Proston Lions Club president Raymond Dionysius and Hivesville Markets organiser Greg Craig were both nominated as 2015 Local Achievers for the Hivesville-Proston area

January 26, 2015

As well as the main Australia Day Awards, the South Burnett also presents Local Achiever Awards to outstanding citizens in each of the region’s major towns and villages.

In 2015, the nominees were:

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Local Achiever Award – Murgon

Winner: Paul Pfeffer

Paul has been a volunteer for the Queensland Dairy and Heritage Museum for over five years. He is dedicated to promoting regional tourism and is always thinking up new and innovate ways to attract people to our area. He also volunteers as a driver for Graham House.

Paul is exceptionally passionate about Murgon. His efforts in this region are endless; however one of his biggest successes was the opening of the Murgon Men’s Shed where he is the current president.

Identifying a desperate need for support to men with mental health issues, Paul started the group in a shed in a back yard. He then advocated hard for the shed on the rail corridor in Murgon and was overjoyed when the keys where handed over last year.

Paul organises fundraisers to raise money for tools and all the gear necessary for the shed and has been successful in gaining grants to put it all together.

Paul is from a rural property and understands the issues with mental health. He inspires others with his enthusiasm for promoting Murgon, helping others in need and volunteering his time to work for the good of others.

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Local Achiever Award – Wondai/Tingoora

Nominees:

  • Dennis Morris
    Wondai/Tingoora nominee Dennis Morris
    • Mentored and guided thousands of young people during his teaching career
    • Successful negotiator, assisting other community organisations
    • Encourages community groups to share resources and expertise
    • Has increased sponsorships and donations allowing for more profitable events
  • Elaine Madill
    • Ten years with the Wondai Regional Art Gallery
    • Instrumental in gaining local and State funding for the gallery extension
    • Managed local fundraising, making $30,000
    • Along with her team manages the Wondai markets, with funds raised going back to the art gallery and community
    • Manages a roster of 20 volunteers to keep the gallery open secen days a week

Winner: Elaine Madill

Elaine has been the Wondai Regional Art Gallery president for the last seven years. During this time, she has worked tirelessly to develop the gallery and promote local artists and their work.

She was instrumental in raising the funds to expand the gallery to include the new Studio.

Each month a new art exhibition is displayed in the gallery, starting with an opening night which often attracts a crowd exceeding 100 art lovers from far and wide. The gallery has become so popular that it is now booked out two years in advance.

Elaine is always open to new initiatives and opportunities to promote the local area. She, along with her team operate the monthly Wondai markets and have also taken over the running of Wondai’s annual Christmas Carols.

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Local Achiever Award – Hivesville/Proston

Nominees:

  • Zig and Sharon Zoldak
    • Group leaders for Proston scout troop
    • Members of the executive committee
    • Involved in the planning and building of the new Scout Den in Proston
  • Gregory Craig
    • Second Officer of the Coverty Rural Fire Brigade
    • Member of the Coverty Creek Community Development and Social Club
    • Instrumental in raising over $20,000 for the for the Brigade and Community Club
    • President of the Hivesville Country Market
    • Successful in applying for multiple grants
  • Raymond Dionysis
    • Member of the Proston Fire and Rescue service
    • Proston Lions Club president
    • Awarded several Lions Club awards and 25 year Distinction award
    • Ambulance first responder for more than 12 years

Winner: Zig and Sharon Zoldak

Zig and Sharon are the group leaders for the Proston Scout Group and have been the leaders for over 14 years.

The list of tasks they take care of is endless, but Zig and Sharon are tireless volunteers who never ask for anything in return for all of their hard work.

Over the last five years Zig and Sharon have been heavily involved in the planning and building of the new Scout Den in Proston and have worked very hard to increase membership.

They strive to ensure each member will enjoy success, make achievements, and build confidence and team skills. The personal commitment Zig and Sharon devote to the scouting organisation is an amazing credit to them both.

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Local Achiever Award – Kingaroy

Nominees:

  • Daniel Favier
    Kingaroy nominee Daniel Favier
    • School captain and vice president of Student Council
    • Individual fundraising for Cancer Foundation
    • Selected for Men’s 1st Division, and awarded Most Improved Player for Kingaroy soccer (football) Wests Club at 15 years
    • Actively involved in the Kingaroy State High Schools Active Citizens Program
    • Coach and mentor for the Kingaroy Junior Redbacks Club
    • Awarded Football South Burnett’s Best and Fairest Player Under 21 Years at 15 years of age
  • Terry Levi
    • Funeral director for the past 20 years
    • Offers respect and dignity to the passed
    • Empathetic and supportive to many within the community
  • Rowena Dionysius
    • Relay For Life committee president
    • Achieved the top 10 fundraising team in Queensland
    • Raised more than $100,000 and has had more than 40 teams
    • Inspired many within the South Burnett community
    • Offers her time to speak at many community events

Winner: Rowena Dionysius

Rowena is a fine example of how to turn adversity into something positive, and through this has inspired and united many South Burnett residents.

Her own battle with cancer led Rowena to take on the role of president of the South Burnett Relay for Life committee. Rowena has been on this committee for five years and also gives her time to speak at many community events.

Rowena wanted to raise $100,000, have more than 40 local teams involved in the Relay and make the South Burnett Relay For Life one of the top 10 fundraising relays in Queensland. She achieved all three goals in 2014.

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Local Achiever Award – Nanango

Nominees:

  • Wendy Zerbst
    • Instrumental in setting up Heritage Nanango Community Funding
    • Chairman of Heritage Nanango Community Funding
    • Instrumental in multiple significant projects thought Nanango
  • Kerrie Southee
    • Along with husband Nigel is proprietor of the Copper Country Motel
    • Supports community organisations through sponsorships
    • Hosted the Farmers Night Out, offering local farming families a night off by holding a free, fully catered BBQ function

Winner: Wendy Zerbst

Wendy’s commitment to her community was initially demonstrated through supporting organisations her children were involved in. Stepping up to be a Scout leader when no one else would to save the Scout Group is just one example of Wendy’s dedication to her family and the community.

When the Commonwealth bank announced its closure shortly after Westpac’s closure and NAB becoming a service centre, it was Wendy who came up with the idea to set up a community branch of Heritage Bank.

Wendy was a Foundation Director, became Chairman in 2012 and acted as Secretary from 2001 to 2012.

As Chairman of the Heritage Nanango Community Funding, Wendy oversees the administration and distribution of significant funding to the South Burnett Community.

She has supported a wide range of events and projects over the past 2 years, some of which include The Heritage House Project, the Nanango Men’s Shed, Rignsfield House renovations and the South Burnett Business Excellence Awards just to name a few.

Wendy’s efforts and passion has added great value to the Nanango Community.

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Local Achiever Award – Maidenwell / Bunya Mountains

Winner: Capt. (AAC) Liane Kerr

Liane Kerr has devoted an extraordinary amount of personal time to the Army Cadets and to her unit.

With her insight and forward thinking, she was instrumental in shifting the unit to increasing membership over a wider area within the South Burnett.

Liane works with the committees of other organisations within the region, providing assistance with Anzac Day, Remembrance Day, Legacy, school functions and fundraising events. Liane, along with her unit, also provides support to the Queensland Rifle Association.

All cadets, past and present, have commented that Captain Kerr is a true role model to them. Liane has succeeded in training over 200 cadets, providing guidance and giving each cadet community awareness and responsibilities.

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