Aaron Edwards has this month been recognised as Mandurah's Local Legend.
Mr Edwards retired from his position as Senior Pastor at Eastlake Church earlier this year, and is celebrating a milestone 20 years of leading the church and supporting his community.
Mayor Rhys Williams said Mr Edwards’ unwavering leadership in the community, and dedication to helping others, made him a deserving winner of the Local Legend award.
“He is an inspiration to many people across the community, teaching wisdom to people along the way, and is such a selfless individual,” Mayor Williams said.
“He’s made a difference to many lives, including mine, and continues to mentor people from all different backgrounds; that’s just one of his many qualities.”
Born and raised in the Wheatbelt town of Dumbleyung, Mr Edwards moved to Mandurah with his young family in 1992 to volunteer as a kids ministry leader at Eastlake Church, providing mentorship and leading youth programs.
Over the years, Mr Edwards has lead and supported many community outreach initiatives, including starting the Healthy Breakfast Club in the early 90s at Riverside Primary School, where volunteers collect and cook nutritious food for school children who may come to school hungry.
He’s also instrumental in organising events throughout the year to raise money for the Transform Cambodia project, as well as annual ‘Solo Mums’ pamper day events which have been running for the past 16 years.
Mr Edwards is also highly involved in the local football community.
He was a junior football coach for seven years, and assistant coach to the Peel Thunder league and reserves teams, where he was also sports
chaplain mentoring players and building rapport.
One of the many highlights of his time at the church was the opening of Eastlake’s new facility on Lakes Road in Greenfields in 2004.
Mr Edwards’ son Josh Edwards has now taken over the role of Lead Pastor at Eastlake, but he remains highly involved in the church with a big range of roles to help the church run smoothly.
Josh has described his father as an “authentic, real guy, who is always there to help people”.