Key to the City

The Key to the City recognises exceptional, outstanding achievement and is Council’s most prestigious award. The award acknowledges the outstanding contribution of an individual or organisation in furthering the ideals of the city or to recognise outstanding achievement. The granting of the Key to the City is a symbolic gesture with no formal entitlements.

Nomination, assessment and awarding of this award is by Elected Members to Council for approval.

Recipients are recognised on an honours board, which is displayed in the Council Chamber.

Previous Recipients

2024 - Helen Oxenham OAM

Helen Oxenham OAM was awarded the Key to the City in February 2024 for her lifelong dedication to social welfare initiatives and advocacy, particularly towards domestic and family violence.

The Key was presented by Mayor Moira Were AM at the Christies Beach Baptist Church, surrounded by many of her family, friends and fellow advocates.


2019 - Richie Porte 

In January 2019, Richie Porte was awarded the Key to the City of Onkaparinga in recognition of conquering the gruelling Old Willunga Hill stage an unprecedented five consecutive times. He then went on to win the stage again in 2020 – an incredible six wins in total! 

2006 - Mayor Ray Gilbert OAM JP & Edith Gilbert JP

Mayor Ray Gilbert OAM JP and Edith Gilbert JP were awarded the Key and Freedom to the City of Onkaparinga in 2006 in recognition of their achievements and outstanding service to Local Government through the City of Noarlunga, the City of Happy Valley, Noarlunga and Willunga and the City of Onkaparinga and the local community.

1998 - Dr Andrew S W Thomas

Dr Andrew S W Thomas was awarded the Key to the City of Onkaparinga in 1998 in recognition of his achievements as a NASA Astronaut and an Aerodynamic Scientist.