Mr Ian Carpenter said he was absolutely blown away and honoured after being named an Honorary Freeman of the City of Greater Geraldton.
The title was bestowed upon the former Mayor on Wednesday evening at a ceremony where he was joined by friends, family, former colleagues and community members.
“I am very honoured to have this title. It’s not something you go looking for but to be judged by your peers on something like this and to be nominated by them is very gratifying,” Mr Carpenter said.
“When I first found out I was really blown away by the sentiment and extremely surprised, it was right out of the blue as some time has gone by since I finished my term as Mayor.”
Mr Carpenter was first elected onto the Council of the City of Geraldton in October 2003. In 2006 he was appointed the position of Acting Mayor and in April 2007 he voluntarily resigned, as did all City Council, in preparation for the Geraldton/Greenough amalgamation.
In October 2007 Mr Carpenter was re-elected as a the inaugural City of Geraldton-Greenough Mayor. In 2009 he was again re-elected as Mayor then publically elected as the inaugural Mayor of the City of Greater Geraldton on 15 October 2011 and remained as Mayor until 2015.
When asked what some of his greatest achievements were as Mayor, Mr Carpenter said, “It wasn’t just me, there were so many people involved in the big projects throughout my time on Council and the Mayor is a figurehead that ensures Council functions together to help our community get the best possible outcomes.”
Mr Carpenter said the transformation of the Foreshore throughout his time as Mayor was just one of the standout achievements.
“I was lucky enough to be on Council for the whole process of the Foreshore from the beginning of the public consultation, working out what amenities the community wanted on our Foreshore, right through to the new Geraldton Multipurpose Centre,” he said.
“It really is fantastic to see it completed and see what it has transformed into today.”
Mr Carpenter also highlighted the collective formation of the WA Regional Capitals Alliance initiative.
Current City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn congratulated Mr Carpenter and said he had been an inspiration.
“Ian has been an absolute pioneer for the City of Greater Geraldton and he has led our Council for many of the great things we see in our community today,” he said.
“He is very deserving of this honorary title and I know so many others share this opinion.
“I would like to congratulate Mr Carpenter on this feat and thank him for his service and dedication to our community.”
Mr Carpenter was given the title having demonstrated outstanding and meritorious service to the community of the City of Greater Geraldton for many decades. This service includes significant community service to the Apex Club, Variety Club of Australia, Geraldton Sportsman’s Club and Geraldton Squash Rackets Association.
In addition to the above community service, Mr Carpenter’s public service to the community of the City of Greater Geraldton includes serving on a wide range of public institutions, Boards and Committees, such as Midwest Development Commission, Batavia Regional Organisation of Councils, Western Australia Regional Capital Alliance and Regional Capitals Australia.
Mr Carpenter joins other Freeman including Mr Phil Cooper, Mr Anthony Messina, Mr Douglas Brenkley, Mr James Grant, Mr Peter Freeman and past freeman Mr Richard Maslen and Dr Patrick Docherty.