A crowd of about 600 braved a hot evening on Wednesday to witness the South Burnett’s 2017 Australia Day Awards.
This year a bumper field of 50 entrants had been nominated 93 times, and by the end of the night 18 walked away with the top Awards.
The Kingaroy SES also came away with a special honour.
Although the group didn’t win Community Organisation Of The Year – the category they had been nominated for – the Awards judges gave them a High Commendation for their invaluable services to the community, and expressed their appreciation for all the region’s other SES groups as well.
This year’s ceremony was held at the Nanango State High School Hall and attended by South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and his fellow councillors, Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, and Australia Day Ambassador Annabel Pike.
The evening got underway with live music by Simon Illing, followed by a welcome from compere John Carey and then a short speech by Annabel Pike.
After this, the region welcomed five new Australians at a Citizenship Ceremony, and the audience swore an affirmation before Susan Dowidiet-Reiger sang the Australian national anthem.
John Carey then announced the nominees for each of the 18 awards on offer, inviting them onto the stage to join fellow nominees before the winner of each category was announced.
Given the volume of nominations this year, John asked the audience to hold their applause until all nominees were onstage.
The first seven categories were processed in quick order, then poet Bruce Web recited a short verse before the last four categories were processed.
The two hour ceremony concluded barely 15 minutes behind schedule with light refreshments prepared by JC Catering, allowing guests to mix and mingle over finger foods, tea and coffee while many nominees gathered onstage to pose for a group photo.
Mayor Keith Campbell congratulated everyone who had been nominated this year, whether they had won an award or not.
They were individuals or organisations that made significant contributions to the South Burnett and the quality of life all residents enjoyed, he said, and the region would be much poorer without the community spirit they personified.
You can read more about all this year’s nominees and winners by following these links: