Wondai Art Gallery curator Elaine Madill was presented with the 2017 South Burnett Citizen of the Year Award by South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell

January 26, 2017

Wondai Regional Art Gallery curator Elaine Madill was named the South Burnett’s Citizen Of The Year at the annual Australia Day Awards ceremony on Wednesday night.

Elaine had a stroke last September and now faces at least a year of rehabilitation before she can fully resume all her volunteering activities.

“Christopher Reeve said a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles,” awards compere John Carey said.

“Elaine’s passion for making the South Burnett the best possible place to live spreads across many organisations, and “no” is a word she doesn’t accept when her focus is set on improving the facilities and experiences of her favourite community – Wondai – or the wider South Burnett.

“Elaine is a wonderful ambassador for the South Burnett wherever she goes.”

Some of the organisations and interests Elaine either leads or supports include:

  • Wondai Regional Art Gallery, where she is the curator and president of the Management Committee
  • Founder and organiser of the “Wondai Business Breakfasts”
  • Lead volunteer and organiser of the Wondai Country Markets
  • Organiser of the annual Wondai Carols in the Park service
  • Founder and organiser of the Wondai Ladies Lunch Group
  • Regional Arts Development Fund committee member
  • South Burnett Rail Trail committee member
  • Founder and organiser of the Wondai Country Fun Run Festival, planned for June 2017
  • Tourism Reference Group member for Southern Queensland Country Tourism
  • South Burnett and Cherbourg On Show committee member
  • Murgon to Cherbourg Fun Run committee member
  • Cherbourg Ration Shed member
  • Kingaroy Quota Club member
  • Member of St Joseph’s Catholic Parish, Murgon
  • Wondai Hospital Auxiliary committee member
  • Charlotte The Emu committee member
  • Steward of Fine Arts for the Wondai Show Society
  • South Burnett Chorale member
  • Wondai CWA Choir member

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“Elaine, your community is very proud of you, and we are standing with you as your bounce back from your recent health challenge,” Mayor Keith Campbell said.

“Knowing your positive attitude and determination, I’m guessing you still don’t accept ‘no’ for an answer. That’s why you’re here tonight to accept the award in person.”

Elaine, who had also been nominated for a Senior Cultural Award and Volunteer Of The Year Award earlier in the night, said she was “overwhelmed” and “deeply touched” to be selected as the South Burnett’s Citizen Of The Year for 2017.

“This award gives me a reason to focus on getting better as soon as I can,” she told southburnett.com.au.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be chosen for this, especially considering the quality of the other candidates in this category.”

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Other nominees for Citizen Of The Year: Desiree Crawford, Gary Barron, Cliff Seiler, Jan Barsby, Peg Downes, Russell Hood, Dafyd Martindale, Peter Peacey and Jack Day (substituting for his father, Greg) with Mayor Keith Campbell

Other nominees for 2017 Citizen Of The Year were:

  • Peter Peacey – founder of the South Burnett Grazing Network and the South Burnett Woodcrafters (both the Wondai and Blackbutt groups); a life member of the South Burnett Show Society and a steward in the cattle and woodcraft sections; a member of the South Burnett branch of the Cattleman’s Union; and a a member of the Regional Arts Development Fund committee, local drought committees and Kumbia Rural Watch.
  • Greg Day – Greg moved to the South Burnett in 2008 to set up his bobcat and excavating business, and for the past six years has helped develop and expand the McEuen Rural Fire Brigade, progressing from Equipment officer to First Officer in a short time; Greg is also involved with the Wondai Show Society and is a supporter of the Wondai Regional Art Gallery
  • Cliff Seiler – Cliff is president of the South Burnett Show Society and over the last few years he has transformed the Kingaroy Showgrounds by instituting substantial, ongoing improvements and helped restore the Kingaroy Show to its former glory. Last year the Showgrounds hosted and fed 500 footballers in a tent city erected in the Showgrounds’ main ring, followed a few months later by another tent city for Relay For Life. And in conjunction with Kingaroy Rotary, he also helped save the popular Friendship Markets by helping them relocate to a new home near Cheers Triangle inside the Showgrounds.
  • Gary Barron – Gary has been working with Cliff Seiler and the South Burnett Show Society, and has been instrumental in renewing the Kingaroy Show and delivering substantial improvements to Kingaroy’s Showground facilities, helping to ensure that this important community asset continues to radiate benefits to Kingaroy and surrounding South Burnett towns.
  • Russell Hood – Russell is a lieutenant in the Auxiliary Fire Service, and in his day job with the Council one of his responsibilities is coordinating the South Burnett’s Disaster Manager Committee. In this role, he has excelled in organising speedy and effective assistance during major disasters such as the 2011 and 2013 floods and – most recently – the Swickers fire, where he ensured that all levels of government had whatever they required to provide meaningful help as soon as possible. While he may seem quiet and unassuming, he is a calm, dependable and quick thinker who can be relied upon in a crisis, and an invaluable person who makes the South Burnett a safer place to live.
  • Peg Downes – Peg Downes has been making the South Burnett a friendly and welcoming place since 1961 through volunteering. Her practical and supportive contributions to her community include being president of her Church Guild for over 21 years; a judge, guest speaker, volunteer and fundraiser for Kingaroy Quota Club; a member of the Kingaroy Hospital Auxiliary, the QCWA, AgForce, the Burrandowan Races and Campdraft committees; a member of the Ironpot Hall committee and school committees; and an organiser of Anzac Day commemorations. Peg also currently serves as president for the combined Probus Club of Kingaroy, where her energy and ability to organise has been rewarded with two terms as the group’s leader.
  • Jan Barsby – Jan has been involved in local Lions Clubs since 1973, making incredible contributions to help achieve the goals of Lions International, and received the Professor Ian Frazer Humanitarian Award for her fundraising commitments and committee responsibilities. In June 2016, she travelled to Japan to the Lions International Convention to be installed as District Governor for 201Q4 for 2016-2017. Jan also supports other community organisation such as St Joseph’s Parish in Murgon; St Joseph’s School tuckshop, where she has also served as President and Secretary of the P&F, and also volunteers in the classroom. Jan is also secretary and catering convenor for the Proston Bowls Club.
  • Desiree Crawford – Desiree is a mainstay of the Kumbia community and is part of the groups that deliver annual events such as the Kumbia Brain Drain, the Antique Machinery Rally and the Melbourne Cup Day wine and cheese both at the Kumbia Races. She also volunteers for canteen duty at the South Burnett Speedway in Kingaroy, and is a regular at the weekly school tuckshop. Desiree also serves as the secretary of Kumbia State School’s P&C, and assists the Kumbia Kindergarten by looking after their garden. She has also served on the Kumbia Hall Committee since 1993, helping organise the Kumbia Christmas Carnival and is a convenor for the quarterly Kumbia Country Markets.
  • Dafyd Martindale – Dafyd has a gift for explaining complex issues in easy to understand language. Seizing early on the opportunities that internet technologies would create, Dafyd works into the wee hours of the night designing, maintaining and developing the South Burnett’s profile for the benefit of small business, community organisations and the South Burnett region as a whole. He has been involved with organisations including the Kingaroy Peanut Festival, South Burnett Wine Industry Association, Wine and Food in the Park committee, South Burnett and Cherbourg on Show committee, South Burnett Arts, NaTDA, KCCI, MBDA and the Charlotte The Emu Committee. Dafyd contributes enormously to the South Burnett’s growing profile.

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