Honorary Freeman Award 2024

Published on Thursday, 1 February 2024 at 2:18:34 PM

The title of the Honorary Freeman is the highest local honour that can be awarded to a citizen of the Shire. The title is bestowed on an individual who has provided substantial and significant service to the Shire of Nannup.

In 2014 the Shire of Nannup awarded this award to Barbara Dunnet for her service as Shire President for 10 years, Councillor for 14 years, and many more years enhancing the community life in Nannup.

Some of Barbara’s achievements are still in effect, such as her commitment to improving the street scape of the main town centre. Council put in place an investment attraction strategy which included supporting the Flower & Garden Festival and enhancing the gardens and streetscape of Nannup. Her commitment to beautifying the town centre extended to establishing the colour pallet and a building code for the style of buildings in the town. All with the purpose to attract investors, activate the town centre and improve the quality of life for the Nannup Community. Her leadership also enabled the South West community to access the Yarragadee aquifer as a reliable water supply for regional needs rather than it going to water Perth gardens.

On Australia Day, Barbara presented the 2024 Honorary Freeman recipient, Mr Charles Gilbert, with the 2024 Award Medal.  

Charles has been a resident of Nannup most of his life. In 1948 his father became Secretary at the Roads Board and held this role for nearly twenty years. This ignited a lifetime of service, with Charles serving as an elected member of the Shire Council for nearly twenty-one years over a thirty-three-year period. During this time Charles has been active in celebrating community life in Nannup.

As an elected member Charles has been involved in many major projects that have helped shape the culture of Nannup. These include the extension of the current Shire Administration building in 1992 to include the Shirley Humble Room, the Council Chambers and inside toilets. He was also instrumental in planning a combined Sports and Recreation Association.

While he served as an elected member, underground sewerage and power were installed. He was also involved in the development of the outside works department and Mowen Road was constructed. He was involved with the Nannup Music Festival both as a member and then chair of the committee for a brief period.

In 1999 Charles received the Nannup Citizen of the Year Award for his involvement in the Tourism Association.

In 2001 he was a founding member of the Nannup Historical Society. He took on the role as president for several years, and 22 years on, Charles finds himself in the role as president once again.

He has been an active member of Friends of the Foreshore and was treasurer for Danjangerup Cottages and was involved in the cottages being built.

His recent accolades include the activation of a number of projects such as the Senior Housing Precinct. He is an active member of the Nannup Sport and Recreation Association and supports the Nannup Community Kitchen. Charles has also supported the relocation of historical graves at the Nannup Cemetery.

Today Charles can be proud of his influence in building the local community, advocating for senior housing and supporting the Country Women’s Association at Community House.

What is most profound is Charles ability to enable teams of people to be actively involved in the community for the betterment of everyone. His decades of community service, as a business owner, an elected member and across various committees and passions are outstanding.

Charles has a wealth of history, a talent for storytelling, evident in the many books he has written and is an honouree recipient of the Freeman Award.

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