The local government sector recognised a well known Katanning resident last week.
The Shire’s community services officer Juaini Taylor received the Local Government Managers Association Young Leader Award at the National Development Conference in Fremantle two weeks ago.
The win came as a shock to Mrs Taylor who was kept out of the loop by colleagues and thought she was simply attending a conference.
She was recognised for her outstanding leadership qualities, high energy and innovative commitment to building strong communities.
“I’m really passionate about community development and youth programs, I love my job so it doesn’t really feel like work,” she said.
Mrs Taylor, originally from Bunbury, moved to Katanning nine years ago and started at the Shire as a volunteer.
Noticing her strong connections within the multicultural community and motivation to involve a wider section of the population, particularly youth in community programs, the then manager of community services offered Mrs Taylor a job as youth development officer.
“It’s very important (in my role) to have a good rapport with these groups,” Mrs Taylor said. “It’s about working with new communities and cultural groups, helping them settle into Katanning smoothly and for them to be able to continue to practise their culture within Australia.”
LGMA WA chief executive Steve Cole highlighted the achievements of Mrs Taylor in such a short space of time in the field of community engagement. “One of her major achievements is the Katanning Harmony Festival, which has become a major regional event, featuring performances and activities by all the major local cultural groups,” he said.
“Juaini has been a role model for people from different cultural backgrounds to work at the Shire, contributing to diversification of the workforce.”
Mrs Taylor said she loved the convenience of living in a town the size of Katanning and do be able to do a job she loves.
“I really enjoy the people and also working with people who are passionate about what they do,” she said.