Fife-born woman wins citizen award ‘down under’

Brenda, with Adelaide Lord Mayor Yarwood
Brenda, with Adelaide Lord Mayor Yarwood

A Leslie-born woman has told spoken of her delight at winning a citizen of the year award thousands of miles from her hometown.

Brenda McCulloch moved ‘down under’ over 30 years ago and has been a resident of the city of Adelaide for over 20 years.

She received the ‘Adelaide Australia Day Citizen of the year 2012’ award for her work at the Hutt Street Centre- a homeless kitchen in the city.

Modest Brenda believes that her colleagues are the real heroes.

She said: “It was a big shock but a huge honour when I found out that I had been chosen as Adelaide City Council’s citizen of the year.

“I am the meal centre manager at Hutt Street Centre and I’ve held the position for 18 years this April.

“Hutt Street Centre is a meal and day centre for homeless services in Adelaide.

“Each day we serve breakfast and lunch to over 200 people.

“I don’t consider this so much a job, more of a passion.

“I am the only paid member of staff in the meal centre, all the other people working with me are volunteers.

“They are the unsung heroes.

“Last July I served my millionth meal since I started and I have to say it was more satisfying to do that than cook for another reason.”

Despite living in sunnier climes some 10,118 miles away, Brenda added that Leslie still means a lot to her.

She said: “I have lived in Australia 33 years in April and spent the last 22 here in the beautiful city of Adelaide.

“I live south of the city near the beach, a far cry from Leslie.

“But it’s still in my heart, I’ve been very lucky to have family visit and I still get to hear how it’s going round the place.

“My award as citizen of the year was a certificate and that enough was a real honour.

“I have no idea who nominated me and I don’t know if I would thank them or give them a big telling of for putting me in it!”

Adelaide Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said: “Brenda is an amazing woman who has selflessly dedicated her time to the Hutt Street Centre for the past 17 years. “She’s a wonderful, caring woman and really does make a difference to the lives of the homeless and the vulnerable. If we had more people like Brenda in our world, we would be a lot better off.”

KEVIN QUINN