friendly rivalry, it’s fantastic,” says Peter.

As for one of his favorite things to do in Canberra, Peter enjoys walking up Mount Ainslie to see the sunrise over Canberra.

Margaret Wright OAM, Nicola Dears and Paul Wright with their award certificates.

Margaret Wright OAM, Nicola Dears and Paul Wright

Margaret and Paul Wright and their daughter Nicola Dears have all devoted their professional lives to teaching in the Canberra public school system.

Moving to Canberra in 1969, Paul remembers landing in Sydney from England.

“As we drove across the hill to Canberra, I remember thinking ‘Oh wow’,” Paul recalls.

After settling in Mawson, Margaret and Paul quickly integrated into their local community. Margaret has developed methods to ensure that primary school children are musically literate and has spent the past 28 years teaching musical literacy at the University of the Third Age.

Paul taught at Woden Valley High and Melrose High School, before ending his career as a student welfare teacher.

Nicola attended local Canberra schools as a child and completed her education at the University of Canberra. Since then she has worked in several schools in Canberra, where alongside her classroom responsibilities she has led choirs and bands as extracurricular activities for her students.

One of their most memorable moments as teachers was the opening of the new Parliament in 1988.

Invited to the opening, the Wright family and their pupils (among 250 pupils chosen to represent children across Australia) watched as Queen Elizabeth II inaugurated the new Parliament.

“I had my class, Margaret had hers and Nicola was there as a student teacher, we were all there together,” says Paul.

“It was special because we were all recognized as teachers in a very formal setting,” explains Nicola.

Together the Wright family have spent over 100 years teaching Canberra students.

Maura Pierlot and Julie Long OAM of the Children's Book Council

Maura Pierlot and Julie Long OAM of the Children’s Book Council

One of the groups recognized at this year’s Gold Awards, the Children’s Book Council supports local authors and illustrators and promotes early childhood literacy.

In 1957, the ACT branch of the Children’s Book Council was established to assist in the establishment of children’s libraries, to organize regular reviews of children’s books, and to undertake an exhibition during Children’s Book Week.

Local author Maura moved to Canberra in 1991 and recognizes the strong sense of pride and place in Canberra, particularly in the arts and creative community.

Since the 1960s, the branch has also organized a Christmas book giveaway, with books given to children in shelters, shelters and crisis centers, as well as to those spending Christmas in the hospital.

To find out more about the Canberra Gold Awards or to nominate a worthy Canberran, go to: https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/communication/gold


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