Chaplain John Kewa has been a beacon of hope from within the Wollongong community during the past year, and has been named Wollongong's Citizen of the Year for 2021.
The manager and chaplain of the Mission to Seafarers Port Kembla undertook a pastoral and humanitarian effort in connecting with and providing care packages for the 1200-strong crew stranded on the docked Ruby Princess in Port Kembla following a COVID-19 outbreak on the vessel in April last year.
"John is a worthy winner of the Citizen of the Year for 2021," Wollongong City Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.
"Not only for his work with the Ruby Princess, but for his significant contributions to seafarer welfare. He is a fantastic ambassador for our region.
"John is incredibly community-minded. His work has highlighted Wollongong to the national and global maritime community, but at a local level, he has supported many individuals who have found hardship and helped them become valued contributors to their local community."
Chaplain Kewa was recognised at the Australia Day Awards Lunch hosted by Wollongong City Council at Villa Doro on Friday.
-Visit the Mercury's website later today for the full list of winners, as well as an interview with Rev Kewa.
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