Amelia Rix Award

Each year, CBS Inc. holds the Amelia Rix Award in memory of the late Amelia Rix, who was a long-term participant in our Jobnet Employment Program. CBS Inc. established the Award in 2003 for Jobnet participants with a disability who show a similar spirit to Amelia in finding and keeping a regular job in open employment. The Amelia Rix Award recognizes and acknowledges people with a disability who have achieved their goals through determination and perseverance, and nominees need to be successful in gaining employment as well as participating in volunteer and community work.

This year we were honoured to be invited by the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO and Mrs Le to hold a reception for the 2017 Amelia Rix Award at Government House.  There were 120 people who attended the prestigious event held on 7/12/17, including the Hon. Katrine Hildyard MP, Minister for Disabilities.

Photo of Amelia Rix
Tom pride receiving his award
Tom Pride receiving his award

There were a record number of nominees for the 2017 Amelia Rix Award – 15 in total – Carl Beauglehall, Tracey Coleman, Hannah Fabig, Michael Fragnito, Tia Halakas, Richard Hall, James Hillier, Paul Horan, Joshua Kniesberg, Ryan Mann, Tom Pride, Robert Reay, Janice Viney, Joanna Vowles and Zia Westerman.

Approximately half of the nominees are located in rural regions of SA, like Pt Lincoln, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, the Riverland and Whyalla. They are employed in a variety of fields, e.g. retail, medical research, education, administration, hospitality, promotions and their community work includes English tutoring, animal care, IT, sport and politics.

The winner of the Award was Tom Pride, from the Northern Adelaide metro region, who received $1,000.  Tom has worked at Coles for six years and has also gained Certificate II in Animal Care, which is useful for his volunteer role at the Nature Education Centre, located at Urrbrae. Tom is now completing Certificate 4 in Youth Work, supporting an interest in social justice and it will also assist with his volunteer role of Sunday School Assistant.  In addition, Tom volunteers at the City of Burnside Library.  In recognition of all of Tom’s community service, Tom won the City of Burnside Young Citizen of the Year Award in 2014, which was awarded on Australia Day by the Mayor of Burnside.  Tom was nominated by Bev Robertson from the CBS Inc. Gilles Plains office.

Tia Halakas receiving her award
Tia Halakas receiving her award

The Runner Up was Tia Halakas, from Berri, who received $400.  Tia has worked  at Rosenthal Automotive, Berri, since June 2017 and is respected as a valuable, efficient and diligent member of the team.  Tia has gained Certificate II & III in Business Administration and Certificate III in Children’s Services.  Tia is actively involved with the Girl Guides and volunteers at a school.  By appearing in local media, Tia has helped to positively influence the practice of others, thereby increasing the inclusion of people with a disability.  Tia was nominated by Kelly Watson from the CBS Inc. Berri office.

Encouragement Awards were given out to all other nominees.  All awards were presented by His Excellency.

To read the citations from all our nominees click here.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Amelia Rix Award, to help keep it going, can do so via the PayPal link or contact Caroline Manetta on 8207 1233.

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Freddie Brincat OAM, Executive Director said, “All winners from the past 15 years have gone on to become successful employees who continue to make a positive contribution to their local communities. All they needed was a start from others who could see their potential and give them a chance to succeed”.
Congratulations to everyone!

Generous sponsors of the Amelia Rix Award were also acknowledged during the reception.

Gold Sponsors

Beg Your Pardon Menswear

Orana Incorporated

Street Fleet Pty Ltd

RA Veitch & Co.

The Roller Door Doctor

Silver Sponsors


Robyn & Alan Copeland

Bronze Sponsors

Lyn Mitchell Design

Jon Martin Consulting and Training

Bob Burns Blinds

Select Vocational Services

Autism SA

Northern Health Network

Commercial Finance Australia

Flinders University

Catherine Soukoulis & Vanessa Launer

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Pty Ltd

Penny McCann

Cr. Claire Boan

Past Winners


Ryan Blashchek (inaugural winner) Mid North


George Bambacas and
Shane Bogna
(joint winners) both Adelaide metro


Hope Hedger
Murray Bridge


Gavin Oatway
Adelaide metro


Michael Vardaro


Lukasz Wojniak and
Emma Hesketh
(joint winners) both Adelaide metro


Con Kourtis


Robert Smith,
Runner-Up– David Palmer
both Adelaide metro


Ben Cregan Riverland,
Runner-Up– Jordan Palmer
Adelaide metro


Krystal Petherick,
Runner-Up– Paula Denton
both Riverland


Benjamin Eichler
Murray Bridge,

Runner-Up Damien Carpenter
Mid North


Alyx Mitchell

Runner-Up– Graeme Docking
Murray Bridge


Sarah Bown
Adelaide metro,

Runner-Up– Jesse
Adelaide metro


Josh Richards
Metro Adelaide


Tom Pride,
from the Northern Adelaide metro

Tia Halakas
from Berri


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